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Business Rules and Decision Analysis: Hands-On Workshop (2-Days)

“The skills and techniques every analyst needs to know to develop business rules and decision logic effectively, taught by the foremost world authorities in the field.”

About This Workshop …

You’ll walk away from this rapid-paced, hands-on workshop ready to develop easy-to-understand business rules for your company in the form of decision tables, unambiguous sentences, or some combination of both, whatever is best-suited for the purpose. You will gain an immediate boost in productivity through sharper analysis and communication skills, both for the business side and the IT side. Here’s how you can take business analysis to the next level of capability.

This workshop demystifies business rules and prepares you to capture them in a wide variety of circumstances. It reviews many dozens of real-world examples and templates, many of which you can adapt to your own work. You’ll be prepared with pragmatic techniques to capture and formulate business rules separately from business process models and other kinds of requirements. Everything presented is reinforced via hands-on workshop problems.

New to this workshop is the very latest on decision analysis. Proven techniques are presented to identify and analyze decisions in the day-to-day operations of the business and to capture and organize the related business rules in optimal fashion using decision tables. Your intuitive understanding of decision tables will be fined-tuned and made ready for rigorous, effective and smart application.

This workshop also demonstrates how to develop smart Q&A dialogs as part of system requirements. Based on business rules and decision tables, these structured dialogs guide users in directed fashion to provide the exact information needed to make each decision correctly. In addition, since the underlying decision logic is highly organized and accessible, the dialogs can be refined rapidly as new insights are gained during actual business operation. This round-trip, business-driven approach not only produces dramatic improvements in system design practices, but also results in a highly dynamic, highly agile work environment. Now the business can learn from its own experience and continuously make itself smarter.


What Makes This Workshop Unique …

Business Focus. Rather than platform- or system-driven, the techniques taught in this workshop are about capturing business rules in business terms, working directly with business partners and SMEs.

Decisions and Decision Tables. Decision tables have been around longer than even software engineering. Yet many professionals have never focused directly on how to apply them successfully to business problems. This workshop offers you must-know skills in this area in combination with breakthrough insights about analyzing operational business decisions.

Solid Grounding. The workshop contains the distilled knowledge from over a decade of intensive experience in harvesting rules from a wide variety of industries, including insurance, banking, regulatory, inspections, utilities, transportation, and more. It is taught by the industry leaders and pioneers in the field, with 35+ collective years of direct research and practice with business rules techniques. In addition, the techniques presented in this workshop are 100% compliant with OMG’s standard for business vocabulary and business rules, SBVR.


Learning Objectives …

  • Conduct smarter, more effective business analysis
  • Identify and analyze decisions in business processes
  • Organize effective projects to harvest business rules
  • Write clear, business-friendly rule statements
  • Create robust decision tables
  • Know what technique to use, and when
  • Validate decision logic with business people
  • Identify anomalies in decision logic and correct them early
  • Perform concept analysis and develop a structured business vocabulary
  • Develop appropriate visualizations, including fact models, decision structures, and dependency diagrams
  • Develop smart Q&A dialogs as part of system design
  • Establish comprehensive traceability for your business rules
  • Develop a pragmatic rule management approach

Course Certification …

The Business Rules and Decision Analysis: Hands-On Workshop has been approved to be earn 16 CDU and PD hours.


Workshop Outline …

What Business Rules and Decision Analysis Are About

  • Why business rules
  • What business rules are, and are not
  • How decision analysis fits in
  • What skills you need to capture business rules effectively
  • Business rules vs. business processes
  • What every business analyst needs to know

Concept Analysis

  • What terms really mean and how you figure it out
  • Guidelines for definitions
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • What every Business Analyst should know

Workshop

Fact Models: Developing a Structured Business Vocabulary

  • Visualization
  • Developing facts – creating a verbal blueprint for know-how
  • Using business rules for current business practices
  • What to avoid
  • Facts from rules

Class Excercises

Tips and Tricks

Rule Reduction

  • Basic principles for rule analysis
  • Rules vs. facts
  • Policy and governance to deployable rules
  • Traceability for the business – not just IT

Tips and Tricks

Expressing Your Business Rules

  • What to avoid and why
  • Business policies vs. practicable rules vs. automated rules
  • Eliminating ambiguity
  • Guidelines
  • Addressing exceptions

Class Exercises

Challenging Your Rules

  • Validation and verification
  • Forms of redundancy
  • Equivalences, subsumptions, conflicts and other anomalies
  • Rule quality

Class Exercises

Tips and Tricks

What Decisions and Decision Logic are About

  • Behavioral rules vs. business decision rules
  • Understanding your problem space
  • The techniques you need to know

Decision Analysis

  • What decision analysis is
  • The elements of decisions
  • Identifying cases and criteria
  • Identifying outcomes
  • What’s the question
  • How to establish scope
  • How to refine scope
  • How to handle exceptions
  • How to keep the decision logic as simple as possible
  • Slim decision logic

Workshop

The Structure of Decisions

  • Independent sub-decisions
  • Diagramming decision structures
  • Decision dependencies
  • Shaping and refining the question
  • How business motivation shapes the question and outcomes
  • Metrics

Class Exercises

Tips and Tricks

Decision Tables: The Basics

  • Boxing the decision
  • How to set up the table
  • Revisiting business processes
  • How you can test if the decision logic is complete
  • How facts and the fact model fit in
  • Defaults
  • Restrictions on criteria and outcomes
  • Missing criteria
  • How do you wrap it up
  • Best practices

Workshop

Decision Tables: Sharpening Your Analysis Skills

  • Alternative formats
  • When you should use the traditional format
  • Completeness, subsumption and conflicts
  • Dangers of the traditional format
  • General rules and single point of change
  • Pre-emption and dependencies

Tips and Tricks

Class Exercises