Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence


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An Open Letter to Ms. Mona G.

Mona G., Who in the world are you? What do you do for a living? Mona G. recently wrote a review of our book, Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules, on Amazon. Unlike the other 11 reviews, which all gave the book the highest rating of 5 stars, Mona gave it 1 star, the worst. Hmmm. Mona has only written two other reviews on Amazon:
  • Oskri Fiber Bar, Almonds and Cranberries, 0.88-Ounce Bars (Pack of 40) (Grocery)
  • J.Renee Women’s Tova Ornamented Pump (Apparel)
Three reviews … fiber bar, shoes, and Business Analysis book. Hmmm. The book review is very well written. Too well in fact. Let me ask you (the reader) something. What do you usually do if you don’t like a book? I just put it down and never mention it again. I don’t read it carefully enough to write a 5-paragraph bad review. Do you?! A paragraph or two would suffice. You wouldn’t think there are dirty tricks going on in a professional industry like ours, do you?? The review raised two issues of substance worth addressing so I’ll do that here.
  • “In some paragraphs, several words and phrases that would seem unimportant are in bold text, perhaps by accident, leaving the reader wondering why there is emphasis on such unimportant content.”

 Words in blue bolded text are simply words with definitions given in the glossary so as to be crystal clear how they are used in the text. The blue bolding is definitely no accident. The glossary is 55 pages long. I’ve never been criticized for creating a comprehensive glossary before. Who would have thought?!

  • The review quotes the book about ‘wordings’, which are “the verbs and verb phrases that allow you to express what you know about those things in a consistent manner. … You need wordings to write complete sentences….” The review asks, “Really? What is wrong with calling them verbs, which is what they really are?”

 Here’s why by way of an example. A verb phrase like “arrives at” does not mean the same as simply the verb “arrives”. A verb phrase, almost always formed with prepositions (e.g., “at”), carries distinctive meaning. The statement “A plane arrives.” does not mean the same as “A plane arrives at [some specific city].” So you have to talk about “wordings” rather than just verbs. That’s just how semantics works. Too complicated? Geez, don’t know what to say.

Mona seems to have a low estimation of Business Analyst’s reading ability. I beg to differ on that point (strongly). I find most BAs to be highly motivated and quite capable. I guess I am old school, but sometimes I wonder if so much anonymity on the web is a good thing. I mean I would be glad to refund Mona’s money to her … if she would just reveal herself. But I suppose the picture might get ugly if she revealed her true identity. Oh well. C’est la vie. P.S. If you’ve read over the book and disagree with Mona, we’d much appreciate it if you’d put in a good word for us on Amazon.

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Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.