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

TURNING OPERATIONAL KNOWLEDGE & COMPLIANCE INTO A COMPETITIVE EDGE

We systemize tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge

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Are Business Rules Good for Incremental Design? You Bet!

You can find definitions and discussion of all terms in blue on Business Rules Community: http://www.brcommunity.com/BBSGlossary.pdf From Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules, by Ronald G. Ross with Gladys S.W. Lam, An IIBA® Sponsored Handbook, Business Rule Solutions, LLC, October, 2011, 304 pp, http://www.brsolutions.com/bbs ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Discussion …  First a definition to make sure we’re on the same page …

incremental design:  developing a system through repeated cycles (iteratively) and in smaller portions at a time (incrementally)

Business rules are unsurpassed for step-by-step enhancement of deployed know-how in business capabilities over time (incremental design).  The Business Rules Manifesto[1] puts it this way:  “An effective system can be based on a small number of rules.  Additional, more discriminating rules can be subsequently added, so that over time the system becomes smarter.”  That’s exactly what you need for know-how retention and to move pragmatically toward the know-how economy Support for incremental design with business rules is quite straightforward.  For example, a decision task might start off manual (performed by humans).  As time and resources permit, decision rules for handling the simplest cases can be captured and encoded, removing these cases from the manual workload.  Perhaps you start supporting a modest 20% of all cases.  The only required changes to the system to support additional cases are to specify:

(1) What new cases are covered (by providing appropriate selection criteria). 

(2) What new outcome(s) are needed (if any) for the new cases covered. 

(3) What new (encoded) decision rules should be used for the new cases. 

At a subsequent time, you ramp up to 50% of all cases, then perhaps 80%.  You may never get to 100% – nobody is talking about taking humans completely out of the loop for every operational business decision(!).  The net result is simply applying human resources where best suited, the really hard cases.

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Ronald G. Ross

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.