“Business Rules Are Too Unstructured to Stand Alone.” Au Contraire!!
A Business Analyst recently said, “Business Rules themselves tend to be too unstructured to stand alone “. Au contraire! Well-expressed business rules are discrete, specific, and context-independent.
Think about laws, regulations, contracts, agreements, deals, policies, etc. as common sources for business rules. Business rules are interpretations that make those things practicable. Those things can certainly stand alone. So can the interpretations.
The test of ‘practicable’ (the term used in relevant standards) is ‘Can a worker who is authorized and capable know what to do or not to do as a result of reading it?’ Business rules must be well-structured to pass that test. More broadly, ‘practicable’ means ready to deploy into the business for workers to follow, or to pass over to IT as part of requirements in building systems – either way with the same results.
Practicable business rules are encoded know-how of the business, vital operational IP. They are explicit, not tacit, so they can be retained, managed and re-used. Business rule management is the most practical means around for meaningful knowledge retention.
Tags: business analysis, know-how, knowledge retention, operational IP, practicable, requirements
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.