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


We systemize tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge

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Do you see these things as business rules? Now I confess.

I put that question and the following list on several LinkedIn groups. It was a lot of fun. I feel a little guilty – and dismayed – so many people struggled so hard with it.

1. Assigning values to variables. 2. Asserting mandatory GUI fields. 3. Specifying which data can be viewed by which users. 4. Expressing which documents are to be routed to which queues. 5. Orchestrating tasks assignments in an execution environment.

So now I should confess it was a trick question. I don’t see any of those things as business rules. They only represent how business rules might be applied or implemented. True business rules:
  • Are about human communication. So they must be expressed in a manner that business people can understand (if they know the business vocabulary) – e.g., via RuleSpeak.
  • Would be needed even if you did the business ‘by hand’. So they must be about business issues, not system design or system orchestration issues.
We’ve got a long way to go to become true business engineers – what we call Why Engineers. What’s a ‘Why Engineer’? Have a quick read of http://www.brcommunity.com/b727.php www.BRSolutions.com

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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.