Externalizing Semantics from Business Processes … Why the Procedural Approach is a Flawed Paradigm for the Knowledge Economy
For IT professionals the state of processes has always reigned supreme. In procedural approaches the internal state of a process is represented by some token. Most computer languages use that approach (the token generally falls through lines of code sequentially). Many current approaches to business process modeling do as well, at least implicitly.
But why should business people care about the internal state of any process? For example, if a business person asks How far along are we in processing this order? the person is really asking: Has the order been credit-checked? Has it been filled? Has it been shipped? (etc.). In business operations it’s the state of each operational business thing that matters.
True business agility cannot be achieved so long as business processes are perceived as managing state internally (privately). That’s a fundamentally flawed paradigm for business operation today.
Instead, business processes must externalize semantics so business people can understand and manage the state of operational business things directly. Externalizing semantics is accomplished by means of SBVR-style structured business vocabularies (concept models) and single-sourced business rules.
This post excerpted from our new book (Oct, 2011) Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules. See: http://www.brsolutions.com/b_building_business_solutions.php
Tags: business agility, business processes, externalizing semantics, procecedural vs. declarative, processes, SBVR, semantics, state, tokens
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.