Let’s stand back and think for a moment about the future of your business and its approach to business analysis. What’s really important? My elevator pitch would comprise the following insights.

Insight 1. Order-of-magnitude improvements in business agility are possible … and proven.

Every year for the past 15 years at the Business Rules & Decisions Forum Conference[1] we’ve heard one case study after another about how companies have dramatically improved business agility. Time and time again they report having reduced the cycle time of deploying changes to business rules by an order of magnitude or more. Extensive applied experience exists in the field — such initiatives are not at the bleeding edge.

What’s actually required? Two things: Some new techniques and vision. Are we to be forever prisoners of legacy? Only if we let ourselves.

Insight 2. Doing more of the same, just faster, won’t get you there.

You’ll never get to agile business via agile programming and development. Not ever.

A requirements development and design methodology should result in high-quality systems that are inexpensive to maintain and cost-effective to enhance. How well is yours really doing in that regard?

Insight 3. It’s not about working harder, just smarter.

Most of us are frankly already working about as hard as we can. That’s not the problem. Rather, it’s about working smarter — and producing more effective business solutions. For that you need (true) business architecture.[2]

Insight 4. It’s about building business capability, not better business software (though that will happen).

Which of the following is directly about software?

  • Business rules.
  • Business architecture.
  • Business strategy.
  • Business processes.
  • Business vocabulary.

None of them! Of course you can use software to manage and implement all those things, but that’s a very different matter.

If they’re not about software then what? Architecting real solutions for real business challenges. Building business-oriented, business-based business capability.

Any business software solution that doesn’t base itself today on these new fundamentals will be LOD — legacy on delivery. It’s time we move beyond instant legacy.


[1] Refer to http://www.businessrulesforum.com/

[2] Refer to Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules by Ronald G. Ross and Gladys S.W. Lam, 2nd edition (published in mid-2015), an IIBA Sponsored Handbook, pp 8-9.