Is It Really a Business Rule?
A number of years ago, a colleague of ours, Mark Myers, came up with a highly pragmatic test to determine whether some statement represents a business rule or a system rule.
“Imagine you threw out all the systems running your business and did it all by hand (somehow). If you still need the statement, it’s a business rule. If you don’t, it’s not.”
A colleague on the SBVR standardization team, Don Baisley, puts it another way:
“Business people don’t set variables and they don’t call functions.”
Business rules represent a form of business communication and must make sense (communicate) to business people. If some statement doesn’t communicate, it’s not a business rule. Consider this example:
If ACT-BL LT 0 then set OD-Flag to ‘yes’.
Not a business rule. Consider another example:
An account must be considered overdrawn if the account balance is less than $0.
This statement communicates and therefore is a business rule. Business rules can be technical, but only in terms of the company’s know-how or specialized product/service, not in terms of IT designs or platforms.
Excerpted from: Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules, 2nd edition, by Ronald G. Ross & Gladys S.W. Lam, 2015
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©Business Rule Solutions, LLC 2016. www.BRSolutions.com
 Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR). First released in January 2008. Object Management Group.
Tags: business rule vs system rule, Business Rules, definition of business rule