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


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Rules in Conflict?

DibertDilbert finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He must use the blue recycling bins for company documents, and he must not use the blue recycling bins for company documents. Ever find yourself in a similar situation?

A conflict within or among some business rule(s) is an anomaly such that multiple states or outcomes are required that cannot all be satisfied simultaneously. In other words, the same circumstances or cases require mutually-exclusive states or outcomes. 

Consider the operational business decision, What is the right delivery method for an order? The potential outcome picked up by customer is mutually exclusive with the potential outcome shipped by normal service. (If an order is picked up it can’t be shipped, and if it’s shipped it can’t be picked up.) If some business rule(s) require(s) both outcomes for the very same circumstances or case, a conflict arises. 

In general, only business people or business analysts can resolve conflicts. They reflect matters of business policy.

Want to get rid of conflicts? First you need to know how to find them (hopefully not the same ones regularly, in weekly meetings), then you need to know how to resolve them. There’s a good deal more to that than meets the eye.


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

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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.