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

TURNING OPERATIONAL KNOWLEDGE & COMPLIANCE INTO A COMPETITIVE EDGE

We systemize tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge

Blog Enabling Operational Excellence

Posts Tagged ‘business rules and requirements’

Getting at the Rest of the Communication Iceberg

communication[1]In many respects professionals in our field have a very a limited view of communication. Yes, of course we need to close communication gaps on every project, and among all stakeholders, and with IT. Though never easy, working to close those kinds of communication gaps should be a given.

Instead, we need to talk about a broader kind of communication – the communication of operational business knowledge over time and space. That requires some engineering. Let me put this challenge into perspective.

I recently read an interesting post in social media by Angela Wick about user stories and their role in agile and other requirements methodologies. The post depicted their role as addressing the tip of an iceberg, as in figure 1.[1]

Figure 1. The Role of User Stories in Agile and Other Requirements Methodologies

Angela WickMany agile gurus describe a user story as a placeholder for a conversation, or a promise of a future conversation. That’s a great characterization because it highlights the crucial point that user stories address only the 10% that you can ‘see’ above the requirements waterline. Over time, each user story must be fully explored and all the hidden detail, the submerged 90%, filled in.

The crucial question is what does all that hidden detail represent? A very sizable portion, certainly far more than half, is operational business knowledge – in other words, business rules.

Once you get that point, a next question naturally arises. Do you really want business analysts and system developers to re-invent and re-specify and re-design all that knowledge from scratch on each new project?! No! There’s nothing agile about that whatsoever(!). That’s simply re-inventing the wheel – over and over and over again.

We have clients telling us that they have achieved proven savings of 75% or more by having relevant business rules available before a project starts.

Pre-existing business rules allows project sponsors to launch projects on the basis of known facts rather than guesswork. It can reduce the difficulty of a project by an order of magnitude and improve the chances of success dramatically.

You should want – actually you should demand – ready-to-reuse, fingertip business rules for projects.

That’s where over-time-and-space communication comes to play. Ready-to-reuse, fingertip business rules represents communication of operational business knowledge across organizational boundaries and through the passage of time.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Read more about the Big-5 business challenges: http://www.brcommunity.com/articles.php?id=b904

[1] User Stories: You Don’t Have to Be Agile to Use Them! by Angela Wick, http://www.batimes.com/angela-wick/user-stories-you-don-t-have-to-be-agile-to-use-them.html

Continue Reading

Business Rules vs. Choices Made in Designing Systems … Not the Same Thing!

A colleague and I were recently discussing business rules. In the course of conversation he used this example: A customer may have only one address. Hold on! That’s not a business rule. Rather, it’s a design decision (probably a poor one) some IT person made in creating a system model. The business wouldn’t (and couldn’t!) make a real-world business rule about customers having only one address. But a design decision might be made to record only one (in a system). Eventually we agreed the desired business rule probably was: A customer may have only one preferred address.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  This post excerpted from Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules (2011). See:  http://www.brsolutions.com/b_building_business_solutions.php

Continue Reading 1 Comment

Batting 1000 on Amazon: Our New Book “Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules” Hits Eight 5-Star Reviews (of 8) on Amazon

Our new book has been extremely well received this far – very gratifying. See the Amazon reviews: http://goo.gl/8lk4u and more comments: http://www.brsolutions.com/b_building_business_solutions_reviewers.php Two reviewers, George McGeachie and Maria Amuchastegui, made same criticism, both giving the book a 5-star rating anyway. So let me clarify. George McGeachie wrote: “The point about business rules and deployment is made on page 9, where you say that requirements evolve before deployment, and business rules evolve after deployment. In reality, I would expect business rules to evolve alongside requirements, and continue evolving after deployment.” We were trying to make a simple point. This time the point was perhaps expressed too simply. A full expression of what we meant to say would be: “A great many business rules exist before requirements, some business rules evolve alongside requirements. Unlike requirements, however, business rules continue to evolve after deployment – sometimes quite rapidly.” Elsewhere in the book we express the idea that your business would need its business rules even if it had no software at all. I think that implies many (probably most) business rules do exist prior to requirements. But thanks George and Maria – point taken.

Continue Reading 1 Comment