Global Holdings must review the corporate account of ABC Company.Problem 1. In general, it is not a best practice to mention “us” in specifying business rules. Do that once, then every other business rule statement should mention “us” too. That’s clearly not practical or useful, and in most cases, not even intuitive. So the current specification should be revised simply to:
The corporate account of ABC Company must be reviewed.Problem 2. The ‘rule’ doesn’t pass basic tests of practicality or usefulness. What point would it serve to have a business rule saying that something must be reviewed without indicating one or more of the following?
1. Assigning values to variables. 2. Asserting mandatory GUI fields. 3. Specifying which data can be viewed by which users. 4. Expressing which documents are to be routed to which queues. 5. Orchestrating tasks assignments in an execution environment.So now I should confess it was a trick question. I don’t see any of those things as business rules. They only represent how business rules might be applied or implemented. True business rules:
|[MWUD]||Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary (Version 2.5). . Merriam-Webster Inc.|
|[SBVR]||Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) (Version 1.0). [January 2008]. Object Management Group.|
[MWUD ‘rule’ 1a]: guide for conduct or action; [MWUD ‘rule’ 1f]: one of a set of usually official regulations by which an activity (as a sport) is governed [e.g.,] *the infield fly rule* *the rules of professional basketball* ; [MWUD ‘criteria’ 2]: a standard on which a decision or judgment may be basedA real-world rule always tends to remove some degree of freedom. If it does not, it’s not a rule. 2. Under Business Jurisdiction When we say business rule we mean only rules that the business can opt to change or to discard. A business rule is always under business jurisdiction of your organization. The point with respect to external regulation and law is that your organization has a choice about how to interpret the regulations and laws for deployment into its day-to-day business activity – and even whether to follow them at all. So external regulations are not business rules per se. Business rules include only the rules that a business creates in response to external regulation. SBVR explains:
“The laws of physics may be relevant to a company … ; legislation and regulations may be imposed on it; external standards and best practices may be adopted.
These things are not business rules from the company’s perspective, since it does not have the authority to change them.
The company will decide how to react to laws and regulations, and will create business rules to ensure compliance with them. Similarly, it will create business rules to ensure that standards or best practices are implemented as intended.”3. Business Rule
[SBVR]: a rule that is under business jurisdictionA business rule is a criterion used to:
A customer that has ordered a product must have an assigned agent.
The sales tax for a purchase must be 6.25% if the purchase is made in Texas.
A customer may be considered preferred only if the customer has placed more than $10,000 worth of orders during the most recent calendar year.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.More observations about business rules: