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

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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Burlton’

Announcing The Business Agility Manifesto

Capture-BAMAnnouncing: The Business Agility Manifesto released Sept 8, 2017 by John Zachman, Roger Burlton and myself. Have a look! https://busagilitymanifesto.org/  

The 3 of us will formally introduce the Manifesto for the first time at the Building Business Capability (BBC) conference Nov. 6-10 in Orlando, FL. Be there to hear all about it and to discuss! http://www.buildingbusinesscapability.com/

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Building Business Capability (BBC2011): Take-Aways from the Opening Barret-Burlton-Ross Round-Robin Keynote

Guest Post by Kristen Seer Ron asked me to write this a guest post. It’s my first blog post, so I’m not 100% sure what the netiquette is. I suppose I should thank Ron for ‘inviting’ me. Note to self: Never, ever say to Ron, “I took some notes”. The round-robin keynote consisted of the three BBC Chairs representing their respective disciplines – Kathleen Barrett on business analysis, Roger Burlton on business processes, and Ron on business rules. The keynote focused on the following questions. My take-aways about what each Chair said follow each question. What challenges do organizations face today that this conference will prepare you to tackle?
  • Ron focused on the need to integrate multiple disciplines, which is why the conference was expanded from being focused primarily on business rules in years past to including business analysis, business process, and now business architecture. Organizations need critical thinking and business analysts are best positioned to provide it.
  • Kathleen talked about the fear, uncertainty and doubt in the current environment. Organizations must make do with scarce resources – both $ and people. She encouraged participants to leverage the experience and knowledge of everyone at the conference – speakers, vendors and other participants. We need to understand how to make change happen.
  • Roger said we need to become pioneers and advocates of the new approaches.
For each area of the conference, what capabilities do you need to be effective?
  • Roger emphasized that we can’t keep doing what we’re doing – it’s not working. We need to align behaviors, incentives and drivers in order to be effective in introducing change. (You always get whatever you reward.) A key problem is that you need to rewire the house while the lights are still on.
  • Kathleen discussed the importance of looking from the outside-in (i.e. from the customer’s perspective). Customers don’t care about what goes on inside the organization. They care about the relationship they have with you.
  • Ron noted that a large percentage of IT budgets are spent on maintenance – this is just not sustainable going forward. He outlined three emerging areas of capability: business rule management (including traceability from source to implementation), business vocabulary management, and decision analysis.
How do the capabilities relate to the other conference areas, and together, how will they enable you to become even more effective?
  • Kathleen felt that business analysts can leverage their existing skills in facilitation, communication and information gathering, but apply them using a more business-focused approach.
  • Roger pointed out that we are really talking about business architecture. He emphasized that you need to have each of the three areas (business process, business rules, and business analysis) separate but then associate them to the others (e.g., map the business rules to the business processes). Roger recommended checking out the Business Process Manifesto (available soon).
  • Ron pointed out that you need to develop a solution for the business problem first, then look at system design. You also need to align the business solution with the business strategy. Ron reminded everyone that the Business Rules Manifesto (available since 2003, now in 14 languages) provides a grounding in the principles of the business rules approach.
What are the most important takeaways personally and for your organization?
  • Roger said, “Don’t try to boil the ocean.” Put things into the context of your own organization.
  • Ron explained that it is possible to achieve an order-of-magnitude improvement in business agility with business rules. He challenged the audience, “Is your SDLC really working for you?” You need to change to a more business-oriented approach. Ultimately, it’s about working smarter, not harder. (Everyone’s already working hard enough!) There are proven approaches and technologies that you can apply right now.
  • Kathleen reminded everyone that we’re on a journey – change doesn’t happen overnight. She recommended taking a hard look at what’s not working in your organization today and  applying the lessons, even in little ways, wherever you can. 
All in all, the round-robin keynote set an excellent tone for the whole conference. Armed with the encouragement from the three Chairs, I set out to discover new ideas, catch up with old friends, and learn about ‘building a more capable organization’.

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The Debate Continues … Business Rules in Zachman 3.0 … and the Upcoming Business Architecture Summit at BBC2011

At the Business Architecture Summit in Ft. Lauderdale (BBC2011 – Oct 31 – Nov 4) I will be joining John Zachman and Roger Burlton for one of our rabble-raising 3Amigo sessions. The session is only an hour long, so I’m sure there will be some fast talking(!). One of the first questions I want John to address is: “Where are the business rules in Zachman 3.0?” The following recent exchange represents my current understanding on the matter. I plan to come back on the record after the event to say what I got right and what I got wrong. Question: Can rules address more than one primitive (column) in the Framework? My Answer: Yes, atomic rules can address multiple primitives – e.g., An accounting must be given by the CFO in Delaware on March 15, 2012. (By ‘atomic’ I mean ‘can’t be reduced into two or more rules without losing meaning.’) In this rule you have a thing (‘accounting’), a person (the CFO), a place (Delaware), and a date (March 15, 2012). So even atomic rules are composites, not primitives. Question: Does rules not being a primitive mean that business rules shouldn’t be treated as a first-class citizen? My Answer: What ‘first-class citizen’ has always meant in the Business Rule Manifesto (http://www.businessrulesgroup.org/brmanifesto.htm) and elsewhere is that business rules shouldn’t be subordinate to other kinds of requirements for system design in general, and to what I call ‘Big-P’ processes in particular. Big-P processes are not primitive (think ‘input-process-output’), but rather they amalgamate (think ‘mash-up’) some or even all the other primitives. In other words, Big-P processes are also composite. Composites are about the configuration of the enterprise at any point in time. Business rules are one candidate for that capacity. I believe business rules are a far better choice in that regard than Big-P processes (think ‘business agility’). In any case, business rules being a composite in no way diminishes their importance. The enterprise is not built on primitives alone. If you had only primitives, there would be no configuration, and literally no enterprise.

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Business Process Models and Business Rules … Separate the ‘Know’ from the ‘Flow’

Business Process Models and Business Rules … Separate the ‘Know’ from the ‘Flow’ Conditional flows are one of the most important features of a business process model. For example, a business process model for handling claims would include multiple conditional flows – e.g., if valid claim, if claim approved, if fraud suspected, etc. A conditional flow simply means that work follows the given path only if the condition is satisfied for a given case. The secret of effective business process modeling with business rules is never embed the criteria used to evaluate a conditional in the conditional itself. Instead, just name the conditional using an adjective (e.g., valid) or past participle (e.g., approved). The criteria for evaluating conditionals should always be expressed separately as business rules. Fortunately there’s nothing particularly hard about that. Example: A claim may be considered valid only if it has an incident date. Following this best practice is how you keep a business process model simple – often by an order of magnitude or more! Frankly, most business processes aren’t nearly as complicated as people think. What’s complicated is the know-how needed to perform the business process correctly. That know-how should be represented by business rules. P.S. I first heard the phrase ‘separate the know from the flow’ from Roger Burlton on 11/30/1999. I immediately made a note because it was so memorable and on-target.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This post excerpted from our new book (Oct, 2011) Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules. See:  http://www.brsolutions.com/b_building_business_solutions.php

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I talk about business rules – Roger Burlton and I both talk about recent problems of the financial sector

Here’s a short clip about business rules from an interview in Amsterdam not too long ago. I actually agree with what I said … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhv7bGf3r3Y&feature=related There are several related clips there with John Zachman, Roger Burlton, and Silvie Spreeuwenberg (LibRT) worth a few minutes of your time — business rules, decisions, business processes, enterprise architecture, and more.

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