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

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Posts Tagged ‘RuleSpeak’

Business Rules ‘Floating in Space’? Not!

Business rules do not ‘float in space’. They mean only what the words they use are defined to mean. So they are tied directly to business vocabulary (concept model), which in turn is represented in a system by a data model or class diagram. These days if approaches for business systems don’t step up to semantics, they’re simply not state-of-the-art. BTW, with machines more powerful every day, they should be ‘stepping up’. That means direct support for structured natural language – e.g., RuleSpeak. ~~~~~~ See the latest on RuleSpeak 3.0 (free download): http://www.brsolutions.com/b_ipspeakprimers.php

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Will Decision Models Supplant Business Rules?

The answer is no, but read on. RuleSpeak 3.0 featuring tabulation was just recently released. See http://www.brsolutions.com/b_ipspeakprimers.php (free download). RuleSpeak is structured natural language for expressing business rules in the clearest way possible, yet very precisely. I know some people argue that decision models will supplant the need to express any and all individual business rules. Pardon me, but that’s either highly uninformed or not-so-innocently misleading. Having said that, do I think there’s much to be gained from decision analysis and a revival of decision tables (a very old technique)? Absolutely. We’ve been busy fine-tuning methods for a good number of years. I’m glad we waited. The results speak for themselves. See the new DecisionSpeak and TableSpeak (free downloads) on that same webpage. All 3 ‘Speaks’ are highly complementary … as of course they should be! You need all these tools to be successful with business rules. By the way, all 3 ‘Speaks’ are business-oriented and tool-independent … as they should be(!).

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Looking to Find Out What Decision Analysis is About? Make Business Processes & Business Architectures Smart? Design Business-Friendly Decision Tables? Write Business-Friendly Business Rules? >>> Free downloads …

As part of the April announcement of the new 4th edition of my book Business Rule Concepts: Getting to the Point of Knowledge, I’m pleased to make available some additional complementary (and complimentary!) downloads: Decision Analysis – A Primer: How to Use DecisionSpeak and Question Charts (Q-Charts) – 49pp http://www.brsolutions.com/IPSpeakPrimers (free) Decision Tables – A Primer: How to Use TableSpeak – 121pp http://www.brsolutions.com/IPSpeakPrimers (free) Tabulation of Lists in Rulespeak®: A Primer Using “The Following” Clause – 16pp http://www.brsolutions.com/IPSpeakPrimers (free) We’ve comprehensively written-up state-of-the-art experience and insight in these important areas. I hope you will make the most of them! P.S. Do have a look at other items of interest: http://goo.gl/WPV7O  

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Need Guidelines for Expressing Business Rules? RuleSpeak!

RuleSpeak® (free on www.RuleSpeak.com) is a set of guidelines for expressing business rules in concise, business-friendly fashion using structured natural language.  The guidelines arose from over 15 years of real-life consulting work by our company on hundreds of projects. They’ve been thoroughly road-tested(!). RuleSpeak was one of three reference notations for the 2007 OMG standard SBVR[1], a very deep body of work in the fields of logic, linguistics and software engineering, and is fully consistent with that standard. (SBVR does not standardize notation.) It’s been thoroughly guru-tested as well(!).            Emily Springer, business architect at a major insurance company, says[2]: 

“Before we started using RuleSpeak to express business rules, business people had no idea what they were signing off on.  Introducing RuleSpeak to express business rules was fundamental to getting business people really engaged up-front in truly understanding the business side of requirements.”

RuleSpeak is not a formal language or syntax per se, but a set of best practices.  Its purpose is to bring greater clarity and consistency in communicating business rules among business people, Business Analysts, and IT, especially behavioral rulesand those many definitional rules that cannot be handled by decision tables. Originally for English, parallel versions for Dutch, Spanish, and German were released in 2009.  Versions for other natural languages are under development.  RuleSpeak and SBVR recognize that business rules need to be expressed declaratively as complete sentences.  If sentences aren’t the best way to communicate many kinds of know-how, we sure do waste a lot of money on all those years of grade-school and university education!
[1] Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules – See the SBVR Insider section on www.BRCommunity.com for discussion.
[2]from Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules, by Ronald G. Ross with Gladys S.W. Lam, An IIBA® Sponsored Handbook, Business Rule Solutions, LLC, 2011, 304 pp,http://www.brsolutions.com/bbs

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The End of Words?

Will we ever stop needing words to write business rules? No. So long as businesses sign written agreements, follow regulations, verbalize business policies, capture product/service know-how, write guidelines and instructions, etc., we will need words and RuleSpeak-like sentences[1]. Businesses will always need traceability to prove compliance, fidelity with business intent, and validity of reasoning, and those are all things ultimately only words and sentences can do.


[1] See www.RuleSpeak.com for free guidelines.

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Bots “Communicating” (Funny!) … What about SBVR and RuleSpeak?

If you want to hear state-of-the-art machines (bots) talk to each other, see: http://goo.gl/LEIMI Funny! Rude and petty … just like humans sometimes. I don’t think we’re quite there on Star-Trek-style communication with machines(!). If you want to see a suitable set of guidelines for writing unambiguous business rules that machines should be able to understand, see www.RuleSpeak.com (free). RuleSpeak was one of the three reference notations used in creating SBVR, the OMG standard Semantics of Business Vocabularies and Business Rules. (SBVR doesn’t standardize notation.) Don’t try to read the SBVR standard – it’s for logicians, linguists and software engineers. For insight into what SBVR is about, see the SBVR Insider section on www.BRCommunity.com. SBVR itself is a structured vocabulary – essentially a concept system. Clause 11 provides a structured vocabulary for creating structured vocabularies. Clause 12 provides vocabulary for business rules. ‘Structured’ in this context means it includes both noun concepts (nothing unusual about that) and verb concepts (highly unusual). You need verbs to write sentences (propositions). Try writing a 100 business rules without standard verbs. Well, you can do it, but what you’ll get is spaghetti logic and hopeless, bot-like(?) communication.

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