The ‘Up’ Why and the ‘Down’ Why
I had a major case of deja vu reading a recent post by Tom Graves, “The Two Kinds of Why”, at http://bit.ly/qgJ40i #baot. I’ll tell you why in a second. Believe it or not it has to do with our business card.
Zachman and I have had a continung conversation over many years about business rules and the Zachman Framework. We’ve moved forward inch by inch. You have to admire a man who is 76 years old and never tires of listening and learning. I certainly do.
John has a version 3.0 of the Framework coming out very soon if not already. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t see business rules in the ‘why’ column.
Graves says, “One side of Why creates a question: literally, it starts a ’quest’. For most of us, that’s the exciting bit. The other side of Why is the answer to the question, the end of the quest. That was the question, here’s the answer: The Decision. End of story.”
Oh not so! Strategy should be viewed as a continuous feedback loop. You put some stakes in the ground, the ‘down’ why’, but you continuously test those ‘decisions’ to see if they hold up in the light of day. Do they achieve what the ‘up’ why (the ‘quest’) set off to achieve?
We believe a conversation about strategy (both the ‘up’ why and the ‘down’ why) is exactly the one business leads are looking to have. Our deliverable for that, called a Policy Charter, addresses both questions, two sides of the same coin.
We’ve looked at the world like this since 1996 and it’s proven highly productive in many scores of engagements. I submit to you as evidence Exhibit A below, our original business card from 1996. (I always liked it … I designed it. Obviously, I shouldn’t give up the day job!) See the intertwined why’s? Hard to miss.
Finally, business rules are boring?! Not! See http://goo.gl/0tLD3
- Looking down from business goals. What are the best business tactics and business policies to achieve the business goals, and how are the associated business risks addressed?
- Looking up toward business goals. What is the business motivation for each of the business tactics and business policies, and why are they appropriate?
Tags: business architecture, enterprise architecture, motivation, strategy, Zachman Architecture Framework
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.