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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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.
  • 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? 
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    

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Ronald G. Ross

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.

Comments (2)

  • Anacy

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    ZACHMAN FRAMEWORKThe Zachman framework is a nizealormd six by six classification schema for organizing descriptive representations of an enterprise. The rows represent different stakeholder perspectives of an enterprise, while the columns depict different areas of interest within those perspectives. The Zachman framework is simply a framework – it is not a process, a method, a notation or a tool. Because the framework is nizealormd, rows and columns cannot be added or omitted and still be called a Zachman framework. Everything fits into the Zachman-defined six by six schema. The forte of the Zachman framework is that it is a nizealormd schema; it provides an even coverage of important topics and does not have redundancy built into it. Each cell in the schema can be thought of as having two dimensions – scope (width) and level of detail (depth). Each cell in the schema contains at least one “primitive” model or artifact. A primitive model consists of information specific to a single column.“I Keep six honest serving men(They taught me all I knew):Their names are What and Why and WhenAnd How and Where and Who.”From The Elephant’s Childby Rudyard Kipling (1902).In journalism class, we were taught to start every news story with who, what, when, where, why and sometimes how. This is also good advice for understanding a system. The columns of a Zachman framework present these aspects of the enterprise.Name of Enterprise OF Horizontal dimension :-1.What (data) 2.How(function)3. Where (network)4. Who (people)5. When (time)6. Why (motivation) Name of Enterprise OF Vertical dimension:1.Scope(context)2.Business model(concept)3. System model(logical)4.Technology model(physical)5.Detailedrepresentation(component).6. Real system

  • Tobias

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    The Zachman Framework is an Enterprise Architecture framework for einprertse architecture, which provides a formal and highly structured way of viewing and defining an einprertse. It consists of a two dimensional classification matrix based on the intersection of six communication questions (What, Where, When, Why, Who and How) with six rows according to reification transformations. In the 1987 article A Framework for Information Systems Architecture Zachman noted that the term architecture was used loosely by information systems professionals, and meant different things to planners, designers, programmers, communication specialists, and others.[16] In searching for an objective, independent basis upon which to develop a framework for information systems architecture, Zachman looked at the field of classical architecture, and a variety of complex engineering projects in industry. He saw a similar approach and concluded that architectures exist on many levels and involves at least three perspectives: raw material or data, function of processes, and location or networks.The Information Systems Architecture is designed to be a classification schema for organizing architecture models. It provides a synoptic view of the models needed for einprertse architecture. Information Systems Architecture does not define in detail what the models should contain, it does not enforce the modeling language used for each model, and it does not propose a method for creating these models.

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