Business Rules are nothing new in the discipline of Business Analysis. For years, major software projects have been analysing, assessing and defining their stakeholders’ Business Rules. They do so for the specific purpose of implementing changes to the automated business processes that implement the Business Rules. How well do they do this? Too often the analysis of Business Rules is relegated to a secondary activity; one that is performed in order to trace the software requirements back to something tangible within the business.
Last week it was great to have Ronald Ross and Gladys Lam of Business Rule Solutions visit and work with Equinox IT and our customers. Ronald and Gladys are the leading authorities on business rules and were in this part of the world as key presenters at the ‘Building Business Capability’ conference that ran in Sydney earlier this month. It was ideal to have them then come over to New Zealand, where we find that many organisations are still growing their understanding of business rules.
I recently finished Ron Ross' book 'Business Rule Concepts - Getting to the Point of Knowledge' in which he emphasises that true business process agility is achieved by de-coupling business rules from the processes and events which they govern.
"You get thin processes by externalising business rules ..."
I've already had an opportunity to apply this and have seen how separating rules - as well as channels - from processes, leaves you with much fewer and simpler process patterns. Over eighty procedures were simplified to a dozen "essential" processes.