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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor


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Michael Dortch blogged a post over on the BI in Action blog today - BI, BPM, and SOA: Alphabet Soup that's GOOD for You! Inspired by his comments I thought I would see how many TLAs I could get in a title while still writing a coherent post. I managed 9 (yes, I know, BI is not a TLA technically but whatever):

  • BPM or Business Process Management is about defining, managing and controlling the business processes that underpin your business
  • BPO or Business Process Outsourcing is about contracting with someone else to run one of these business processes for you
  • BI or Business Intelligence is about understanding your business by analyzing the data you have
  • CPM or Corporate Performance Management (sometimes called Business Performance Management) is about monitoring the results your business is achieving through analyzing the data you collect
  • SOA or Service-Oriented Architecture is an approach to building an application architecture from loosely-coupled component services
  • EDA or Event-Driven Architecture uses events and the responses systems take to these events as the primary organizing principle of systems
  • CEP or Complex Event Processing involves correlating many events, often related to different business processes, and then automating an appropriate response to these events
  • BAM or Business Activity Monitoring alerts businesses to problems, issues, goals met or other indicators of how well a process is executing, typically in real-time

So now all I have to do, having ransacked Wikipedia for definitions, is tie all this together

  • If you automate a business process with BPM, how do you get straight-through processing if people must make all the decisions?
  • If you outsource a process with BPO, how do you keep control of the critical decisions in that process?
  • If your BI systems tell you what worked in the past, how do you apply that to decisions you will take in the future?
  • If your CPM environment tells you something is going wrong, what decisions can you take to respond?
  • If you are using SOA to be more agile, what happens when a service makes decisions that must change often?
  • In your EDA, are you just going to tell people to act or are your systems going to take a decision to act in response to an event?
  • Once you have correlated your events in your CEP system, how do you decide what should be done?
  • When your BAM dashboard tells a manager you have hit a goal, they can change their decisions but how do they change the decisions taken by their systems?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. And that brings us to the 9th TLA - EDM or Enterprise Decision Management. Enterprise decision management, or decision management, is an approach for managing and improving decisions. It involves separating out the operational decisions in your environment, automating them using business rules and predictive analytics, and then managing and adapting them over time to ensure they reflect changing conditions. As you would expect, these are topics I have written about a lot. You might start with this post on decision services as they are key to embedding automated decisions in your application architecture. Regardless of where you stand on SOA and EDA you should check out this post on SOA and EDA and why decisioning complements both and this one on reasons to automate decisions when adopting SOA. I also wrote this article on rules and SOA and this post on being event-driven and decision-centric. There's a fair bit on the blog about the intersection of BPM and BI and I wrote this article on how business rules can be a platform for bringing BI to bear on BPM. I have blogged about why rules are needed in CEP and on how decisioning complements BAM as well as this article on shifting your CPM into action. There some stuff on how rules and decisioning can make BPO work better and some of this is summarized in this post about driving overall agility. There's also a lot more on these topics and others on my other blog, www.edmblog.com, to which you can subscribe here.

Phew. I am worn out by all these acronyms.

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You may wwant to add your list of TLAs:

SOTA, SOEA, SOMA, SODA--Service Oriented Technical/Enterprise/Management/Development Architecture; BTO--Business Transformation Outsourcing...

Hello to you James, this site of yours will be one of the future references for my blog in http://businessprocessoutsourcingprojects.blogspot.com/

You have a very relative content and i wish i had the same knowledge that you have regarding the business that you are in although right now i am content at being just a blogger about it.

ha ha... and what about BDS (Business Decision Services) that use business rules in response to events to determine outcomes!!

Short and effective definition about Business Process Management, Business Process Outsourcing

James Taylor blogs about decision-management technologies such as predictive analytics and business rules, discussing how they deliver agility, improve business processes and bring intelligent automation to SOA.

James Taylor

James Taylor blogs on decision management for ebizQ, and is an independent consultant on decision management, predictive analytics, business rules, and related topics.

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