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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor

Business users can (and should) maintain rules

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Thanks to my friends at Yasu I just came across an interesting piece by Narayan Devanathan of Wipro for ITtoolbox - BRMS and Business Users. One of the things the paper does not discuss is how to tell that it would make sense to have business users maintain their rules. In our book, Neil and I suggest that there are several reasons to do this:

  • Rules that change often
    When rules change regularly, or irregularly but often, the drivers for those changes are going to be business drivers. If the business users can see the driver for change and respond to it themselves, you will get quicker time to market and greater agility
  • Rules that have business complexity
    When the rules are complex, in business rather than in technical terms, or have complex interactions it is likely that the business users will be able to work through the business implications of change more effectively than a programmer. Of course the reverse is true when rules have technical or systems complexity.
  • Rules that require domain knowledge to understand
    If you are managing rules like drug interactions where the rule is just a rule to a programmer but where a business user has a real feel for rightness and wrongness, having the business users manage the rules directly will result in few errors and more accurate rules.
  • Rules that the business wants or expects to own
    Lastly, of course, you may be replacing a system or a manual decision that the business is used to controlling and the continued control of these rules may be a requirement of the system.

I wrote an article some time ago on using rules to bring business users into the application maintenance process and so learn to love change and posted on my other blog about some of the secrets of business user rule maintenance.

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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