Jim Sinur had a short post on The Power of Visibility with BPM Enabled Processes that made me think about another kind of visibility - visibility of decisions. One of the most powerful benefits of adopting business rules to manage decisions is that the approach generates increased visibility into the decision making process both in general and for a specific transaction. In fact it allows for decision transparency.
Decision transparency means being able to take any particular decision - what price to offer a specific customer, what collections approach to use, what supplier to pick - and understand exactly why it was made. Business rules managed in a business rules management system are atomic and either fire or do not fire for each transaction, each decision. This can be logged and an exact specification of how this decision was made can be easily created. In fact many business rules management systems will do this for you or at least make it straightforward to it. And there is no risk, as there is with code, that someone will have forgotten to put the logging code into a particular subroutine or that the message that is logged is not changed when the code is changed or that the logged message will be understandable only to the original programmer. With a business rules management system the rule can be logged and rules in a BRMS are declarative, verbose and much more business friendly than code.
How would your compliance reviews be if you could do this for every decision? How about regulatory inspections or internal audits? What about the court case you fear? If you had decision transparency I think you would be more relaxed, don't you?