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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor

Some thoughts on business agility

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Johan den Haan had a great post on Business Agility through Model Driven Development in which he had 3 things important to driving business agility:

  • Provide short feedback cycles.
    ...From the start you need iterations, a lot of them.
    ...finally learn from the production system by monitoring it and feeding that information back
  • Involve domain experts in software development.
    The way to close the gap between business and IT is to involve the business in software development. Make sure domain experts are part of the software development team. No... domain experts won't create all software on their own, but they should be part of the team and pair up with technical people.
  • Use a ubiquitous language.
    The gap between business and IT will not be closed by teaching domain experts to program. What we need is a language which can be used by both domain experts and programmers.
These are all great points and one of the reasons I believe that business rules and a focus on managing decisions are critical to business agility:
  1. A focus on decisions is critical as it is business decisions where business and IT must come together more than in any other part of the system. Especially those business decisions related to operational execution as these must be embedded in your systems.
  2. Business rules and business rules management systems give you an environment in which business people and IT people can collaborate. They create a "ubiquitous language" without attempting to get business people to program or relying on programmers knowing the details of the business.
  3. The use of analytics in decisioning gives you another way to feedback what works and what does not into the way your system behaves. You may not need to change the process, in fact you often won't, but you should decide differently as you lean and analytic models give you a great vehicle for putting data to work in your systems.
Business agility is more important that ever and a focus on decisions and on business rules can make the difference.

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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