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July 2016: Volume 17, Issue 7
ISSN: 1538-6325


Pattern Questions for Harvesting Business Rules About Organizations
By Ronald G. Ross with Gladys S.W. Lam

The key word in understanding business rules for business organization is interaction. By 'interaction', as Ron Ross explains, we mean person-to-person or role-to-role business interactions in the real world (even if separated by time and distance). Often such interactions are supported by special work products and take place over active channels (e.g., connections via the internet).

Business rules offer a powerful tool for business analysts to understand and orchestrate roles, interactions, work products, and channels. Pattern questions pertaining to these organizational issues assist not only in capturing related business rules, but also in discussing and resolving related business issues with business stakeholders. This month Ron Ross presents a targeted set of pattern questions to assist in that regard and illustrates them with practical examples.
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Logical Data Modeling (Part 7)
By Dr. Terry Halpin

This is the seventh in a series of articles on a logic-based approach to business data and rules using a single language to both create and query data models. The previous article focused on how to declare simple set-comparison constraints (i.e. subset, exclusion, and equality constraints), and exclusive-or constraints. In this month's column, Terry Halpin explains how to declare subset constraints between compound role sequences, including cases involving join paths.

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Digital — Is the C-Suite Asleep at the Wheel?
By Jim Sinur

After his last column on building digital competencies and adding the right skills to the mix to transform to digital, Jim Sinur heard from one of his readers about the need for business leadership to become more digitally savvy. Jim agrees — unless there is a visionary at the top of the organization leading the way or there is the pain of competition eating away at revenue and cost structures, management doesn't want change. This is not the kind of leadership we need in organizations right now. So what can be done to wake up our slumbering management? Jim shares some of his ideas.
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Focus on What Makes Your Business Smart: From Interpretation to Implementation - Steps 5 – 7: The Technical Steps
By Gladys S.W. Lam

Completing the series Focus on What Makes Your Business Smart: From Interpretation to Implementation, Gladys Lam finishes with Steps 5 – 7, which are the 'Technical Steps': (5) Map Vocabulary to Data, (6) Invoke Tool, and (7) Execute. In these steps, Ms. Lam will

  • illustrate how three different technologies implement the business rules and decisions specified in the earlier steps.

  • show how the business deliverables can be used to validate results.

  • remind business analysts of where they bring the most value.

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OMG Standards in Support of Business Communication
Governance Authors' Web Site

By John Hall

This month, our Standards Reporter, Donald Chapin has turned the pen over to John Hall to report on an upcoming OMG event. Governance documents (however they are stored and accessed) govern what an organization does and how it does it. They also define or imply risks to businesses. To encourage an initiative that supports governance authors (the people in an organization responsible for its governance documents), the OMG is hosting a one-day event "OMG Standards in Support of Business Communication" during its June 2015 technical meeting in Berlin, Germany.
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Process Analysis — Additional Techniques
By Kathy A. Long

In a previous article, "Overview of Analysis Techniques," the Top Five analysis techniques were covered with a promise to provide an overview of additional techniques used by process analysts. This month, Kathy Long covers some of the other analysis techniques and outlines a variety of typical problems found in business processes, aligning those to the techniques introduced in this article. She also briefly discusses which process modeling techniques are the most useful, depending on the type of problem and type of analysis being used
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Applying Agile to Business Rules Elicitation
By Carole-Ann Matignon

Consider this interesting enigma. On one hand, Business Rules are gaining momentum due to the need for Agility in automated systems. On the other hand, despite wide appeal and adoption, the Agile methodology has hardly been applied to BRMS. Is there a way to combine both aspects of modern agile systems? In this month's column, Carole-Ann Matignon shares her thoughts on this.
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The Stormy Seas of Information Strategic Planning
By Dagmar Cole

In the days of old, companies sought strategic advantages by modifying their ships and searching for new shipping routes, testing the boundaries of the known world. These voyages required a great deal of capital up front to purchase a ship and supplies and to hire and provision a crew; success or failure would be years away. Although many such voyages ended successfully with riches beyond measure, the sea floor became littered with those who succumbed to the tempest. Even with careful planning a ship could run afoul and founder, resulting in not just loss to the crew but to the backers as well. Today, the IT manager is often embarking on a similar journey, with similar tragic results. In this month's feature, Dagmar Cole reminds us how bad IT typically is at strategic planning. This first part of a 3-part series begins with a review of existing information strategic planning techniques and a discussion of the advantages/disadvantages of each. She then relates how she came to learn about Ron Ross' Resource Life Cycle Analysis (RLCA) approach and how it turned out to be an attractive alternative.
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The New EA Paradigm
(4) The Assemble-to-Order Pattern

By John A. Zachman

Last month John Zachman continued his series sharing his thoughts about what he thinks "The New Paradigm" for Enterprise Architecture is with a discussion of the 'Provide-from-Stock' Pattern. In this month's segment he wraps up this series with the final strategy pattern, the 'Assemble-to-Order' pattern, in which you have parts (not finished goods) in inventory and then assemble a custom product to order from those parts.
[ read more ]

Business Rules in Scrum Projects
A Golden Marriage or a Divorce Battle?

By Drs. Silvie Spreeuwenberg

In the popular agile methodologies for software development the predominant method of choice is 'Scrum'. Customers may change their minds … but how does Scrum deal with policy makers changing their minds? This month Silvie Spreeuwenberg examines the issues she has seen as many rule authors struggle to deliver value in projects that use Scrum.
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SBVR Version 1.3 Released
By Donald Chapin

Version 1.3 of the Object Management Group's "Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules" (SBVR) specification will be publicly available in June. This month, our Standards Reporter, Donald Chapin summarizes the primary improvements made in SBVR v1.3.
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Writing Natural Language Rule Statements — a Systematic Approach Part 31: Even More Rule Statement Quality Criteria
By Graham Witt

In this second series on writing natural language rule statements, Graham Witt takes a holistic and systematic approach to writing natural language rule statements. In the previous two articles he looked at some of the quality criteria that govern rule statements. This month Graham looks at the remaining criteria and wraps up this series with a summary of all the criteria.
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Decision Modeling
Methodology, Notation, and DMN

By Jan Vanthienen

With DMN (the OMG Decision Model and Notation standard) reaching finalization, it is good to examine and highlight the purpose and contribution of DMN. Is it a standard notation, is it a methodology, is it a graphical model, is it an implementation standard, or what is it? In this month's column, Jan Vanthienen identifies the position of DMN, the reasoning behind it, and its relation to other modeling techniques
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Business Decisions, Business Rules, and Business Processes: Oh My!
By Roger T. Burlton

Every few years another concept emerges that raises the hope of analysts and architects that a new solution to all our challenges has arrived. The current buzz is around Business Decisions, but I feel we have to put it all in context. 'Business decisions' are a great new addition to our ability to design great and adaptable businesses. However, they need business processes to have context and relevance to business outcomes. They need business rules to have a connection to strategy, policy, and business risk. All three need to work together. In this month's In Process column, Roger Burlton explains this, in a recap of his contribution to the panel on Business Decisions at the 2013 Building Business Capability conference.
[ read more ]

The Relationship of Decision Model and Notation (DMN) to SBVR and BPMN
By Mark H. Linehan and Christian de Sainte Marie

Several recent publications have popularized the topic of "Decision Modeling" — the modeling of business decision logic for and by business users. The OMG has just released an RFP for a Decision Model and Notation (DMN) specification, but that document says little about how DMN might relate to SBVR and BPMN, and there are many open questions. How do SBVR rules relate to decisions? Is there just one or are there multiple decisions per SBVR rule? Is there more to say about how SBVR and DMN relate to BPMN? This month, Mark Linehan and Christian de Sainte Marie provide their perspective on DMN and how it is positioned in the context of the SBVR and BPMN specifications.
[ read more ]


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Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules (2nd Edition)
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Business Analysis with Business Rules: From Strategy to Requirements
Six 1½ Hour Online Sessions
  • October 4-6, 2016 (Online)

    Working with Business Rules: Capture, Specification, Analysis & Management
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    Decision Analysis and Decision Tables: All About Modeling Decisions
    Four 1½ Hour Online Sessions
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