From Rule Management to Business Governance, Part 4: Governance Engineers and the Chief Governance Officer (CGO)

Ronald G.  Ross
Ronald G. Ross Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Executive Editor, Business Rules Journal , and Co-Chair, Building Business Capability (BBC) Read Author Bio       || Read All Articles by Ronald G. Ross

The first three columns[1] of this four-part series discussed the business meaning of 'governance'.  We[2] use the following definition.

a process, organizational function, set of techniques, and systematic approach for creating and deploying policy and rules into day-to-day business operations

a process, organizational function, set of techniques, and systematic approach for creating and deploying policy and rules into day-to-day business operations

This definition lists four key aspects:  a process, organizational function, set of techniques, and systematic approach.  As discussed in Part 2, business rule management provides the systematic approach.  The governance process was discussed in Part 3.  This fourth and concluding part addresses the appropriate organizational function, including roles and responsibilities.[3]

First we must acknowledge the obvious, that the governance process is a process just like other processes, only at a higher level.  Processes need engineering (or more commonly, re-engineering) and for that you need 'engineers'.  Let's call them process engineers.  Process re-engineering comes in two basic varieties -- big bang and continuous improvement.  The governance process needs both.  It also needs engineers specializing in governance -- which, as discussed in the earlier parts of this series, unavoidably requires intimate knowledge of business rule techniques and rule management.  Voila, governance engineers, a new kind of professional, and governance (re-)engineering, a new discipline.

When a complex, critical resource emerges in a company, the organization inevitably moves toward a high-level focal point of responsibility -- for example, the CFO for finances, or the CIO for IT resources.  

The drivers leading us to an equivalent role for the governance area -- let's call that role Chief Governance Officer (CGO) -- are irrepressible.  These drivers will inevitably create responsibility items for the GGO and his staff.  Here are just some of them:  

  • Fiduciary Responsibilities Support.  Demonstrate compliance by officers of the organization with their fiduciary responsibilities.

  • Risk Management.  Enable more effective, timely, and focused management of risks by monitoring performance around critical items of business policy and strategy.

  • Liability Management.  Reduce or eliminate legal and financial liabilities due to non-compliance with contractual obligations and statutory responsibilities.

  • Quality Assurance.  Ensure consistency in business behavior, and appropriate interactions with external stakeholders.

  • Regulatory Compliance.  Ensure conformance with external regulation.

  • Agility.  Ensure timely and coordinated deployment of changes in business policy and strategy.

  • Knowledge Retention.  Ensure that specialized knowledge, business intellectual property (IP), and core competencies are captured and managed rather than tacit, so that survivability and sustainability is less dependent on individual workers.

  • Accountability.  Ensure clear lines of responsibility for interpretations and deployments of business policy and regulation into day-to-day operations.

  • Transparency.  Ensure that business activity subject to external regulation is conducted in a manner that can be fully audited.

Guess what?!  These are all problems that business rules address directly.  As I always say, business rules are inevitable!

References

[1]  Ronald G. Ross, "From Rule Management to Business Governance, Part 1:  Governance and How it Relates to Business Rules," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 11 (Nov. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b318.html

Ronald G. Ross, "From Rule Management to Business Governance, Part 2:  Governance and How it Relates to Rule Management," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 12 (Dec. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b322.html

Ronald G. Ross, "From Rule Management to Business Governance, Part 3:  Re-Engineering the Governance Process," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jan. 2007), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2007/b327.html return to article

[2]  Business Rule Solutions, LLC return to article

[3]  The set of techniques gets into the particulars of rule methodology and analysis.  Unfortunately, that's too broad for a short column, so it is not discussed in this series. return to article

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Standard citation for this article:


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Ronald G. Ross , "From Rule Management to Business Governance, Part 4: Governance Engineers and the Chief Governance Officer (CGO)" Business Rules Journal Vol. 8, No. 2, (Feb. 2007)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2007/b330.html

About our Contributor:


Ronald  G. Ross
Ronald G. Ross Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Executive Editor, Business Rules Journal , and Co-Chair, Building Business Capability (BBC)

Ronald G. Ross is Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rule Solutions, LLC, where he actively develops and applies the IPSpeak methodology including RuleSpeak®, DecisionSpeak and TableSpeak.

Ron is recognized internationally as the "father of business rules." He is the author of ten professional books including the groundbreaking first book on business rules The Business Rule Book in 1994. His newest are:


Ron serves as Executive Editor of BRCommunity.com and its flagship publication, Business Rules Journal. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences world-wide. More than 50,000 people have heard him speak; many more have attended his seminars and read his books.

Ron has served as Chair of the annual International Business Rules & Decisions Forum conference since 1997., now part of the Building Business Capability (BBC) conference where he serves as Co-Chair. He was a charter member of the Business Rules Group (BRG) in the 1980s, and an editor of its Business Motivation Model (BMM) standard and the Business Rules Manifesto. He is active in OMG standards development, with core involvement in SBVR.

Ron holds a BA from Rice University and an MS in information science from Illinois Institute of Technology. Find Ron's blog on http://www.brsolutions.com/category/blog/. For more information about Ron visit www.RonRoss.info. Tweets: @Ronald_G_Ross

Read All Articles by Ronald G. Ross

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