SBVR Speaks on Rules: Kinds of Guidance

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

Figure 1. Kinds of Elements of Guidance

business rule

Definition: rule that is practicable and that is under business jurisdiction

Note: A rule's being under business jurisdiction means that it is under the jurisdiction of an authority that can opt to change or discard the rule at its own discretion. Laws of physics may be relevant to a company; legislation and regulations may be imposed on it; external standards and best practices (other than business rules) may be relied upon. These things are not business rules from the company's perspective, since it does not have the standing to change them. The company will decide how to react to laws and regulations, and will create or adopt business rules to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations. Similarly, it will create or adopt business rules to ensure that standards or best practices (other than business rules) are implemented as intended.

element of guidance is practicable

Definition: the element of guidance is sufficiently detailed and precise that a person who knows the element of guidance can apply it effectively and consistently in relevant circumstances to know what behavior is acceptable or not, or to what things a concept corresponds

Notes:

  1. The sense intended is: "It's actually something you can put to use or apply."

  2. The behavior, decision, or calculation can be that person's own.

  3. Whether or not some element of guidance is practicable is decided with respect to what a person with legitimate need can understand from it.
    • For a behavioral business rule, this understanding is about the behavior of people and what form compliant behavior takes.
    • For a definitional rule, this understanding is about how evaluation of the criteria vested in the rule always produces some certain outcome(s) for a decision or calculation as opposed to others.

  4. A practicable business rule is also always free of any indefinite reference to people (e.g., "you," "me"), places (e.g., "here"), and time (e.g., "now"). By that means, if the person is displaced in place and/or time from the author(s) of the business rule, the person can read it and still fully understand it, without (a) assistance from any machine (e.g., to "tell" time), and (b) external clarification.

advice

Definition: element of guidance that is practicable and that is a proposition that permits a state of affairs or that acknowledges as possible a given state of affairs

Necessities:

  • No business policy is an advice.
  • No business rule is an advice.

business policy

Definition: element of governance that is not directly enforceable whose purpose is to guide an enterprise

Note: Compared to a business rule, a business policy tends to be:

  • less structured
  • less discrete or not atomic
  • less carefully expressed in terms of a standard vocabulary
  • not directly enforceable.

Necessity: No business policy is a business rule.

Examples:

  • The policy expressed as "A prisoner is considered to be on a hunger strike after missing several meals in a row."

  • The policy expressed as "The prison medical authority will intervene if a hunger striker's life is in danger."

  • The EU-Rent policy expressed as "Rental cars must not be exported."

  • The policy expressed as "Each customer who complains will be personally contacted by a representative of the company."

element of governance

Definition: element of guidance that is concerned with directly controlling, influencing, or regulating the actions of an enterprise and the people in it

element of governance is directly enforceable

Definition: violations of the element of governance can be detected without the need for additional interpretation of the element of governance

Note: 'Directly enforceable' means that a person who knows about the element of governance could observe relevant business activity (including his or her own behavior) and decide directly whether or not the business was complying with the element of governance.

Necessity: Each element of governance that is directly enforceable is practicable.

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Standard citation for this article:


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Ronald G. Ross , "SBVR Speaks on Rules: Kinds of Guidance" Business Rules Journal Vol. 20, No. 9, (Sep. 2019)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2019/c005.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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