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March 2017: Volume 18, Issue 3
ISSN: 1538-6325


Who (or What!) Makes Your Operational Business Decisions?
By Ronald G. Ross

Operational business decisions happen every minute of every day in your organization. You'd like to think that business managers can truly manage them. You'd also like to think that the results of those decisions are comprehensively correct, consistent, traceable, and repeatable (high quality). But are they? Based on real-life evidence I strongly suspect they often are not. The need for innovation is ever more immediate, but the reality of achieving it ever so distant. This month Ron Ross asks you to consider who (or what) is making the decisions in your organization.
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Advice Without Explanation Is Not Very Intelligent
By Drs. Silvie Spreeuwenberg

Silvie Spreeuwenberg noticed the weekend edition of her local newspaper wrote that the sommelier at restaurants will be replaced with an intelligent algorithm. The renewed interest in AI and related technology is making its way to the general public, with major software firms selling us intelligence — IBM's Watson, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google's DeepMind. Knowing that she has a background in AI, friends, colleagues, and customers have asked her about these intelligent modules: Are they a rule engine? How intelligent are they? Will they replace our rules? In this month's 'Rule Observatory', Silvie shares her observations on these questions.
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It's the Conversation, Not the Picture (Part 3)
By Kathy A. Long

Where is the value in documenting business processes? What does documenting processes mean? In the first two instalments of this three-part series on various types of process diagrams, Kathy Long covered the Process Hierarchy Diagram and the Context Diagram. In this month's concluding segment, Kathy examines the High-Level IGOE Diagram.
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Logical Data Modeling (Part 8)
By Dr. Terry Halpin

This is the eighth 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 subset constraints between compound role sequences, including cases involving join paths. In this month's column, Terry Halpin discusses how to declare exclusion and equality constraints between compound role sequences.

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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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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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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.
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Cognitive AI Will Help Leverage Events and Decisions Encountered
By Jim Sinur

The amount of data and information flying our way is almost too much to absorb, much less to optimize the understanding of that data and make great decisions leveraging it. The world coming our way will only be more complex and faster, so how can organizations — and the people that run these organizations — survive and thrive? This month Jim Sinur outlines how Cognitive AI can help you understand, classify, and decide, using all that data coming your way.
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Unexpected Benefits of Harvesting Rules from Production Code
By Brian Childs

How do organizations newly implementing the BRS methodology tackle documenting their business rules? What rules does that organization choose to document first? Using the BRS methodology there are two ways to document business rules, either as 'green field' documentation (as rules are understood or new products developed) or by harvesting rules from code in production. This month Brian Childs outlines how, with some years of experience now under his belt, he has come to believe that harvesting production code is actually the easier and more beneficial way.
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By John A. Zachman

In the Information Age, the characteristics we understand to-date are complexity and change. If the object you want to create is sufficiently complex that you can't see it in its entirety at the level of definition required to create it, you will have to describe it ... architecture. Once the object is created, if you ever want to change it, the descriptive representations required to create it are the basis for making changes ... architecture. In this month's column John Zachman lays out how the key to dealing with complexity and change in the Information Age is architecture.
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Turning the Virtuous Circles
By Roger Tregear

All organizations seek to deliver value, but without a relentless focus on processes, there is a critical gap between aspiration and reality. Too often, process improvement initiatives are random acts of management with no systemic foundation. In business process management (BPM), processes are identified, performance targets set, governance mechanisms created, and performance improved in a process-aware culture where everyone contributes and appropriate support is provided. The required components are easily identified, and it's not hard to imagine them all working harmoniously together in some future state. What is not so easy to see is how to reach this nirvana. How can process-based management be achieved in a practical and sustainable way? This month Roger Tregear offers a solution that can be found in two 'virtuous circles' — the Tregear Circles — to facilitate and deliver process-based management.
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Observations from the Crow's Nest
By Dagmar Cole

The crow's nest sits high above the deck and provides the best view for a lookout to spot approaching hazards. Resource Life Cycle Analysis (RLCA) positions the IT strategist in the crow's nest with the ability to see the existing landscape as well as the distant horizon. In the concluding part of this 3-part series Dagmar Cole compares RLCA to other methodologies, outlining the benefits from performing RLCA.
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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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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 ]


Business Rule Solutions
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    Business Rule Concepts: Getting to the Point of Knowledge
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