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March 2015: Volume 16, Issue 3
ISSN: 1538-6325


Q&A: What We're Learning from Decision Engineering — Part 3
By Ronald G. Ross

The world around us has changed dramatically. Most business processes are already automated. Thanks to the internet, consumers are far more informed. Complexity and the rate of change are confounding traditional methods. And we wrestle with the issue of business governance and compliance at every turn. Meanwhile, Moore's Law has sent the raw power of computing skyrocketing.

It's time we opened our minds to fresh ideas about business process models. Old-school process models just don't make the grade anymore. Find out what you need to know to bring your thinking and practices fully up to date in the third and final part of this three-part Q&A with our Executive Editor, Ron Ross.
[ read more ]

The Internet of Things and 'The Process of Everything' Introduces More Complexity
By Jim Sinur

Last month Jim Sinur pointed out that, while the Internet of Things (IoT) promises more process participation, processes are not being designed with enough awareness to step up to the coming demands. This month Jim outlines seven styles of process actions that these more-inclusive processes and cases will need to be able to manage.
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Logical Data Modeling (Part 3)
By Dr. Terry Halpin

This is the third 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 discussed how to declare inverse predicates, simple mandatory role constraints, and internal uniqueness constraints on binary fact types in LogiQL. In this month's column, Terry Halpin explains how to declare n-ary predicates and apply simple mandatory role constraints and internal uniqueness constraints to them.
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Zero, One, or More Testable Requirements
By Drs. Silvie Spreeuwenberg

"There was a project, there was a deadline, the software was delivered late, it was the holiday season, and the person responsible for the system integration test was on holiday," relates Silvie Spreeuwenberg, as she describes a new protocol that she was asked to test against the requirements set out for the protocol. "It struck me that many of the requirements were not testable," she discovered. Given her business rules background, she is used to checking that things are always testable. But does that apply to requirements? In this month's issue of the 'Rule Observatory', Silvie shares her observations on the testability of requirements.
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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.

[ read more ]

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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John Zachman's Concise Definition of The Zachman Framework
By John A. Zachman

The "Zachman Framework" is quite popular, and (not uncommon for something that has been used and explained for over two decades) some of the evolved descriptions have drifted from being true to intended meaning. Is The Framework a metamodel? (Yes.) Is The Framework a methodology? (No!) In this month's column, John Zachman provides his concise definition of just what The Zachman Framework is (and is not).
[ read more ]


The Role of SQL in Decision-Centric Processes
Part 2: The Solution

By Mark Norton

This article is the conclusion of a two-part series discussing a proven, practical, and robust methodology that applies decisioning techniques to fundamentally remake commercial software architecture and development. The demonstrated results include order-of-magnitude improvements in both development and runtime performance for complex commercial transaction processing, with examples that are relevant to investment and pension administration, payroll, utility and health billing, lending, and insurance products, amongst others. These results are accompanied by substantial improvements in business agility, and systems that are more transparent and more durable. Last time, Mark Norton introduced the underlying concepts to provide an understandable rationale and set the scene for the solution presented this month.
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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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OMG's ‘Mind Your Business’ Event Highlights SBVR at Work
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. Terminology is becoming recognized as a valuable business asset, directly supporting business governance — authoring business policies, defining products and services, specifying contracts, interpreting regulations, and defining compliance action. In December, the OMG will be hosting a one-day event “Mind Your Business.” Central to the approach discussed is a formal business dictionary, built with the OMG’s Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR). It can then be used to develop constraints and obligations, such as business policies, contract terms and conditions, and regulatory compliance.
[ read more ]

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.
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SBVR v1.2 Adopted by OMG / BMM v1.2 Approved by OMG Architecture Board
By Donald Chapin

The Object Management Group (OMG) approves new revisions of two business standards that originated in the Business Rules Group: "Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules" v1.2 (available now) and "Business Motivation Model" v1.2 (available in three months). This month our Standards Reporter, Donald Chapin, announces these major milestones, recaps the improvements in both revisions, and announces the ability to browse the concepts they contain on the web.
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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 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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  • Business Rule Concepts: Getting to the Point of Knowledge (FourthEdition)
    By: Ronald G. Ross

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