Two Up

Mark   Myers
Mark Myers Enterprise Architect, Northern California Power Agency Read Author Bio || Read All Articles by Mark Myers

Touring on a motorcycle is the fastest growing segment in the motorcycle industry.  Touring with two riders on the same bike, or 'two up', is becoming a popular way to tour the country.  

Riding two up is very different than riding solo.  The bike handles differently when riding two up -- both driver and passenger have responsibilities to make the trip fun and successful.  The driver must be aware of the needs of the passenger; often a smooth ride becomes a requirement.  Moreover, both rider and passenger are observing and suggesting street strategies for safety.  They should be in constant communication with each other on street situations they observe.  The passenger must not anticipate a corner, but must let the driver set up the corner and then stay with the driver through the corner.

Building software is a team approach.  Successful companies that build software, whether in house using staff or through a third party vendor, must build synergy and trust if the project is to be successful.  Software development methodologies must strive to bring the business and IT sides of the house together.  The business rules approach, a software methodology, requires a team effort for implementation to be successful.  

A primary difference between the business rules approach and other approaches is the focus on the business as being the driver in the requirements gathering process.  The business rules approach works to engage the business as an author of requirements and to maintain these requirements in a business rule repository.  The business rule repository output is a deliverable to the software design.  This is different from other approaches which let IT drive the requirements gathering process through activities such as JAD sessions and other IT processes.

This business rule repository captures all the terms, rules, and facts about the business along with the accompanying meta data.  The meta data includes information such as the activation and deactivation date of a rule, data source of a term and policy source of a rule, and the relationships between terms (which are called 'facts').  In keeping with the concept of a single source for all data, the business rule repository output should be used directly in the implementation.  Done correctly, the gathered requirements will stand alone as independent business objects, ready to be used as reference models for the business and IT.

Because of this fundamental difference that the business rule approach brings, many IT departments do not want to find themselves as a passenger in the requirements gathering process.  They are accustomed to driving. There is a fear that without control of the requirements process the destination is uncertain.    It must be clear between the business and IT that the business only dictates the direction of the ride not the kind of equipment you use.  The technologies used are still in the capable hands of IT.  The business rules approach forms a partnership between the business and IT.  The business rules approach opens new areas for IT to better serve their business customer.

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Standard citation for this article:

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Mark Myers , "Two Up" Business Rules Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2, (Feb. 2007)

About our Contributor:

Mark   Myers
Mark Myers Enterprise Architect, Northern California Power Agency

Mark Myers is a recognized leader in the implementation of business rules projects and has been described as a pragmatic visionary. He has worked in the Wholesale Electrical Power business for over 20 years, designing, documenting and implementing business solutions. Mark has worked for fortune 500 companies and introduced the business rules approach to the California ISO before moving to Northern California Power Agency ( where he works as an Enterprise Architect. Mark is a regular contributor to the BRCommunity where he combines motorcycling and business rules in Zen and the art of Rules. Mark received a BA in Business Information Systems from Phoenix University. He can be contacted at

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