Pattern Questions for Harvesting Business Rules About Geography

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
Gladys S.W.  Lam
Gladys S.W. Lam Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Publisher, Business Rules Journal , and Executive Director, Building Business Capability (BBC) Read Author Bio       || Read All Articles by Gladys S.W. Lam
Excerpted with permission from Building Business Solutions:  Business Analysis with Business Rules (2nd Ed.), by Ronald G. Ross with Gladys S.W. Lam, Business Rule Solutions, LLC, 2015, 308 pp.  URL:http://www.brsolutions.com/bbs

The key word in understanding business rules for business geography is linkage.  By linkage, we mean site-to-site or location-to-location business linkage in the real world (not networks and nodes).  Here, issues of transport and logistics play a central role.

Business rules offer a powerful tool for business analysts to understand linkage, transport, logistics, and configuration in 3D space.  Pattern questions pertaining to these spatial issues assist not only in capturing related business rules, but also in discussing and resolving related business issues with business stakeholders.  This month we present a targeted set of pattern questions to assist in that regard and illustrate them with practical examples.

What Are Pattern Questions??

Over the past decade we have developed a series of well-structured pattern questions in our methodology for business analysis, BABusinessSpeak™.  These pattern questions represent thinking tools to help business analysts harvest business rules from different kinds of models (e.g., business process models, concept models, etc.).  Each pattern question:

  • focuses on a particular topical concern and some particular construct (pattern) found frequently in models of a given kind.

  • typically leads to many business rules for the same model.

The pattern questions are designed to assist practitioners in asking the right kinds of questions in the right ways.  Answers typically lead to more questions — and to more business rules.  The answers also frequently prove useful in validating and refining the underlying models.

Pattern Question for Business Location

Pattern Question BG1: 
Business Location
 
  What restrictions are placed on where business sites should or should not be located?  
Sample business rule restricting business location:  
  A franchise must not be located within 5 miles of another franchise.  
       

Comments: 

  • Business sites of various kinds (e.g., bank branches, factories, warehouses, distribution centers, etc.) must be located correctly or optimally for their purpose.

  • The business rule above, as well as all other examples in this discussion, is expressed using RuleSpeak®.[1]

Pattern Question for Business Transport

Pattern Question BG2: 
Business Transport
 
  What restrictions are placed on the routing of business-related travel or on the physical movement of business goods?  
Sample business rule restricting business transport:  
  A truck carrying hazardous material must not be routed through a downtown street.  
       

Comment:   Appropriate transport and logistics must be established among the business sites.

Pattern Question for Business Communications

Pattern Question BG3: 
Business Communications
 
  What restrictions are placed on the manner in which business communications between business sites take place?  
Sample business rule involving business communications:  
  Each local office must be linked to headquarters by a secure communications link.  
       

Comment:  Business sites must be able to communicate effectively for business purposes at a distance..

Pattern Question for Spatial Configurations

Pattern Question BG4: 
Spatial Configurations
 
  What restrictions are placed on the manner in which business goods are physically configured or packed for transport?  
Sample business rule specifying spatial configuration:  
  An over-the-counter drug must be packaged with a tamper-resistant seal.  
Sample business rule specifying spatial configuration::  
  A box marked fragile may be loaded into a cargo container only on top of all other contents.  
       

Comment:  Sometimes physical products or their movement require constraints on spatial configurations.

For further information, please visit BRSolutions.com     

References

[1]  RuleSpeak guidelines for expressing business rules in structured natural language are free on www.RuleSpeak.com.  return to article

# # #

Standard citation for this article:


citations icon
Ronald G. Ross and Gladys S.W. Lam , "Pattern Questions for Harvesting Business Rules About Geography" Business Rules Journal Vol. 17, No. 8, (Aug. 2016)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2016/b869.html

About our Contributor(s):


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
Gladys  S.W. Lam
Gladys S.W. Lam Co-Founder & Principal, Business Rule Solutions, LLC , Publisher, Business Rules Journal , and Executive Director, Building Business Capability (BBC)

Gladys S.W. Lam is a world-renowned authority on applied business rule techniques. She is Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rule Solutions, LLC (BRSolutions.com), the most recognized company world-wide for business rules and decision analysis. BRS provides methodology, publications, consulting services, and training. Ms. Lam is Co-Creator of IPSpeak, the BRS methodology including RuleSpeak®, DecisionSpeak and TableSpeak. She is Co-Founder of BRCommunity.com, a vertical community for professionals and home of Business Rules Journal. She co-authored Building Business Solutions, an IIBA® sponsored handbook on business analysis with business rules.

Ms. Lam is widely known for her lively, pragmatic style. She speaks internationally at conferences, public seminars and other professional events. She is also Executive Director of Building Business Capability (BBC) Conference, which includes the Business Rules & Decisions Forum and the Business Analysis Forum.

Ms. Lam is a world-renowned expert on business project management, having managed numerous projects that focus on the large-scale capture, analysis and management of business rules. She advises senior management of large companies on organizational issues and on business solutions to business problems. She has extensive experience in related areas, including BPM, structured business strategy, and managing and implementing information systems.

Ms. Lam is most recognized for her ability to identify the source of business issues, and for her effectiveness in developing pragmatic approaches to resolve them. She has gained a world-class reputation for fostering positive professional relationships with principals and support staff in projects. Ms. Lam graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.S. in Computer Science.

Read All Articles by Gladys S.W. Lam
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