Pattern Questions for Harvesting Business Rules About Geography
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:
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:
|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.|
- 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®.
Pattern Question for Business Transport
|Pattern Question BG2:
|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:
|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:
|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
 RuleSpeak guidelines for expressing business rules in structured natural language are free on www.RuleSpeak.com.
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