SBVR Speaks on Rules: Kinds of Guidance
Figure 1. Kinds of Elements of Guidance
Definition: rule that is practicable and that is under business jurisdiction
Note: A rule's being under business jurisdiction means that it is under the jurisdiction of an authority that can opt to change or discard the rule at its own discretion. Laws of physics may be relevant to a company; legislation and regulations may be imposed on it; external standards and best practices (other than business rules) may be relied upon. These things are not business rules from the company's perspective, since it does not have the standing to change them. The company will decide how to react to laws and regulations, and will create or adopt business rules to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations. Similarly, it will create or adopt business rules to ensure that standards or best practices (other than business rules) are implemented as intended.
element of guidance is practicable
Definition: the element of guidance is sufficiently detailed and precise that a person who knows the element of guidance can apply it effectively and consistently in relevant circumstances to know what behavior is acceptable or not, or to what things a concept corresponds
- The sense intended is: "It's actually something you can put to use or apply."
- The behavior, decision, or calculation can be that person's own.
- Whether or not some element of guidance is practicable is decided with respect to what a person with legitimate need can understand from it.
- For a behavioral business rule, this understanding is about the behavior of people and what form compliant behavior takes.
- For a definitional rule, this understanding is about how evaluation of the criteria vested in the rule always produces some certain outcome(s) for a decision or calculation as opposed to others.
A practicable business rule is also always free of any indefinite reference to people (e.g., "you," "me"), places (e.g., "here"), and time (e.g., "now"). By that means, if the person is displaced in place and/or time from the author(s) of the business rule, the person can read it and still fully understand it, without (a) assistance from any machine (e.g., to "tell" time), and (b) external clarification.
Definition: element of guidance that is practicable and that is a proposition that permits a state of affairs or that acknowledges as possible a given state of affairs
- No business policy is an advice.
- No business rule is an advice.
Definition: element of governance that is not directly enforceable whose purpose is to guide an enterprise
Note: Compared to a business rule, a business policy tends to be:
- less structured
- less discrete or not atomic
- less carefully expressed in terms of a standard vocabulary
- not directly enforceable.
Necessity: No business policy is a business rule.
- The policy expressed as "A prisoner is considered to be on a hunger strike after missing several meals in a row."
- The policy expressed as "The prison medical authority will intervene if a hunger striker's life is in danger."
- The EU-Rent policy expressed as "Rental cars must not be exported."
- The policy expressed as "Each customer who complains will be personally contacted by a representative of the company."
element of governance
Definition: element of guidance that is concerned with directly controlling, influencing, or regulating the actions of an enterprise and the people in it
element of governance is directly enforceable
Definition: violations of the element of governance can be detected without the need for additional interpretation of the element of governance
Note: 'Directly enforceable' means that a person who knows about the element of governance could observe relevant business activity (including his or her own behavior) and decide directly whether or not the business was complying with the element of governance.
Necessity: Each element of governance that is directly enforceable is practicable.
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