Q8: Business Rules and Knowledge Retention

   The Business Rules Group
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Question: How do business rules relate to knowledge retention?

The classic test of whether knowledge is tacit or explicit is this: If you lose the person, do you lose the knowledge? Clearly, you want basic business know-how to be explicit, so a basic principle of the Manifesto is ...

3.3. Rules must be explicit. No rule is ever assumed about any concept or fact.

Rules capture and encode operational business know-how in a form that can be retained, managed and re-used.

What are rules really about? A well-expressed rule is based on terms and facts (or more accurately, noun concepts and verb concepts). These concepts represent the basic stuff of the business - operational-level things that are talked about, managed and processed day-in and day-out, often many, many thousands of times. Rules provide criteria that guide this operational activity in a consistent way. So the Manifesto emphasizes ...

3.4. Rules are basic to what the business knows about itself - that is, to basic business knowledge.

In business, of course, knowledge is not an end in and of itself. Rather, the goal is consistent application of the knowledge - as well as its continuous improvement. Achieving these goals requires that the people who understand the knowledge - business people, subject matter experts, and business analysts - be able to work with it directly and effectively. After all, the true test of knowledge quality is not whether an application program runs, but whether you get the right (or best) results. So the Manifesto states ...

9.3. Business people should have tools available to help them verify business rules against each other for consistency.

In the plainest possible terms, IT professionals simply shouldn't in the business of determining whether business logic 'works' for the business.

References:

[1] The Manifesto is free, only 2 pages long, translated into 15 languages. Have a quick look (or re-look!). No sign up required. Well worth your time.

Standard citation for this article:


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The Business Rules Group , "Q8: Business Rules and Knowledge Retention" Business Rules Journal Vol. 3, No. 12, (Dec. 2002)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2002/s009.html

About our Contributor:


   The Business Rules Group
The Business Rules Group As prepared by members of The Business Rules Group

Originally a project within GUIDE International, the Business Rules Group [BRG] subsequently became an independent organization. BRG's membership comprises experienced practitioners in the field of systems and business analysis methodology. BRG's members are practitioners who work in both the public and the private sectors.

The BRG charter is to formulate statements and supporting standards about the nature and structure of business rules, the relationship of business rules with the way an enterprise is organized, and the relationship of business rules with systems' architectures.

BRG's standards work has been picked up and merged with OMG's.

For more on the BRG visit: http://www.businessrulesgroup.org/theBRG.php

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