Decision Modeling: The Bottom Line

Decision Modeling: The Bottom Line

Why should organizations model their important business decisions as part of digital transformation? We’ve been asked so many times to explain how our clients have benefited from decision modeling that we decided to capture it here. This article covers seven reasons to adopt decision modeling and summarizes the bottom-line benefits decision modeling has brought to companies that use it effectively.

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How TDM Principles Inform Good Practice in DMN

How TDM Principles Inform Good Practice in DMN

Decision Modeling notations have been adopted by companies to improve the integrity, transparency and agility of their important business decisions. They facilitate the management of business decisions as a vital business asset.

Over the past eight years, Decision Modeling has been dominated by two standards: The Decision Model (TDM), defined by Sapiens Inc, established in 2009 and documented superbly in The Decision Model book by Larry Goldberg and Barbara von Halle and The Decision Model and Notation (DMN) an open standard first defined by the Object Management Group (OMG) in 2013 and documented in books by James Taylor and Jan Purchase and Bruce Silver. Both standards are in use and continue to evolve.

While James Taylor and I were collaborating on our Decision Modelling book, and discussing our experiences of using DMN after using TDM, we wondered: how does TDM experience inform good practice in DMN? What can newcomers to Decision Modelling and DMN learn from the earlier standard?

In short, a great deal.

We believe that new, and even experienced, Decision Modeling practitioners can benefit significantly from background knowledge of TDM. This article explains why and what these benefits are.

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Integrating Business Decisions and Processes: Effective Collaboration of DMN and BPMN

Integrating Business Decisions and Processes: Effective Collaboration of DMN and BPMN

Join us for this live presentation in picturesque Dublin to learn about the best practices and traps of integrating business processes with business decisions.

Why should organizations model their business decisions? What are the benefits of using DMN and BPMN to capture and define the logic of your business decisions and analytics within the context of a business process? How should you best split business concerns between the process and decisions and what are the pitfalls of interfacing the two? We will discuss all of these points.

This live presentation will examine how process and decisions work together and walk through real BPMN and DMN models from financial compliance explaining how process and decisions have been integrated in projects. Learn proven best practices for overcoming key business challenges: including overly complex rules, improving ROI of expensive processes and agile migration to automated decision services.

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Ruleflows Considered Harmful

Ruleflows Considered Harmful

For some time users of Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS) have used rule execution sequence as a means of binding together and orchestrating the rules in a set—providing a ‘top level’ view of their content. Nearly all BRMS products have enshrined this idea in the ‘ruleflow’ concept. In many of these products the creation of a ruleflow is seen as a standard step in packaging a rule set and many rule authors find it a natural activity.

We argue, using an example, that not only are flows rarely required, but that they are frequently harmful to the agility of a rule set, can introduce harmful and hard to find errors and can make rule sets difficult to understand by business users. Furthermore, users frequently misunderstand the goal of ruleflows and misuse them.

We show that there is an alternative to ruleflows that orchestrates rules (especially large rule sets) more effectively and is easier to understand—the business decision model. (more…)

How Decision Modeling Allows Business Rules to Scale

How Decision Modeling Allows Business Rules to Scale

Experience has shown that sets of business rules, even those administered using Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS), become very hard to manage and understand once they reach a certain level of size and complexity. Although small, very tightly focused rule sets can be effective for simple business domains, large rule sets are challenging to create and even harder to maintain. Small rule sets that become large over time (scale up) present the most difficulty. They are at risk of collapsing under the weight of their own growing complexity or becoming the sole preserve of a small number of ‘gurus’ and ‘high priests’ who alone understand them—defeating a key objective of business rules.

In a previous article, I described how to overcome the challenges of maintaining a business rules over a long period. But how can you manage the complications of rapidly growing rule sets: keeping them easy to understand, changing them safely without unintended consequences  and avoiding ‘stale’ and duplicate rules? Here we show, by example, how Decision Modeling, used from the outset can address all these problems and we discuss in more detail the difference between business decisions and business rules. (more…)

The Role of Decision Management in Financial Compliance

James Taylor, CEO of Decision Management Solutions, and I co-presented a webinar earlier this month to discuss the application of business rules and business decisions in implementing financial compliance solutions.

We agreed that regulatory compliance (e.g., Basel III, FED 5G, FATCA) is a problem well suited to a Business Rules approach. Primarily because:

  • it is repeatable and tractable to automation
  • it demands transparency and traceability (regulations need to be followed and be seen to be followed) which implies the rules need to be expressed in business English
  • regulations change frequently and typically mandate a ‘short time to market’
  • it requires a degree of rigor to cope with the complexity of regulation
  • it stipulates many regional variations in business logic which need to be coordinated

However, we identified five key issues for financial compliance and discussed why business rules alone do not fully address these challenges. In summary, we feel that Business Rules alone does not resolve:

  • how business metrics can be used to monitor the effectiveness of compliance rules
  • ‘big picture’ impact analysis to a compliance rule set when regulations or underlying financial conditions change
  • the need to consistently apply a compliance policy throughout a complex business process
  • the ability to precisely define rule semantics and align them to compliance policies
  • the ability to scale a rule set while maintaining coherence

Decision management can address these issues and the webinar illustrates this with a demo of a compliance decision model using DecisionsFirst Modeler. Please see the recording of the webinar at http://decisionmanagementsolutions.com/agile-and-cost-effective-financial-compliance

If anyone is using decision management (or just business rules) for financial compliance I would be most interested in your views.