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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Why Every Business Analyst Should Be Able to Model Business Decisions

A decision model being edited

Introduction

In this article I propose that every business analyst should be capable of identifying and modeling business decisions precisely and transparently. They should use a prescribed, standard format to describe decision-making that can be understood by other analysts with minimal explanation, rather than the individualistic, ad-hoc spreadsheets, text documents or technical business rules that they so often use today. Business analysts should be as proficient in modelling decision as they are with data or process and decision modeling should be a recognized as a ‘tool of the trade’. Being able to precisely represent business data, process and decisions should be seen as essential to the analyst role.

Without this skill, vital business knowledge will be buried in the volumes of incoherent verbiage that constitutes most written specifications; lost in the heads of SMEs who ultimately leave the company; or obscured in millions of lines of programming code or equally obscure excel spreadsheets where it may safely hide without fear of discovery.

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Book Review: DMN in Action with OpenRules

Prominent and prolific contributor to the field of decision management and business rules, Jacob Feldman, has recently written a guide to decision modelling that is approachable, focused, intensely practical and engaging. An ideal read for the newcomer who wants to start building models quickly. Read our full review exclusively here.

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How DMN is Different

In a recent article on the LinkedIn Group ‘The Decision Model and Notation (DMN)’, and on his own blog, Bruce Silver elegantly described why DMN is different to (and better than) other means of representing business decision models and asserted that these differences are set to make DMN of crucial importance to businesses that rely on their operational decisions. While I agree with Bruce’s feature list, I have some reservations about some of his observations.

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New Book Release: Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN

I am pleased to announce the release of James Taylor’s and my comprehensive guide to decision modeling with the Object Management Group’s Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard. The book, “Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN”, has been published by Meghan-Kiffer Press and is now on general release, available from Amazon in paper and Kindle versions. It is also available from Barnes and Noble.

Decision Modeling is an important technique for improving the effectiveness, consistency and agility of an organization’s operational decisions and a vital enabler of the continuous improvement of its business processes. DMN is a standard that is integrated with many other established industry standards. It has been created by experienced practitioners and is maintained by the Object Management Group (OMG; a prominent standards authority). It is flexible and extensible. It is already supported by over 14 software tools. Indeed, DMN represents the most complete and best supported means of modeling business decisions that is currently available or likely to become available in the near future.

“A well-defined, well-structured approach to Decision Modeling (using the OMG international DMN standard) gives a repeatable, consistent approach to decision-making and also allows the crucial ‘why?’ question to be answered—how did we come to this point and what do we do next? The key to accountability, repeatability, consistency and even agility is a well-defined approach to business decisions, and the standard and this book gets you there.”
Richard Mark Soley, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO, Object Management Group, Inc.

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Introduction to Decision Modeling 6

Ahead of the publication of our joint book on Decision Modeling, to be released later this year, James Taylor and I have made a series of video shorts about business decision modeling. In this last video, James and I talk about real benefits that decision modeling using DMN delivered to our clients on some recent engagements. Specifically we discuss how the use of decision modeling:

  • Speeds up business rule and data requirements discovery, quickly identifying wrong assumptions and mistakes
  • Adds effective communication and consistency between teams and across projects
  • Improved business subject matter experts, analyst, developer and program manager engagement and ownership
  • Managing size, complexity and rapid change in business requirements
  • Improves the definition of the automation boundary
  • Gave better tracability between internal decision definitions and external regulations

Let us know what you think. Review the firstsecondthirdfourth and fifth posts of this series. Find out more about decision modeling and its benefits. Talk to us about decision modeling mentoring and training.

Introduction to Decision Modeling 5

Ahead of the publication of our joint book on Decision Modeling, to be released later this year, James Taylor and I have made a series of video shorts about business decision modeling. In this brief video, James and I talk about the real difference between business rules and business decisions, including:

  • How rules and decisons differ for the business organization that defines them
  • Their different relationships with the business process
  • Their different business value

Let us know what you think. Review the firstsecondthird and fourth posts of this series. Find out more about decision modeling. Talk to us about decision modeling mentoring and training.

In our next post we’ll discuss our experience of using decision modeling with clients and how they benefited from the technique.

Introduction to Decision Modeling 4

Ahead of the publication of our joint book on Decision Modeling, to be released later this year, James Taylor and I have made a series of video shorts about business decision modeling. In this brief video, James and I talk about why we decided to write a book, including:

  • Why the DMN specification is good standards document, but not ideal way for users to learn decision modeling
  • Who our book is aimed at and what it aims to achieve
  • The content readers can expect: best practices, patterns and examples from our project experience

 

Let us know what you think. Review the firstsecond and third posts of this series. Find out more about decision modeling. Talk to us about decision modeling mentoring and training.

In our next post we’ll discuss the differences between decisions and business rules.

Introduction to Decision Modeling 3

Why should you use a standard approach to model business decisions and why is DMN the best standard we have currently?

Ahead of the publication of our joint book on Decision Modeling, to be released later this year, James Taylor and I have made a series of video shorts about business decision modeling. In this brief video, James and I talk about how to model decisions, including:

  • Why use a standard technique for modeling your companies business decisions
  • Why is the Decision Model and Notation (DMN) the best standard available currently

Let us know what you think. Review the first and second posts of this series. Find out more about decision modeling. Talk to us about decision modeling mentoring and training.

In our next post we’ll discuss why a book on DMN is needed when there is already a documented standard.

Our DMN 2.0 Wish List II: Decision Requirements

While James Taylor and I were collaborating on our Decision Modelling book and discussing our experiences of using DMN with clients, the question “what additional features should be adopted in the next major release?” frequently arose. We found that our respective wish lists had a lot in common, reflecting our views on decision modeling best practice. We decided to describe these proposed new features in a series of posts and encourage readers to give their own opinions.

We’ve already explained our wishes for the decision logic level of the standard. Here we consider the requirements level, mainly the Decision Requirements Diagram (DRD). As with the previous article in this series, wish items were constrained to new or amended notation, not method or approach.

Given this, do you agree with our items? What features would you like to see included in the decision requirements level of the standard?

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