Lux Magi
Productivity Through Experience

What are Business Decisions and How Can They Help My Business?

Just imagine...
  • that your business experts could directly view, understand and change the business logic of your organisation’s systems in a disciplined way, without need to rely on your IT department
  • being able to turn around changes in hours or days, instead of weeks or months
  • being able to measure the performance and impact to your business of specific operational policy choices
  • the ability to appreciate the real consequences of a proposed business policy change, before you commit to it
  • systems that explain the rationale for their behaviour and help you to identify business trends
  • having a tangible, executable, business policy asset that can be reviewed by experts in your business

All of this and more is possible using Business Decision Management and a Business Decision based approach.

A business rule is an element of your business policy which dictates how you wish your business to be conducted. It expresses a constraint on valid behaviour of your business process. A coherent set of business rules (a business decision) can be used to control and automate specific choices made during your business operations. A set of decisions defines an entire business policy which can then be enforced by your business process infrastructure.

In most business systems, elements of business logic (business decisions and rules) are buried within software, indistinguishable from technical infrastructure code. However Business Decision Management Systems (BDMS) are those in which the key business decisions, logic and constraints that are under your business’s control are extracted from the programming code that is distributed across multiple systems, placed in one centralised, globally accessible location and expressed in declarative English statements so that your business analysts and sponsors can directly understand and even alter them, without IT involvement. Business decisions are based on a defined and structured business vocabulary which ensures consistency and unambiguity. The collection of decisions and the business vocabulary are managed with special software known as a Business Decision Management System (BDMS) or Business Rule Management System (BRMS). Rules are executed and enforced by a Rule Engine.

This BDMS/BRMS based approach has several critical advantages:
  • Agility: because the decisions are maintained outside a programming environment, changes can be effected without the overhead of a full IT release, resulting in a turnaround time saving of up to 72% (these figures are not plucked out of the air, but based on our nine years of experience)
  • Cost Saving: because of the agility, the associated costs of a full IT release cycle are also realised
  • Safety: because the rules are expressed in declarative English, any rule or proposed changes to a rule can be reviewed directly by the business; in addition the complete impact of a proposed change can be assessed before you commit to it
  • Accountability: every decision can be measured against one or more business KPIs to see how well it performs in practice
  • Auditability: decisions and rules are managed, therefore all changes are tracked and controlled according to established user privileges
  • Coordination: because the evolving business logic can be managed in one place, business teams can cooperate more effectively

With BDMS/BRMS your business builds and maintains an enterprise standard vocabulary of business terms, rules, decisions and processes. These are represented in a standard format allowing you to:

Make your business knowledge an explicitly managed business asset
  • Empowering your business users by allowing them to see, understand, test and (subject to permission) change any aspect of business behaviour
  • Allowing business behaviours to be expressed in meaningful English, searched, shared and independently reviewed
  • Introducing true accountability for all changes made to any aspect of business policy
  • Preventing loss of business know-how when people leave your organisation
  • Providing a training resource for new business analysts
  • Facilitating better knowledge exchange between people in your organisation
  • Allowing you to determine the trends underlying your business practices and stay ahead of them
  • Affording real-time knowledge of your business’ behaviour

Support the incremental improvement of your business processes
  • draws attention to exceptional or dysfunctional processes and speeds their improvement
  • promotes agile and safe continuous improvement
  • supports the automated handling of exceptions
  • encourages rule reuse, thereby improving consistency

Our consultants have many years of BRMS/BDMS experience and can help you to maximize the benefit of adopting business rule technology.

The Advantages of Business Decisions and Rules