At the time of writing there are two major industry standards for modeling business decisions: The Decision Model (TDM) defined by Sapiens Inc, established in 2009 and documented in The TDM book by Larry Goldberg and Barbara von Halle and The Decision Model and Notation (DMN) an open standard defined by the Object Management Group (OMG) in 2014 and version 1.1 is due to ratified later this year.
In this article we explain why, given the choice, you should model your business decisions using DMN as opposed to any other notation. Decision modelers should understand how TDM and DMN are similar, how they differ and their comparative strengths and weaknesses. (more…)
In a recent article we explained why any organisation that makes business decisions needs decision management, what it is and how it helps them become more effective.
Decision Management is a means of explicitly identifying and nurturing your business’s operational decisions—much as you would any other vital business asset (like data or process)— so that you can describe, share, change manage and monitor their performance to see how they are contributing towards your enterprise goals. Decision Modeling focuses on representing decisions in a precise, standardized and transparent way.
Through Decision Modeling, businesses can:
- Build and share a robust documentation of how their business decisions work, rendering them transparent, open to wide review and revealing any hidden flaws.
- Tame complexity by decomposing complex decisions into smaller sub-decisions for scalability.
- Prepare their decisions for external (compliance) audit by ensuring their behaviour can always be explained and justified against a specification.
- Understand quickly exactly what data and business knowledge are required to support their business decisions.
- Through a thorough understanding of decision dependencies, enable effective change impact assessments and agile change cycles.
These advantages cannot be provided by existing approaches like Business Rules alone.
In addition, decision models can be made so precise that they are executable. Modeling can also be the first step in automating decisions to reduce the cost of manual processes and capturing the expertise of manual decisions to avoid losing business expertise when key members of staff leave a company.
If your business systems make manual or automated decisions that influence your operations then you should consider adopting Business Decision Modeling as a matter of priority. Companies that leave their business decisions embedded in obscure program code, ‘technical’ business rules or in the heads of staff who manage manual operations, will be outmaneuvered by competitors who practice Decision Management and Decision Modeling and will be less able to justify the behaviour of their systems to an auditor. In this article we explain why. (more…)
Do you ever have the feeling that running your business is rather like being on the prow of an ocean liner at full speed in a squall? You may have a feeling of progress, your engine-room may be generating considerable power, but ultimately: your route to the destination is not clearly visible, you cannot discern if the ship is tracking the right course towards that destination and you know that it would be difficult to change course quickly to avoid an obstacle if the need arose. Better, perhaps, to be in the bridge of a fully-equipped motorboat where you have charts that clearly define your destination and your route to it, a GPS which shows you how you are tracking that route and the ability to change course quickly and take advantage of ever changing prevailing circumstances.
Potential clients often ask: “why do businesses practice decision management: what’s the return on the investment?”
If your business systems make any kind of automated decisions that influence your operations (e.g., dynamic product pricing, shortlisting up-sell opportunities for a customer, liquidity aggregation, risk management) and you have any competitors, then you need to adopt business decision management as a matter of priority. It’s as simple as that. Here is a short guide to decision management.
It’s no longer a matter of choice. Enterprises that leave these decisions embedded in their IT infrastructure, or in the heads of their human staff who manage manual operations, will be vanquished by those who practice mature decision management and can easily out-manoeuvre them. In this article we define the top ten reasons why decision management really is a case of ‘do or die’. (more…)
Within the past ten years the business rule community has been referring increasingly to business ‘decisions’ in its books, papers and internet forums and somewhat less frequently to business ‘rules’. But what is a business decision? Is it a synonym of business rule? Some certainly seem to use it that way—some tabular rules even come in the form of ‘decision tables’.
Is ‘decision’ a new term for ‘rule’, invented to help with marketing of the same old ideas for comparatively ‘new’ disciplines like Enterprise Decision Management? Are decisions the new rules, or just hype? Or is a decision a genuinely new idea in its own right? Are business rules and business decisions compatible: can they be used together, or must one choose between them?
This article explains our view—forged by front-line experiences over the past decade—that business decisions and rules are very different things.
It is the stated intent of business rule management systems (BRMS) to support a partnership between the business and IT: they empower business users to own, maintain and test their enterprise business rules, whereas IT departments have the responsibility of integrating the rule system effectively with the infrastructure of the organization and preserving the integrity of production systems. In effect, IT are providing the business with a sandbox environment to control the decision making of their enterprise with true agility. But does it work this way in practice? (more…)