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.
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.
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.
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.
Why should organizations invest time and effort to model their business decisions? What is the ‘bottom-line’ benefit?
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 advantages of modeling, including:
- The practical benefits of the approach: time to market, transparency and improved requirements integrity.
- How it improves communication among distributed teams of business analysts, subject matter experts and developers.
- The gains of separating business decisions from business processes.
- How decision modeling boosts the effectiveness of analytics, data needs analysis and change management.
Let us know what you think. Review the first post of this series. Find out more about decision modeling. Talk to us about decision modeling mentoring and training.
In our next post we’ll consider how to model decisions and why it’s best to use a standard.