Business rules should be front and centre in the solutions that business analysts, business people and subject matter experts (SMEs) create for their companies.
In response to the growing number of industries world-wide which are successfully applying business rules and decision management, Faculty Training Institute has partnered with opinion leaders Ron Ross and Gladys Lam of Business Rules Solutions to host workshops this coming May. The subject of business rules is fast becoming mainstream in South Africa.
According to Ross and Lam, who consult to major corporates globally, it's a proven fact that understanding and using business rules throughout the system life cycle creates greater efficiency, often achieving an order-of-magnitude improvement for organisations. "If understood correctly, business rules present a powerful tool for communication between business and IT," says Ross.
"Is a customer gold level, or not? Is an account overdrawn? A payment overdue? A claim valid? A candidate acceptable? Rules are everywhere in business," says Ross.
Part of the problem, according to Ross, is that rules are everywhere in general and nowhere in particular. "They are imbedded in legacy code, in the head of experts, in documentation and help screens, in use cases, in processes and procedures. There is no single-sourcing of rules. Consequently, the rules are hard to find, hard to analyse and hard to change. This is a major impediment both for daily productivity and well as greater business agility.
The following industries have applied business rules, decision management and related technologies successfully:
* Banking, credit, financial services and securities and capital markets
eg, portfolio management, investment planning, loan origination, online banking, defined benefit, pension management, anti-money laundering
* Entertainment and gaming
eg, Royalties, casting, distribution
* Government, taxation, regulatory and safety
eg, targeted inspections, entitlements, citizen empowerment, licensing
* Health care
eg, benefit administration, care management, consumer-directed health
eg, product configuration, warranty management, quality assurance, lab procedures
eg, buying trends, discount schemes, deals
eg, provisioning, smart packaging
According to Ross, the key to success with business rules is to make them a first-class citizen of your requirements approach. "If you are modeling business processes, you externalise and unify the business rules. That's a win-win – the process becomes smarter, and the business decisions more agile. If you're doing use cases, recognise that business rules need to be tackled directly, and then coordinated across the use cases. If you are doing agile, you should identify and validate the rules separately. Doing the rules in parallel is an important means to speed up software development."
The Business Analysis with Business Rules: From Strategy to Requirements workshop details the innovative techniques needed for a business-driven approach, and how to apply each technique for dramatic improvements in the quality of business requirements. Delegates will learn how to conduct successful business analysis with business rules, how to write business rules and how to model decisions whilst receiving immediate feedback. According to Lam, participants will learn new techniques to discover missing requirements "that do not come naturally from process models or use cases or anywhere else. Participants will create great business solutions, not just system designs."
"Where business processes do not always produce correct and consistent results, the problem may probably lie with business rules and decision logic" says Lam. "You need the right techniques to fix these problems – process models, use cases, data models and other requirement techniques are just not sufficient for the job," says Lam. The second workshop, entitled Working with Business Rules supplies proven, pragmatic solutions and techniques to fix these problems. "It provides the steps you need to take before implementing business rules on a project or system," says Lam
Both two-day, interactive workshops featuring hands on exercises would strongly benefit business analysts responsible for engineering business solutions, business people and subject matter experts (SMEs) wanting to express and analyse requirements in a truly business-oriented manner, business process designers responsible for re-engineering and quality improvements, IT professionals, business rules analysts, project leaders, consultants and requirements specialists.
For further information about Business Analysis with Business Rules: From Strategy to Requirements from 20-21 May and Working with Business Rules from 22-23 May in Johannesburg, please visit www.fti.co.za or contact Lauren on 011 8079478 or e-mail Lauren@fti.co.za to book your seat.