Business Rules Governance and Management – Part III – First Steps

This post is part of a series on Business Rules Governance and Management for which the main article can be found here.

In my previous article I gave definitions of Governance and Management in the context of Business Rules. In this post, I will start looking at how we can kick off the implementation of business rules governance and management in an organization.

There are basically 2 approaches to implementing this in an organization: Top down or Bottom Up. In other words, start with the Governance or start with the Management. In some organizations the choice may be imposed by the environment but I will nonetheless describe both here.

Starting with the Management

This approach may be the default approach since it sometimes comes as an afterthought to the first deployment of the business rules. The team responsible for maintaining the rules realizes that they need to organize themselves, put some processes in place, establish and clarify roles and responsibilities, etc.

Instead of planning it before, this approach is a little more reactive to the immediate needs of the team. Who needs to do what when? Processes are thrown together as a response to an immediate need because things just have to keep working.

Although I may not hold this approach as my preference, some teams may not be able to choose because of external constraints but will still succeed in pulling this together. Unfortunately it may be more difficult to introduce the governance aspects within the organization. Without the higher level support of governance, how are new roles, positions, responsibilities, training, etc. formalized within the organization?

Starting with the Governance

Hopefully in the enterprise, some people with power, influence and resources can see the benefits of starting with Governance for business rules. This approach will have the benefits of providing the team with resources to put things in place in a more pro-active fashion. With this approach, things can be planned a little and hopefully formalized a little easier.

This would be my preferred approach to implementing Business Rules Governance and Management and I will describe some of the first steps required to do so here.

The first steps

To get the ball rolling and to give an idea of how things could go, here is one vision of how things could evolve.

  1. Identify Preliminary Key Governance Team Members. Here I suggest a subset of what would be expected as a final governance “committee” because this is preliminary work and it is near impossible to be completely sure of the final structure and list of participants. In reality, it is simply the first version of the governance “committee” which will evolve over time.
  2. Identify and Classify stakeholders. This will be discussed further in a future post.
  3. Establish Communication Strategies for Stakeholders. Based on the classification made above, establish how to best approach communications with each stakeholder/stakeholder category.
  4. Identify preliminary Key Management Team members. Why preliminary? because I suggest that you identify and select key players that will play an essential role and that have the skills to help you in finalizing the roles and responsibilities. These members will play an important role in the setting up the management team and processes.
  5. Identify Roles and Responsibilities. This is going to be required as part of the organizational structure required to support business rules. There will be a future post on that topic as well.

Now that these first steps are identified and it provides a starting point for the work, the posts that will follow will provide the details associated to these first steps and the steps that will follow.

It is also important to note that the development and implementation of a governance and management process is incremental. Start small and build on experience, involving people as you need them.

The next post will discuss some of the details on identifying and classifying stakeholders.

Series Navigation<< Business Rules Governance and Management – Part II – DefinitionsBusiness Rules Governance and Management – Part IV – Stakeholders >>

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