#BRF Emerging Trends & Decisioning Panel

Roger Burlton, James Taylor, Sandy Kemsley and Ronald G. Ross as panellists for this session. Kristen Seer is moderating.

KS: This our chance to look forward. Introduce yourself and what are the trends you are seeing in your specialty.

RB: Ideas are revolutionary, but implementation is still evolutionary. First pattern is treatment of BP as enterprise assets. Strong trend towards governance over performance to support change. Strong drive towards frameworks.

JT: Early days for Decisions to be enterprise assets. Rules and Decisioning more and more in enterprise applications. Extend to which rules are considered more and more important by analytics. Decisions against streaming data (event processing?) is coming, but not sure.

SK: More and more collaboration between rules, analytics, processes, analytics and BI. Support for unstructured processes is becoming more visible and more important. Give people goals and give them what they need to fill those goals. Give people more flexibility in how they are solving problems.

RR: Evolution over the last 12 years (of the conference) shifts “What is a Rule” to “How do we do this?”. The real challenge remains a people challenge and the ability of communication and the importance of that has. He has concerns about the people who will have to have the skills to take this forward, especially in Business Analysts.

Eric Charpentier: Convergence of Rules, Processes, CEP, Analytics, etc. Are we going to see a merge or stronger collaboration in the future?

RR: Very high probability that there will be a Process conference co-located with BRF in the future. Honestly think that we are at the stage where we need to know all the parts to the solution to business problems

RB: You can’t use a single interdisciplinary approach to solving multi faceted problems and need all the tools to solve that problem.

RR: (basically agrees with RB).

Audience: Relationship of BA.

SK: Organisations are moving people to BA positions because they were good business users, but it should go beyond that and we should see a certification for BAs to make sure that they have some of those skills required for BAs similarly to a company hiring a PM with a PMP certifications

JT: For Analytics, we see adoption only in companies with strong background in math. It is difficult to convince people of the different

RB: In Canada, there is a consultant organisation and a certification for management consultants.

RR: The most important skill is to relearn how to speak business instead of IT. It is very difficult to get people to speak “normal language”.

SK: Changing roles of the BAs because things are done differently today. Still a lot of waterfall approach and we won’t be able to build agile systems with that approach, we need to bring in agile methodologies to help.

RR: For entertainment, will disagree with SK. If you write the BR precisely enough, you have eliminated so much ambiguity that you have possibly “eliminated” testing in the traditional IT sense.

RB: The testing is built in to a very agile style, so we are doing it but in a smarter different way.

JT: Design time structures changes drastically how things are done. We need to educate the IT colleagues on what the tools surrounding DM can do.


JT: Business people think about the impact analysis to make sure the rules are doing what they should. Testing is a very “overloaded” word.

RB: In the methodology it is called Validation, not testing.

RR: Business Rules are what the business needs, Non functional requirements are for the systems, not the business.

Audience: To what degree will the aggregation of tools will influence the methodologies and standards?

JT: Some of the BPM standards are not talking about Rules or decisions at all. But BPM vendors support them. But as people are actually doing projects they see the need for this convergence and as more projects are being done the feedback will drive this convergence even more.

RB: Standards are being developed by vendors who can afford to pay people full time, so practitioners are not involved in the development

RR: Agree with RB 110%, but don’t wait for standards.

SK: Standards are also becoming so complex and BAs just don’t get them and shouldn’t need to understand them.

RB: Some of the BPMN events are becoming so complex that it is becoming a programming language. Which is why BPMN light is there to keep things simpler.

RR: SBVR is coming, but the timeline is about 10 years from now.

RB: Congratulates RR on the Business Motivation Model.

RR: (sorry Ron, I missed your comment)

Audience: Will we see more focus on BAs as opposed to IT in the rules conference?

SK: We saw that in BPM conferences that used to have a lot more men before, but as time advances, more and more women come to these conferences because they address more and more the Business people.

RR: Given the range of problems to solve, I hope we will continue to se a good mix of business and IT people.

JT: Organisations usually send IT people to technology conference, but have a hard time sending BAs, but we need to shift that thinking so that BAs can attend.

RB: (sorry missed the answer)

RR: Any and all suggestions will be welcome to solving this issue.

SK: It’s all about the contents of the conference and how you can relate to who is presenting and what is being discussed.

Audience: Is there something we can tell the business to be a better business

RB: The business needs to be performance centric.

JT: Tell people to not be focused too much on their own vertical and that should be open to learning from other verticals because they can still relate to some of the solutions being used.

RB: A process that was developed for the hotel industry was patented and can actually be used by other franchise industries, cross industry but useful.

RR: ()

Audience: How am I going to help my employees. What are the key areas for training to be prepared?

RB: It depends on your maturity. Making sure they understand terminology the challenge and show them examples.

RR: Smart Enough Systems contains many examples that people can use to get people thinking. Same thing for Business Rules Concepts that was meant to be simple to read. “You don’t get credit for problems you solve but that others don’t perceive”. Focus on the problems that the company perceives.

End of panel.

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