#BRF How business rules and processes fit together

Dr. Jan Vathienen is presenting.

There is always a problem to transform business vocabulary, business rules and business processes to IT. We want to build flexible system and compliant with the rules. How do you organize processes so that they are and remain compliant.

This flexibility can be obtained by supporting all the possible changes.

There are multiple levels of compliance:

  • Be Compliant
  • Prove that you are compliant
  • Be compliant after a change
  • Remain compliant after every change
  • Prove that you remain compliant after a change

Flexibility, alignment and compliance with the business. Flexibility is offered by the SOA architecture. How do you remain compliant in rules? When rules change the process may have to change.

He then took some time to show how decision trees are not processes, and how you can improve on that and make it more flexible as a process. There are 2 types of rules in processes:

  • decision points
  • decision service

But also there are other rules (timing, access rules, audit rules, …). There are also other implicit rules that can be hidden within the process.

Business Rules are the “GPS” of the Business Process –Dr. Vathienen

He also showed a classification of rules and how these types of rules can be used to simplify a typical process diagram. He simplified the diagram so much in his example that he made the original diagram useless.

“A process diagram is nothing more than a visualisation of the rules.” –Dr. Vathienen

He proposes that it is possible to start from a couple of simple rule statements and to generate processes. So every change in the rules will allow you to re-generate processes automatically and all of this will make sure that you remain compliant as long as you rules are compliant.

Process modeling and enforcement is on a scale from static and procedural to dynamic and declarative. The reality is that we are somewhere in the middle with fixed processes but declarative rules.

He then showed that Business Process Management and Business Rules Management are actually 2 sides of the same coin:

  • Modeling
  • Enactment
  • BAM (vs Rule Activity Monitoring)
  • Execution
  • Maturity

I actually like this slide because it does show some gaps that we are not doing on the rules side that is done with Business Processes.

He linked this to an architecture for business rules, events and services.

Sandy Kemsley actually saw this presentation (or something very similar) about 2 years ago, see: http://www.column2.com/2007/10/brf-day-2-how-business-rules-redefine-business-processes-a-service-oriented-view/

My thoughts? Interesting, but seems still very academic for the time being.

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Funny Excerpt form the Q&A part:

Audience: The business rules manifesto says that rules are first class citizens, but what you are proposing here seems to indicate the the rule are King!

Dr. Vathienen: In a presentation you always have to exaggerate a little, so maybe not King, but Queen!

Series Navigation<< #BRF Standards for Business Rules#BRF Emerging Trends & Decisioning Panel >>

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