Business Rules – June 2012

Excerpted with permission from Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules, by Ronald G. Ross with Gladys S. W. Lam, an IIBA® Sponsored Handbook, Business Rule Solutions, LLC, October 2011, 304 pp, http://www.brsolutions.com/bbs
Over the past decade we have developed a series of well-structured pattern questions for harvesting business rules. Each pattern question focuses on a particular topical concern and some particular construct (pattern) found frequently in models of a given kind.

These pattern questions are designed to assist professionals in learning how to ask the right kinds of questions in the right ways to capture business rules. They also prove quite useful in validating and refining various kinds of models, including data models.

Basic business rules can be captured from many sources using the general pattern questions discussed below. These pattern questions focus directly on the question words what, how, where, who, when, and why, plus exceptions. Other pattern questions focus selectively and specifically on business process models, concept model (also sometimes called fact model), etc.

 
General Pattern Question for ‘What’

General Pattern Question for ‘How’

General Pattern Question for ‘Where’

General Pattern Question for ‘Who’

General Pattern Question for ‘When’

General Pattern Question for ‘Why’

General Pattern Question for Exceptions
Aside: ‘Exceptions’ to business rules simply imply more business rules.

Summary

Business rules offer a powerful tool for data professionals, business analysts, and others to improve communication with business leads (and IT) and to come to grips with real-life complexity. Pattern questions are designed to assist professionals in learning how to ask the right kinds of questions in the right ways to capture business rules. The pattern questions also prove quite useful in validating and refining various kinds of models, including data models.

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About Ronald Ross

Ronald G. Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994. With BRS’s client roster of Fortune 500 companies and governments, Ron consults,speaks and teaches worldwide. He has served as the chair of the International Business Rules & Decisions Forum conference since 1997, now part of the Building Business Capability (BBC) conference. Ron is also the author of 10 professional books, as well as the executive editor of the Business Rules Journal. Through these publications, as well as on the online forum BRCommunity and his blog, Ron enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience in consulting and business rules. Outside of work, Ron enjoys walking his dogs, travelling with his three children, and tweeting. For fresh nuggets of information, follow him @Ronald_G_Ross!

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