When we operate our organization by rules we need a lot of them. Thousands in fact!
What we really want to do is to optimize our decisions! To do this we need to know which decisions to make, when to make them, and what are the dependencies between our decisions. What we need is Business Decision Management.
The Decisions we are talking about are:
- What is the best treatment plan for this patient?
- What is the optimum price to win this deal?
- Should we approve this loan?
- Are these money transactions legitimate?
- Do we let this passenger on the flight?
Without realizing it, when we focus on decisions we are talking at the Business level. The Business of Healthcare, Commerce, Finance, Banking and Public Safety. This is what we mean by Business Decision Management. The decisions we need to make every day to operate effectively and efficiently. By working at the Business Decision level, FlexRule’s approach breaks down the silos between Business and IT.
As you can imagine there are many dependent decisions that also need to be made. For example, before we can recommend a treatment plan for a patient we need to know important facts, such as “What medication are they taking?” or “What is their previous medical history?”. To make sense and to apply Business Decision Management to all of these decisions and their dependencies, we draw a Decision Graph – Decision Requirement Diagram or short in DRD.
At FlexRule this is how we approach working with customers – helping them to optimize their decision-making process. Often, we have to pull the customers back from the minutia of rules and up to the level of Business Decisions. Using the FlexRule Designer’s graphical interface, we start drawing the Decision Graph. This is often illuminating as it sheds a light on how they need to think about their business. Often, they are so stuck in the weeds of their rules that they have forgotten what business decisions and outcomes they are trying to achieve. The saying that one “can’t see the forest for the trees”, comes to mind.
By using Business Decision Management to optimize decision-making, FlexRule clears away the complexity of trying to manage thousands of rules or what we call “the big bucket of rules” problem. When customers ask questions like ‘How can we manage rule conflict, overlap or orphan rules’, we know they are lost in the forest.
When we want to optimize our decision-making we need to start Business Decision Management and not thousands upon thousands of rules!
In the next post we talk about the real benefits of managing Operational Business Decisions rather than Business Rules.