Establishing a DecisionOps team enables organizations to move quickly, make better quality business decisions and lighten the load on IT.
Business decisions have far-reaching impacts. A seemingly simple decision in your organization will impact how you need to think about the supply-chain, all the way to go-to-market motions and how you sell your products. These decisions take you back to the design considerations you have based on market dynamics, requirements and demands. And in today's eco-system, they impact your partners, how you engage with them, enable them and train them for success.
Because of this nature of business decisions, they are always in a state of flux, which means there is a need to be constantly monitoring, measuring, adapting to required changes and deploying them, over and over and over again! Automating decisions is not a set-and-forget scenario. This translates to a heavy burden on software development and IT teams to build and operationalize automated decisions.
At a very high level, it is a two-step process:
Do not treat Business Decision automation like a typical software development project
Modeling business decisions in an executable form so that they can process inputs, produce outcomes, and take actions towards business objectives, and then deploy and put them in production for running business operations using automated decisions is not a trivial software development task.
It requires a full-blown software development team, including product managers, business analysts, developers (very good ones), quality assurance (QA), and DevOps team members. Don't forget you will also need the domain experts of the field, and typically more than one of them. Depending on the decision itself, you will need an expert of that particular area as a full-time member of your software development team.
As we already know how this story is going to go… the team needs to have a set of fixed requirements and build against them. There is nothing wrong so far, however this is a very, very expensive and time-consuming exercise.
Facing the Change!
The bigger challenge starts as the business decisions are in flux. There are no clear-cut requirements nor the time to implement the perfect solution against changing needs. This causes significant delays in every sprint (Agile terminology) of the development cycle. As the result, will cause continuously descoping of the deliverables in each sprint.
Decision automation is not like a standard line of business applications. It requires continuous and complex changes based on new edge case scenarios, new partners' requirements, new market segmentation, changing customer behavior, changing regulations and laws, pricing configurations, new product launches, running experiments (such as A/B testing), etc. Consequently, software development and DevOps teams are always behind the actual business needs.
What is the Alternative?
What if a better team setup and tooling existed for these kind of projects? Projects that constantly operate in a state of flux and require heavy domain expertise involvement and continuous improvements in real-time (or as frequently as possible) that are not negotiable.
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Welcome Your DecisionOps Team!
A DecisionOps team is lean, agile and self-sufficient team that focuses on automating and operationalizing business decisions. They include domain experts and tech-literate members with minimal software development and programming skills who are competent, data-savvy and not scared to make things happen.
So, how is it different from the normal team of developers, QAs, BAs and DevOps? Well… the reality is that you don't need to involve them as much. You might ask how? This DevOps team, with the right tooling, can run decision automation projects successfully at large scale without draining Software Development and IT teams.
There are many ways you can build this team. Each has its pros and cons:
- A centralized team servicing the whole Enterprise
- Multiple teams within different functions and groups
But the core of it remains the same, and the promise is to model and, automate and operationalize business decisions across the enterprise without knowledge and skills of programming and coding and relaying of software development and IT teams.
The other benefit is that the DecisionOps team can be scaled up easily. Hence the tool they use can accomplish advanced and complex goals without advanced technical skills! Think of it as digital citizens empowered by technology to innovate, and accomplish and deliver outcomes in today's world of rapid-paced business.
Published October 26th, 2023 at 02:32 pm
CEO and the founder of FlexRule – He is an expert in architecture, design, and implementation of operational decisions, business rules, and process automation. Created Decision-Centric Approach, a methodology that brings People, Data, Rules, and Processes together to automate operational business decisions.
This approach is recognized by Gartner as the missing link to provide business value to organizations.