Business Friendly Rules to Drive Process Decisions

Thought Leadership | Princeton Blue

Good Decisions Make Great Business Processes. Decision making is an important aspect of a business. The ability to take timely and informed decisions is an important contributing factor to the success of any business process. The decisions are driven by underlying business rules. Ability to define and manage these business rules are critical for effective decision making.

Business Rules that drive process decisions are configured in a variety of ways in an IT solution that enables a business process. These business rules may be residing in guides, manuals, people’s head, and information models or in a rules database. Often, these rules are hard-coded in legacy systems. This makes it very difficult to understand and change these rules as required. Organizations commonly use Business Process Management (BPM) concepts to organize and automate business processes. BPM tools provide different mechanisms to embed the rules within a process model itself. While this approach is better than hard coding in legacy code, this still requires IT to be involved for making changes to the rules and needs to follow the cycle of development, testing, deployment, etc.

What makes Business Friendly Rules?

The best approach is to have these rules externalized in a Business Rule Management System (BRMS). It is a software system that is used to create, update, execute and maintain business rules. These systems can hold a variety of complex rules which are used by operational systems within an organization. This is an independent system which can communicate with other software and cater to their need for business decision making based on pre-defined business rules. BRMS allows rules to be configured in a business friendly manner. It empowers business teams to make changes to the rules on the fly, without involvement of IT. Typically, a BRMS has the following capabilities:

  • A very intuitive and business user friendly User Interface which allows business users to define and manage rules
  • A repository to store rules. This also allows to make it extendible and connect with different systems
  • Mobile Enablement so that business executives can make changes to the rules on-the-go
  • A runtime environment or interface which allows applications to invoke the rules logic managed within the BRMS and execute it using a rules engine
  • Strong access and security mechanism to control who-sees-and-does-what with the rules
  • Audit Trail to trace who changes the rules when and why
  • A detailed business-friendly log of each execution of a rule to Inspect why a decision was reached at a particular point in time
  • An open architecture to extend the rules to all systems so that a rule defined once can be executed from any system within the organization

Most important of these capabilities is empowereing business users by providing a mobile-enabled and intuitive way of defining and maintaining business rules without the need to go to IT.

At Princeton Blue, we understand the importance of enabling a business-user-friendly rule engine. As a result, we have built a Decision Table Rules Engine as part of the Princeton Blue Labs initiative. The Princeton Blue Decision Table Rules Engine is a flexible, lightweight, easy to use and mobile enabled component to create business rules. This empowers the business users to model business rules and make changes on the go. Its open architecture allows the rules to be called not only from a BPM platform, but also from any other systems within an enterprise.

Click here to learn more about Princeton Blue’s Decision Table Rule Engine.

Rajat Marathe
Rajat Marathe
Rajat Marathe is a Lead Consultant at Princeton Blue.

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