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Reinventing business requirements with decision management

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Effectively capturing and managing requirements is critical in any IT project. Business analysts and others gathering requirements know how to capture and document processes, data and user tasks. But …

Effectively capturing and managing requirements is critical in any IT project. Business analysts and others gathering requirements know how to capture and document processes, data and user tasks. But what about the decisions at the heart of your business? How can you effectively identify, document and model the repeatable, operational decisions crucial to success with business rules and predictive analytics? In this webinar we will share practical advice developed from real-world customer projects.


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  • 1. Re-inventing Business RequirementsJames Taylor CEO with Decision Management
  • 2. Your presenters James Taylor Don Perkins CEO of Decision Independent Business Rule Management Solutions Consultant Works with clients to improve their Applies and mentors a business by applying analytic decision-centric approach to technology business rule analysis, to automate & improve specification, and authoring decisions 2 decades experience Spent the last 9 years building rule-based systems developing the concept of Decision Management © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 3. AGENDA 1 2 Why Reinvent Requirements? Beginning with Decisions 3 Putting Decisions in Context 4 5 6 Detailed Questions and A Final Thought Decision Answers Requirements
  • 4. Why ReinventRequirements?
  • 5. Operational and analytic systems1. Operational systems are built in a variety of ways Application Context 3. Reports and queries are Business Process Enterprise Management Event Processing Application intended to improve decision making Business Intelligence Data Infrastructure Performance 2. Data is extracted for analysis Management 4. Dashboards are used to monitor performance © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 6. Powerful technologies are underutilized1. Business rules are forced into business processes Predictive Analytics Business Rules Application Context 2. Predictive analytics are Business Process Enterprise Management Event Processing Application forced into reports or left stand-alone Business Intelligence Data Infrastructure Performance Management 3. The effectiveness of decision-making is not Decision Analysis tracked or improved © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 7. Decision Management is the proven approach used to manage decisions and applybusiness rules and predictive analytics effectively © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 8. Decision Management maximizes ROI Decision Management links these technologies to the application context Application Context Business Business Process Enterprise Intelligence Event Processing Management Application Performance Management Decision Management Data Decision Predictive Infrastructure Business Rules Analysis Analytics Decision Management ties these technologies into a coherent approach for better results Decision Management ties how decisions are being made Decision Management allows and what can be done to decision performance to be tracked, improve them directly to analyzed and ultimately improved business performance © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 9. Success requires a clear target © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 10. Success requires collaboration Business © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 11. Begin with decisions
  • 12. Decisions Making choices or selections and taking action © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 13. Suitable decisions Repeatable Non trivial Measurable Candidate for business automation impact © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 14. Different types of operational decision Eligibility Validation Calculation Risk Fraud Opportunity © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 15. These Decisions Are Made BecauseA business process cannot A particular event has A person must chooseprogress any further occurred and must be between a number ofunless they are made handled options © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 16. Use Questions to Define Decisions Besides a Name and Description Define Decisions with A question Possible answers Add key facts like volume, complexity, latency © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 17. Put decisions in a business context
  • 18. Discovering Decisions Business Processes Brainstorm Performance Management Business Events Legacy Systems © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 19. Target decision-making on KPIs Strategy defines KPIs KPIs measure operations Operational decisions affect KPIs The link between decisions and KPIs is critical © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 20. Decision making confuses processes Age<21 No Class I or II sports Accept low-risk applicant Class II sport Previous Heart Attack, Existing Cancer Decline high-risk applicant 21<=Age<50 Class I sport Process medium-risk Good Medical Record applicant Age>50 1 or fewer Claims Multiple Claims New Customer … Long-standing Customer © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 21. Identifying decisions simplifies them Low risk Process low-risk applicant Medium risk Determine applicant Process medium-risk type applicant High risk Process high-risk applicant © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 22. Decisions in context Processes Know which business Activities require decisions processes will be improved by your rules or analytics Events Know when your analytics Trigger decisions might be calculated Systems Know how you will have to Implement decisions deploy your rules Organizational Units Know who will have to Make decisions believe your analytics and Own decisions own your rules Are impacted by decisions © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 23. Detailed Decision Requirements
  • 24. Good Decision RequirementsInformation Know-how• What is needed? • How to make it• Where does it come • How to improve it from?Precision Automation• Exactly how? • All automated?• How to avoid • If not, how much can technical details? be and for whom?
  • 25. Decompose the decisioning What is required to make decision? Information Guidelines, policy Expertise Regulations Predictive Analytic Models Data Mining Results The results of other decisions © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 26. A Complete Decision Definition Definition Question and Allowed Answers Purpose and Value Links to KPIs and Objectives Context Processes, Events, Systems Organizations Decomposition Link to implementation © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 27. Discovering Decisions From Process• A business process model can be an effective source for identifying high-level decisions• Prioritize decisions to know where to start
  • 28. High-Level Decision & Dependencies
  • 29. Simple Supporting Decision • Larger node is the subject of the diagram • Context established by drilling down from high- level decision • Only the dependencies of the subject decision are shown • All of the business logic is defined in the supporting decisions
  • 30. A More Involved Example • Multiple layers of decision dependencies • Abstraction of full story • 3 different patterns of how to handle different states • 1 state breaks all patterns and has separate diagram
  • 31. Full Diagram Depicting All States
  • 32. A Tricky Decision Decomposition• A seemingly simple decision was complicated by lots of exceptions to the basic business rules• Discovering the proper decomposition was key to defining a satisfactory solution
  • 33. Initial Attempts • Business rule requirements initially gathered as an unorganized list • A manageable number of business rules, but with lots of seemingly complicated exceptions • 3 initial attempts to synthesize a decision structure from the bottom up failed to support the business rule requirements
  • 34. Successful Decision Decomposition • Partial solution by eliminating exceptions • Switched analysis from negative rules to positive rules • Complete solution found after refocusing on a top down approach
  • 35. Rule Family Template• Business rules are defined in rule families• Multiple conditions, one conclusion• A message explaining each negative rule
  • 36. Sample Business Rules• Simplified version with exceptions removed• Key elements are – Negative rules contain business rule statements – Positive rules complete full coverage
  • 37. Questions?
  • 38. A Final Thought
  • 39. Decisions First Find the decisions that matter to your business and model them as requirements © Decision Management Solutions, 2012
  • 40. Thank You James Taylor, CEOjames@decisionmanagementsolutions.com

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