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Mixing Rules and Process


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Presentation given at the Business Rules Forum in Orlando, October 2008

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Mixing Rules and Process

  1. 1. Mixing Rules and Process Sandy Kemsley Kemsley Design Ltd. Business Rules Forum, October 28 th , 2008
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Business process management (BPM) defined </li></ul><ul><li>Business rules management (BRM) defined </li></ul><ul><li>BPM + BRM = greater than the sum of the parts </li></ul><ul><li>Techniques for mixing rules and process </li></ul>
  3. 3. Business Processes <ul><li>Chain of activities producing a business result </li></ul><ul><li>Usually spans functional silos </li></ul><ul><li>Requirement to “manage the white space” between functional groups </li></ul>
  4. 4. BPM Defined <ul><li>A management discipline for improving cross-functional business processes. </li></ul><ul><li>The methods and technology tools used to manage and optimize business processes. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s in a BPMS? <ul><li>Process modeler </li></ul><ul><li>Repository </li></ul><ul><li>Execution engine </li></ul><ul><li>System integration (web services) </li></ul><ul><li>Work-in-progress management </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring and analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation and optimization </li></ul>
  6. 6. Process Lifecycle Model Automate Monitor Optimize
  7. 7. BPM Goals <ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automating steps and handoffs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrating systems and data sources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieving and proving standardization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing processes quickly and easily </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See what’s happening in a process </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Business Rules <ul><li>Business policies that define an action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constraint </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implicit in systems and procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit in BRMS </li></ul>
  9. 9. BRM Defined <ul><li>Discipline for discovery and management of business rules </li></ul><ul><li>Methodologies and tools used to manage rules </li></ul>
  10. 10. What’s in a BRMS? <ul><li>Rules modeler </li></ul><ul><li>Rules repository </li></ul><ul><li>Execution engine </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring and analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Doesn’t BPM Have Rules? <ul><li>Typically not full-featured BR: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple Boolean rules for routing decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules defined for a specific process step </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rule changes may require redeploying processes with IT involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Rule changes may not affect in-flight processes </li></ul><ul><li>Many process models don’t automate decisions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Separating rules from process <ul><li>Externalize decisions from process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Routing decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work assignment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set parameters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Call BRMS from BPMS for decision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard web services call </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tight integration by vendors </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Claims Process Before… Source: Corticon
  14. 14. Claims Process After… Source: Corticon
  15. 15. Splitting rules between platforms <ul><li>In process model: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple routing decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rarely changing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In rules system: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Business decisions” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequently changing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process and rules may be from same vendor </li></ul>
  16. 16. Benefits of Separation <ul><li>Full BR functionality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex rules automate manual processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced rule design, harvesting, simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reuse rules across processes/applications </li></ul><ul><li>Change rules without changing process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rule changes affect in-flight processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business can change rule parameters </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Challenges of Separation <ul><li>BPM and BRM may be acquired independently with no thought of integration </li></ul><ul><li>Processes and their rules may be modeled in different environments </li></ul>
  18. 18. Summary <ul><li>Externalizing and automating decisions is the key to process agility </li></ul><ul><li>More sophisticated capabilities of BRM allow more process automation </li></ul><ul><li>BPM + BRM turns policies into action and builds for change </li></ul>
  19. 19. Questions? Sandy Kemsley Kemsley Design Ltd.