The same reader who asked yesterday’s question had a second:
Do you see the terms “Enterprise Decision Management” and “Smart Enough Systems” concerned mostly with the automation of decisions — which means really only covering strictly operational and appropriate tactical decisions.
The term “Enterprise Decision Management” to me suggests a broader definition, one that I would expect to include the management of *all* decisions in an enterprise — operational, tactical, and strategic. I guess I see SES as a subset of EDM, but I felt like they were used as synonyms in a few places and I wasn’t sure I agreed with that usage.
This is a great question and one I probably have not thought about enough. First let’s get the difference between Enterprise Decision Management – EDM – and smart (enough) systems clear. Systems are “smart enough” if they are able to take enough decisions to be useful without having to rely on waiting for human interaction. This is somewhat judgmental but typically means someone has identified the decisions that matter in a system or process, made them explicit and then automated them in a reasonably intelligent fashion. In contrast, EDM is a more formally defined approach. Taking the definition from the back of our business cards:
Enterprise Decision Management is an approach for automating and improving high-volume operational decisions. Focusing on operational decisions, it develops decision services using business rules to automate those decisions, adds analytic insight to these services using predictive analytics and allows for the ongoing improvement of decision-making through adaptive control and optimization.
Applying EDM is an effective way to develop systems that will be smart enough to be useful.
Now to the broader question – should the definition of Enterprise Decision Management be limited to automated decisions and, by implication, to operational or higher-volume tactical decisions? or should it be limited to operational decisions whether automated or not?
Currently the focus of EDM is on operational decisions whether they are automated, informed by automation or merely supported by it. The explicit focus is on these decisions and on the systems that can help improve them. EDM would thus cover an instant approval decisions for a credit card, giving a call center representative the two best offers to make to retain a cell phone customer or an inline visualization designed to help a claims agent make a subrogation decision. All are systems focused on “the automation and improvement” of decisions that are high-volume and operational. So, while complete automation is not required, the operational focus is explicit.
But should it be? What do you think? Let me know and I’ll continue the discussion next week.