Quick summary of the value of the production rule representation standard
My article on how we might standardize decision based approaches in the OMG IT standards stack
links for 2007-12-15
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The insurance examples of Case Management are the ones I have experience with; this reminds me of two things:
1) a presentation on BPM at the Business Rules Forum in 2006, where the presenter said the worse thing you can see on a process diagram is that diamond symbol for a decision on what path to follow. The diagrams get really complicated with lots of diamonds, I really hate seeing multiple diamonds in a row working through a decision chain. If you can extrapolate those ‘diamonds’ into rules that can be referenced, the diagrams get a whole lot simpler and easier to use.
2) I have seen insurance application departments argue back and forth between a case management, where one person handles the whole application, and a non-case management approach where the next event in the processing of the application is handled by the next available person. Insurance agents like case management, because they deal with the same person and don’t feel like they are getting bounced around. Insurance application department managers want to avoid it because it is harder to staff and manage things like employee absences. Like most things, there is probably a middle ground, but its true that the less case management you do, the smarter the systems have to be. You can automate initial underwriting, but if the application can’t be automatically approved, then you have got a ‘case’. It gets even worse when policy holders exercise a clause like a conversion to another product, and the process for that appears almost unique in each case. Many insurance companies could help themselves by adopting a rules approach, because they know they have a lot of rules, and then move into decision management, and some have.