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A Decision Management Manifesto


I am pleased to announce the publication of The Decision Management Manifesto. The goal of the manifesto is to provide decision management practitioners with a useful synthesis of many years as a decision management practitioner, speaker, author and trainer. I am fortunate to work with and talk to a lot of people about Decision Management – I talk with clients, I meet people at conferences, I talk to product managers and marketers building and selling Decision Management products, and I teach a lot of classes. Over the years it became apparent that key pieces of advice and recommendations were a constant theme in these conversations. Together with the help of other leading decision management practitioners, I’ve tried to distill this knowledge into something manageable – the Decision Management Manifesto. According to Merriam Webster a manifesto is “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” The Decision Management Manifesto is our public declaration of the views of Decision Management Solutions and of the individuals and companies that share our vision for Decision Management.

Decision Management is a powerful approach, increasingly used to adopt business rules and advanced analytic technology. The Manifesto lays out key principles of the approach. It’s not specific to a vendor’s technology, development methodology or approach but is intended to be broadly applicable. It’s also not about notation, though it recommends some, but about core principles you can apply with your own techniques. It is intended to be something you can pin up and refer to, using it to differentiate between effective best practices and other, less effective, choices.

By publishing this manifesto we hope to achieve three things:

Reduce some of the confusion in the market about Decision Management.
Decision Management is an increasingly popular phrase. Business Rules vendors are using it to position their products while Analytics vendors talk about it as a use case for real-time, operational analytics. This increased visibility is good but brings with it potential confusion. Specifically that while there is an overlap between Decision Management and Business Rules and Data Mining/Predictive Analytics, they are not the same; that Decision Management is an approach that combines multiple technologies; and that business rules, data mining, predictive analytics and optimization can be used for other things than Decision Management.

Provide a framework for the effective use of some important technologies.
There is a regrettable tendency in large enterprises to focus on technology not business solutions and to acquire technology before adopting a framework or approach that will allow that technology to be effectively adopted. Adopting the Decision Management Manifesto and treating decisions as first class objects provide a context for successful adoption of both business rule and predictive analytic technologies.

Share some critical best practices in a methodology-independent way.
Over the years Decision Management Solutions has developed many best practices for success with business rules and predictive analytics. The manifesto identifies a core set of these best practices.

We have also written a paper that describes the motivation for the manifesto—why we created it and why organizations and individuals are supporting it—and explains the reasoning and value proposition of each of the five sections. You can get the white paper here and it is linked from the current version of the manifesto available online at decisionmanagementsolutions.com/decision-management-manifesto.

We expect the manifesto to evolve over time as we all learn more so please get in touch or comment if you have something to add. I’ll be running a few more blog posts on it in the coming weeks too. I look forward to the discussion.


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