The old way
Few organizations treat their decisions as first class objects. Business analysts don’t write requirements for them while enterprise architects don’t include them in their patterns. Organizations may invest heavily in technology to improve decisions such as Business Intelligence or predictive analytics, but they don’t know which decisions they are hoping to improve – at least not in any detail.
Some organizations have developed a robust business process modeling capability and are actively managing their process inventory. Similar portfolio management techniques are being applied to existing systems, to data assets and more. Yet the way an organization makes decisions is rarely modeled or managed in this way
Performance Management is another area of investment. One of the purposes of performance management metrics and Key Performance Indicators is to motivate behavior. If behavior is changed by these systems then someone, or some system, made choices designed to positively impact the metric in question. Organizations take this for granted but have only the most rudimentary understanding of what these choices are and what else might drive those decisions.
The new way.
Organizations are beginning to identify and manage decisions as first class objects in their business architecture. They are treating their decision inventory the way they treat their data or process inventory. They are tying these decisions to their performance measures so they understand how to tell good decisions from poor ones. And they are driving business rules and analytic implementations to automate, manage and improve these decisions as they identify them.
Most important you need to do this first – before you write rules, before you define analytics that you need and before you finish defining your process. Otherwise you end up with a big bucket of rules you can’t apply, analytics that won’t improve the business and processes that are over complicated. Because decisions can be complex you also need a way to model those decisions, using the newly accepted Decision Model and Notation standard for preference.
Tip #4: Decisions First.
Don’t forget that Decision Management Solutions is exhibiting at Building Business Capability 2013. We provide a complete set of consulting, training and software support for Decision Management to position you for short- and long-term success with business rules and big data analytics. Come by our booth (P8) and meet me and our VP Consulting Gagan Saxena. For more on decision management:
- I am speaking on lessons learned and best practices modeling decisions in aerospace, banking, insurance and healthcare (Thursday)
- There’s a panel discussion on decisions from the business perspective (Thursday)
- My book “Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics” will be at the bookstore and I will be signing books and answering your questions (4:20pm on Thursday)
- Learn how the new Decision Model and Notation Standard will make it easier to model decisions and share the results at the panel (Friday)