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Decision Modeling now standard for Business Analysts


If you are a business analyst and a member of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) then, like me, you have been waiting for the new version of the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge or BABOK to be released. A little while back this wait was finally over and BABOK 3 was released (details here). If you are interested in decision management, business rules, BPM or business analytics this new release has something important in it – decision modeling.

OverallModelOne of the new techniques in the new BABOK is Decision Modeling (or Decision Modelling as our Canadian friends insist on naming it). This technique introduces the basics of decision modeling, the role of decision tables and the value of a decision requirements model that combines the decomposition of the decision-making required with information and knowledge requirements. The inclusion of this technique is a good thing as it gives business analysts a clear sense of how they should be describing the decision-making their projects are going to support or automate. Instead of just writing a requirement or a document, they should build a decision model. This is great!

But the BABOK 3 goes even further, including decision modeling in both the BPM and BI Perspectives – BABOK perspectives are views of business analysis specialized to specific projects. This means that business analysts working on BPM projects are being specifically encouraged to develop not just process models but also decision models. Our client experience demonstrates that such an approach results in simpler, more agile business processes that can deliver much higher rates of straight through processing and right-first-time execution. It also means that those working on BI projects – reporting, dashboards or more advanced analytic projects – are being encouraged to identify explicitly the decisions to be improved with their analytics and to build models of this decision-making. Our experience here is also great, with clients using decision models to effectively frame their analytic projects and focus analytic insight where it will deliver real business value.

The BABOK covers a lot of ground and is a great reference for business analysts. Seeing decision modeling make it into v3 is great.

If you want more information on decision modeling, check out this white paper on Decision Modeling with DMN.

We are also running an IIBA endorsed education provider class on decision modeling with DMN online in May (details here).

And don’t forget you can get more info on BABOK 3 here.


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