Principles of the Business Rules Approach
The Problem and the Fix in a Nutshell
A Telltale E-Mail Trail
The Case for Business Rules
The brief series of e-mails reproduced here illustrates some of the snarls in day-to-day tactical decision making that plague most organizations today. The overall problem is so pervasiveso bigthat it can be difficult even to see at first. It is so much part of our everyday way of doing business that we tend to accept it as a given and simply work around it. (The exchange presented here is a real one, altered only to disguise the identities of those involved.)
As illustrated in the exchange, we often discover holes in operational policy only after it is too late to do much about them, at least without significant expense or loss of face. Is there a solution? Yes, there isthe business rule approach.
What are business rules? You probably have a pretty good intuitive sense of them already, at least from a business perspective. For now, let's simply characterize a business rule as follows.
A directive intended to influence or guide business behavior.
We need not dwell on more precise definitions for nowthere is plenty of opportunity for that in the rest of the book.1 More important is why your business should focus on business rules. I will answer that question in this part of the book.