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Monday, July 24, 2017

The Most Important and Most Neglected - Business Rules

Over the years the most important issue I have seen neglected on a transofrmation project is an honest thoughtful discussion on Business Rules. What should the process look like under the different conditions. Business rules come in all forms and levels of complexity. I share a few examples below for the purpose of clarity.
A healthcare provider member who wishes to renew her policy for her 7 year old child and 19 year old college student. The business requirement can have different rules, here are some:
  • Rule A: Income Level: Family is low income and hence have an extra 10 day grace period
  • Rule B: Residence: Family lives in rural counties of the state and hence is eligible for a 45 renewal window, versus same family living in the major cities of the state which has only a 30 day window for renewal.
  • Rule C: Age: 19 year old child reached his 19th birthday less than 90 days prior to his policy expiration is treated differently than more than 90 days prior to expeiration date.
An example from the supply chain vertical related to demand forecasting and planning could be dependent on order cancellation business rules, for example:
  • Rule A: Orders returned due to defective items that are reordered on the same order, should not be removed from demand
  • Rule B: Orders returned due to defective items and are reordered on a new order, should be removed from the demand of the month of order, and reapplied to the month of the new order.
Projects of all sizes usually neglect business rules when designing and delivering a system. Business rules are the most important part of the process, for indeed that is where decisions are made. Decisions are where the bug are found in the system. Poorly thought through business rules automatically equates to bugs, miscalculations, data quality issues, rework, frustration and utlimately redsign and worse sometime a compelte overhaul of the architecture

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