- Adaptive Enterprise
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In order for Decision Management to be successfully implemented within an organization the following capabilities and technologies must be present:
In 2009 the seminal book “The Decision Model: A business logic Framework linking business and technology” by Barbara von Halle and Larry Goldberg was published.
This book defined a graphical notation called “The Decision Model” that was easy to understand by business people as well as IT. The book also defined 15 principles that ensured that the business logic was without logical errors and was aligned with the business decision.
The Decision Model provides all the Decision Management capabilities outlined above, in fact The Decision Model (TDM) could be argued to be the mother of Decision Management. Figure I show the high-level structure of a single decision model and Figure 2 shows the underlying decision table containing the business rules for each of the green clipped Rule Family shape.
The interesting thing about The Decision Model is that it provides not only a graphical notation but a technique or methodology that can be used by the business to easily create decision model. Figure 3 shows how decision models created by the business can be linked and integrated with other models used by IT. It is should be clear by now that Decision Management requires a very strong collaboration between the business and IT.
Figure 3 © Lux Magi Ltd
There is no doubt that The Decision Model (TDM) is an excellent business logic framework to get started in Decision Management implementation but it suffers from the following limitations:
These limitations were solved when in February 2014 when the OMG introduced the “Decision Model & Notation” Beta 1 (DMN) standard which is expected to be ratified in December 2014. The DMN standard is supported by many organizations including IBM, Oracle, FICO, KPI (inventors of The Decision Model).
In the DMN decisions are shown as rectangles. And decision logic as clipped rectangles.
These are called Business Knowledge Model objects and can contain decision table logic or other types of logic such as analytical models.
Note the Decision Requirement Duagram (DRD) showing relationship between three decisions as well the BPMN business rule task that calls the routing decision, input data. The decision table shown is created at the decision logic level,
Figure 4© OMG - Taken from OMG DMN specification.
The DMN solves the above TDM limitations by providing the following capabilities:
However the DMN suffers from the following limitations:
The solution is not to consider these two standards as competing standards but rather they should be considered as complementary standard that should be integrated into a Composite Decision Model.
For example TDM would benefit from the DMN Expression language, the Decision Requirements Diagram whereas the DMN would benefit from TDM rigours logic principles. See Figure 5.
Figure 5 © Lux Magi Limited
The best way to get started with Decision Management is:
One of the advantages of the OMG DMN standard is that it has legitimised Decision Management. The fact that DMN is supported by heavy weight giants such IBM, Oracle, FICO and the inventors of The Decision Model – KPI should encourage more companies to undertake BDM projects.