Business Rules Solutions: New Knowledge Paradigm, a Single Source of Business Truth

When you start thinking about managing core business knowledge as an asset you'll be amazed at the ideas cropping up. Digital won't get you there alone – knowledge is the fodder.


Where are your business rules today? For most companies the answer is everywhere in general and nowhere in particular. The new knowledge paradigm, business knowledge engineering, is ultimately based on the notion of a single source of business truth.

Say 'single source of business truth' and many professionals immediately think it's about data or information or meta-data. No! I mean explicit operational business knowledge in the form of business rules along with comprehensive traceability.

What are the goals for a trusted single source of truth?

Empower compliance

Retain operational knowledge

Enhance business agility

Reduce 'maintenance' costs

Who would a single source of truth serve? One audience is IT, but by no means is IT the only or even the primary audience. A sample of various audiences is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Sources and Audiences for a Single Source of Business Truth


Figure 1. Sources and Audiences for a Single Source of Business Truth

All audiences in an organization should be able to work off a single trusted source of truth for operational business knowledge no matter what their specific responsibilities. No one should be reinventing the wheel at every go.

The new knowledge paradigm offers boundless opportunities. Think about the potential for rapidly mainlining new business products. Consider how it could be used to produce timely and highly accurate training materials for line workers. When you start thinking about managing core business knowledge as an asset you'll be amazed at the ideas cropping up. Digital won't get you there alone—knowledge is the fodder.

Ron Ross

Ron Ross

Ronald G. Ross is Co-Founder and Principal of Business Rule Solutions, LLC (www.BRSolutions.com). BRS provides workshops, consulting services, publications, and methodology supporting business analysis, business rules, business vocabulary, and rule management. His popular public seminars on business rules and business analysis, the first on business rules (starting in 1996) and the longest-running in the industry, are given through AttainingEdge (www.AttainingEdge.com). At BRS, Mr. Ross co-develops Proteus®, its landmark business analysis and business rules methodology, which features numerous innovative techniques including the popular RuleSpeak® (available free through www.BRCommunity.com). These are the latest offerings in a 30-year career that has consistently featured creative, business-driven solutions. Mr. Ross also serves as Executive Editor of www.BRCommunity.com and its flagship on-line publication, Business Rules Journal. He is a regular columnist for the Journal's Commentary section which also features John Zachman, Chris Date, Terry Halpin, and Roger Burlton. BRCommunity.com, hosted and sponsored by BRS, is a vertical community for professionals working with business rules and related areas. Mr. Ross was formerly Editor of the Data Base Newsletter from 1977 to 1998. Mr. Ross is recognized internationally as the "father of business rules." He has served as Co-Chair of the annual Business Rules Forum Conference since 1997. He was a charter member of the Business Rules Group (BRG) in the 1980s, and an editor of the two landmark BRG papers,"The Business Motivation Model: Business Governance in a Volatile World" (2000, revised 2005) and the "Business Rules Manifesto" (2003). He is also active in OMG standards development for business rules and business models. Mr. Ross is the author of eight professional books. His newest are: Business Rule Concepts (2005), a second edition of his popular, easy-to-read 1998 handbook, and Principles of the Business Rule Approach, Addison-Wesley (2003), featuring the business rationale and opportunity for business rules. An earlier work, The Business Rule Book (1994, 1997), was the seminal work in the field. Mr. Ross received his M.S. in information science from Illinois Institute of Technology, and his B.A. from Rice University.
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