Task: Review Decision Point Table, Business Process Map, Use Case Model
After the business modeling activity of the Inception Phase the project team should have a decision point table document as a source for the rule discovery phase. A review of each decision point is needed. If this table is not present the team can start by the current business process description and then layouts this DP table.
Disciplines: Rule Discovery
Pre set the roadmap definition task. Verify that we have the important information on the business process and the related decision points.
Main Description
See the step description below.
Get the decision point table

 Get the decision point table and persist it in a project workbook. If there is no decision point table, the team should develop it during this step.

If the team needs to develop a decision point table the following simple process can be done:

  • From the business process description in BPM map or use case format, study the task or activity description and search for verb which involves mental processing or thinking.
  • Work with the Subject Matter Expert or with the business analyst responsible to document the Business Process, and address with them how decisions on those activities are taken. If there is some type of rule based decision, log in a table the task reference, it forms a decision point.
Define the source of rule for the discovery

There are at least three kinds of source to harvest the rules from:

  • Human: A Subject Matter Expert who has the knowledge of the business process and the decisions to take to process a given event. Also a person doing the day today activity is a very good source for rule discovery and business process exception management. The process to extract rule from human source will be done by using elicitation workshop.
  • Documentation: legal, internal policies, procedure. Gather the documents with the reference on version, date of validity... The elicitation is based on reading and Question and Answer workshop sessions.
  • Code: procedure code, SQL procedures, listing... The elicitation is based on reading the code, executes it, getting data and expected results. Some care has to be taken in this case. Sometime the "business rules" implemented in procedural code are loosing their context of execution as soon as we extract them, so code review should always be complemented by workshop sessions for Q&A. A rule in a system done some years ago may not apply in current business context.
Complete the table
If from the Inception phase the table is not completed, it is important to do it before starting the pure discovery phase.
Gather the related documents
For the rule discovery based on document or code try to get all the needed documents or at least understand how to access to them. If there is no document management in place may be it is a good timing to propose something.
Set priority
Review the decision points with the stakeholders and set the priority for rule harvesting at each decision point level. You may want to start with a simple one to train on the elicitation process and on the methodology.
Study some of the decision points

Study some of the decision point and the related documents to evaluate what will be the best rule harvesting process.
To complete this section, you may need to get answers to at least the following questions:

  • What is the rule type involved in this decision point? Are they underwriting rules, scoring rules, pricing rules, data validation or, compliance rules?
  • Are there any other dimension to classify the rule such as country/geography or product?
  • Do the rule needs to be localized?
  • What is the number of rules forecasted?
  • What are examples of actual rules?
  • What is the current process to define, document, implement, test and up-date the business rules?
  • Is there a rule sharing policy?
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