More on Separating Rules from Use Cases

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As I was organizing some of my bookmarks I came across an article by Kathy Long on the BRCommunity* in which she describes the benefits of keeping business process models simple, and the dilemma many companies face in maintaining their models once they’ve spent the time and resources to create them.

One of her points, and one that I echoed in my recent post on keeping use cases simple, underlines the benefits of extracting rules from a business process flow to make it easier to keep up to date and reuse. I wanted to share the excerpt below  because I think it fortifies the point I was trying to make in my post.

While Long’s article is on business process modeling, you can basically substitute “use case” where you see “process” in reference to models and come to the same conclusion.

If a company intends to use its process models more than once then they must seriously consider the approach they follow in creating those models. Otherwise, the models are created once, perhaps referenced once, and then never useful again because it’s simply too much work and too time consuming to maintain a model that represents an accurate view of the process on an ongoing basis. However, if a model is drawn with the rules outside of the process flow then many changes may occur in the business environment, legislation, strategy, or even competitive position and the process models still remain valid as drawn — only the textual documentation related to that model would change, thereby making is easier and more likely to have process models that do represent the “current” business process whenever “current” occurs.

If you found that excerpt interesting check out the article in its entirety. If you still want more, check out her other post on the same topic in which she concludes that “the simpler the ‘picture’ of the process, the better the picture.

*Full Reference for cited work:

Kathy A. Long, “‘KISS’ Process Modeling Technique,” Business Rules Journal, Vol. 10, No. 5 (May 2009),

URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2009/b477.html

About the Author

Jonathan Babcock is a management and IT consultant with expertise in business analysis, process optimization and solution delivery methodology. Practical Analyst is his outlet for sharing what he's learned, and for interacting with solution delivery professionals across the globe.

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