BPM Through Business Rules

Business rules define acceptable enterprise actions in response to internal and external requirements and events of the organization. In a Business Process Management (BPM) enabled enterprise the business rules grant authority to act while imposing limits and conditions on how the human capital, infrastructure interfaces, and systems interact within their enterprise operations and events. From a human capital view the rules provide validation to task/activities which are assigned. From the infrastructure interface perspective the rules accept or deny human capital event, tasks or activities transitions to the systems. From an systems perspective, the rules define which processes, data, constraints and performance criteria are acceptable. Properly expressed, business rules (BR) are a set of formal enterprise requirements and constraints that guide operations of the organization.

Capture of Business Rules


In a well-defined Enterprise Architecture Plan (EAP) – the business rules are essential artifacts at every level of the plan. They are apart of the “How’s” of the current and future state of the EA plan. Most business rules are inherently known in enterprise by the pure nature of its business. An example is the bank loan approval process to an individual with no employment and no credit history for a request of $100,000.00 cash or an insurance claim payment for repair of a vehicle to which the driver was find negligent in their actions.

In the current to future state of the EAP the enterprise is consistently reviewing, modifying, and deleting business rules. Each BPM element of the enterprise should have the capability of capturing, modifying, and deleting business rules.

As written in “Just in Time (JIT) Business Rules Mining” by Shirley J. Sartin, PMP, we can utilize reverse engineering techniques within BPM architecture to derive our business rules by using the following:

  1. Indentify Features
  2. Determine Functions
  3. Create Context Diagram
  4. Create Functional Decomposition Diagram
  5. Create Event Decomposition Diagram
  6. Create Event-Response List
  7. Analyze Event-Response List for noun and verb actions

As you can see business rules are created based on nouns and verbs.

The BPM – BR Integration

Once the business rules are established we placed them in a repository for use by our BPM architecture. The key components of the BPM architecture that utilize business rules are the “Business Execution” sectors of the BPM structure. The business rules are the decision makers of the BPMN gateway elements.

In Summary

Business Rules sets the tone of operation of an enterprise by requirements and constraints. They are created in a well-defined EAP, stored in a repository, and are then utilized in the BPM architecture.

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