Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Rules and Logic of Digital Enterprise

Business rule as one of the important architecture components (Components = different artifacts) helps organizations improve performance, reduce risk, and encourage good behavior. 

The Digital era upon us is volatile, complex, uncertain, and ambiguous. It is important to make a set of rules and develop the best and next practices to adapt and drive seamless changes. 

Business rules describe the operations, definitions, and constraints that apply to an organization. They can apply to people, processes, corporate behavior, and computing systems in an organization, and they are put in place to help the organization shape a high-performance culture, encourage desired attitude and behaviors, and achieve its goals smoothly. There are different types of rule and the business logic should distinguish between:

Decision rules: Behind every decision, there is always an element of uncertainty and doubt. It is up to the decision-maker on how he or she handles it. Thus, well-defined decision rules help people at the different levels of the organizational hierarchy follow the scientific processes to bridge cognitive gaps, clear blind spots for improving decision effectiveness. The importance of decision rules and processes becomes critical as decisions become highly complex and involve diverse stakeholders. Decision rules entail the responsibility of human agents with architectural footprint. But overly restrict rules, static decision processes, or lack of structures will cause ineffective decision-making.

The biggest challenge in decision making is knowing what you don’t know, it’s a reasonable moniker for decision-making blind spots and biases. Or sometimes, the decision is managed as the end effect, not the beginning. The good decision rules do decrease the risk of the wrong choice, not eliminate it. You also need a sound process to frame the decision, spec out your options, weigh them appropriately with the right people, and actually make a decision.

Constraints & balance rules: The digital business ecosystem is just like the natural ecosystem which keeps the dynamic balance of order and chaos, patterns, and diversity. The business rule defines or constrains some aspect of business and always resolves to either true or false. Rules can either protect or restrict business operations; encourage or demotivate certain human behaviors; balance the right mix of centralization and decentralization, innovation and standardization, etc. Constraints and balance rules can be fully supported, with no architectural footprint.

Business rules are intended to assert business structure or to control or influence the behavior of the business. Because of classic management with a silo mentality or strict rules, the business units often do not work in collaboration, as they are driven by outdated rules or they fight for the limited resource in order to do what they believe is “locally” right instead of working together in order to do what is “globally right.” It’s important to strike the right balance of breaking down outdated concepts or rules and setting digital principles and processes to constrain negative behavior, encourage the desired behavior, and shape digital culture (learning, inclusiveness, innovation, etc) to get digital ready.

“Loosely control” rules: The emergent digital technologies and tools help to break off silo paradigms and loosen overly restricted structure, utilize cutting-edge narrow band psychometrics to diagnose problems, and drive changes. Organizations need to experiment with a more fluid structure that is smarter and faster than ‘pure’ hierarchies, with blurred boundaries maintained by attractions and repulsion, and behave like living organisms. Business managers who understand the paradigm shift have to find ways to resolve many digital management paradoxes, to strike the right balance between digital speed and industrial speed.

The digital organization is a living thing with the “sensing” ability to look, listen, feel, taste, and touch, etc, continually change as the world changes, perhaps much like the plants follow the sun. “Loosely control” rules can be fully supported, with architectural footprint. Principles over rules; empowerment over control, engagement over command, dynamic over static: autonomy over mandates, heterogeneity over homogeneity, etc. So forward-looking organizations explore the new arena to speed up by balancing stability and fluidity; centralization and decentralization, pushing and pulling, etc, and manage the “shade of gray” effectively.

Fair rules lead to fair organizations and societies. Business rule as one of the important architecture components (Components = different artifacts) helps organizations improve performance, reduce risk, and encourage good behavior. By following a set of well-defined digital principles or rules, the business life cycle could be viewed as resulting in emergent means of reorganizing organizational structure, refocusing on strategic goals, rebalancing business resources, and redirecting people to understand the whole in terms of its underlying functions and structures, to achieve high-performance business results.


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