Managing business decisions with DMN™ 1.0

Decision Management is becoming an increasing area of focus for many companies.

Decision Modeling Notation within the Signavio Process Editor

As organizations and industries globalize and digitize, the demand for continuous and instantaneous service has grown rapidly. In order to manage and execute complex processes efficiently, organizations are implementing and integrating systems and increasingly relying on automation. Well defined processes, rules and decision designs are required to maximize efficiency, automate, and deliver in the growing digital landscape.

Business Decision Management is now supported by a new standard, the Decision Model and Notation™ (DMN™ 1.0), designed to be used along Business Process Management. The new standard has been approved by the Object Management Group® that has already released a standard for business process modeling, BPMN 2.0, a few years ago.

What is Business Decision Management?

Business Decision Management (BDM) is the identification and analysis of decisions made within organizations.

It is the implementation of systems and processes to maximize the efficiency of decisions, maintain coherence and to automate business decisions where possible, or guide manual decision making.

Why should you care about Decision Management?

In many companies decisions are made thousands of times a day, for example to provide the optimal customer experience or an accurate quote. Although these operational decisions are often only low impact on an individual basis, they happen in high volume and therefore collectively become as important as strategic and tactical decisions. Decision Management enables them to be carried out efficiently and speedily and to be automated where possible.

To deliver results, decisions need to be accurate, reliable and made quickly. Decision Management means planning and preparing for the decisions that are made repeatedly. By considering the different variations for known decisions and how to execute each one and the consequent actions, the process can flow more quickly, providing a better service for the customer and ensuring consistent results. Examples of this would be the decision of what price to offer or whether to accept or reject an application.

A further benefit of Business Decision Management is to standardize the decision-making process across the organization. By coordinating decisions and ensuring that they adhere to the same criteria each time, not only are procedures streamlined but customer expectations can also be met. Business Decision Management enables any company to do this effectively. It is especially popular in public institutions, the insurance industry and the financial sector. But also organizations from other industry verticals are already reaping great benefits from Business Decision Management today.

Why do Business Process Management and Business Decision Management belong together?

With the new standard, Decision Model and Notation™ (DMN™), the Object Management Group® (OMG) bridges the gap between business decision design and decision implementation. Using DMN in parallel to the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), simplifies complex processes, allowing rules logic to be defined and incorporated into process models and making it comprehensible for all business users. Rules can be better defined and established in the processes.

Through analysis of the tasks in business process models, decisions can be better identified. In marking a task as a decision, it can then be connected to a decision requirements diagram. Business decisions are often embedded in processes, adding a layer of complexity as each time a decision changes, so too does the process. Using DMN in conjunction with BPMN creates a comprehensive, simpler and clearer structure with better communication. Business logic can also be described and decision rules can be incorporated.

Systematic Decision Management is therefore a critical part of well-functioning and effective Business Process Management. More than simply describing, by representing and analysing decisions in a process model, organizations can also ensure compliance with both legal and internal requirements, as well as making knowledge explicit. Thus, an organization is less susceptible to risk.

Signavio: An integrated platform for BPM and BDM

The Signavio platform now fully supports DMN, providing you with the ideal tool to kickstart your Business Decision Management initiative. As part of the existing product editions of the Signavio Process Editor, your business decisions can be graphically displayed and linked to rule tasks within new or existing processes from now on.

While Signavio’s focus so far has mostly been around business process modeling and analysis, the product’s strengths regarding collaboration and ease of use are now applied to the additional topic of Business Decision Management, enabling organizations to quickly create, share, and edit processes and decision designs.

As Signavio embraces DMN in its platform, it enables users to combine Decision and Business Process Management in one integrated environment. For instance, by defining a process task as a business rule of the BPMN standard, a decision table can be incorporated, allowing the decision logic to be defined. Alternatively, a DMN diagram can be created.

Over the coming months, additional modules will support the verification and validation of DMN models as well as generating executable rules. This ensures consistency, completeness as well as the absence of contradictions in the decision logic. Furthermore, it enables a smooth transition between business requirements and rules execution.

Register now for our free 30 day trial and find out how the Signavio BDM solution can transform your organization.