Some Thoughts on Decision Terminology

January 31, 2012
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An interesting thread over on LinkedIn got into a discussion of terminology and I thought I would share my opinion on this here:

An interesting thread over on LinkedIn got into a discussion of terminology and I thought I would share my opinion on this here:

  • Decision Management is an approach for supporting, automating, managing and improving decisions.
    • Decision Management Systems are systems that automate and manage repeatable decisions.
    • Decision Support Systems support people manage decisions, both repeatable and one-off.
  • To build Decision Management Systems or Decision Support Systems one should engage in some decision discovery and modeling to make sure you understand the decisions involved. You can use The Decision Model or the soon to be proposed Decision Model and Notation standard but you don’t have to. These models of decisions include mapping decisions to the business events that trigger them, the business processes that need them and the business objectives/KPIs that measure their effectiveness.
  • Once you understand what you are trying to do you might apply a Decision Management platform or Business Rules Management System and you might apply some decision science or data science to build an effective Decision Service.
  • Finally you will engage in ongoing decision performance analysis and monitoring so you can keep improving your decision-making over time.

The key to all of this, of course, is a focus on decisions as well as business rules which takes us back, I think, to the original question.