April 15, 2012

Three Simple Rules for Titanic Fans

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  Every little child knows that three ships set sail to discover the New World. But did you know that only two ships survived the return trip?

The Santa Maria ran aground off the coast of Haiti on Dec. 25, 1492 and was destroyed. Columbus learned his lesson and the Sailing Rulebook was born.

420 years later Titanic sailed into an iceberg and the rulebook grew. 

100 years later Costa Concordia and Captain Schettino forgot Rules 1 and 2.

Titanic Rulebook





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October 19, 2010

10 Rules for Rules

Here are 10 rules for designing good business rules. They all happen to begin with the letter C. This was written somewhere over the Grand Canyon on the way to San Jose, CA for the 3rd annual RulesFest conference, where this was presented for the first time.

Click here to see the slides and hear a recording of the 7 minute presentation.

10 Rules for Rules

• Clear... not confusing
• Complete
• Correct
• Current
• Compliant
• Condensed
• Credible... not incredible
• Careful... not careless
• Common sense
• Consistent... not inconsistent


• Short link to that page: http://bit.ly/9cjV4r
• Please use Twitter hashtag #BIZRULES
• Follow us on Twitter username @BizRulesInc
• Comments for this article: TBD
• See also: http://www.bizrules.com/10simplerules

October 05, 2010

The Knowledge Supply Chain

It was quite an honor giving a joint presentation yesterday with John Zachman & Leon Kappelman at SIMposium 2010 in Atlanta, GA.

I presented a case study on "Building Mobil's Knowledge Base and Knowledge Supply Chain." We talked about how Enterprise Architecture and Knowledge Engineering helped preserve, share, and automate The Knowledge of the corporation.

This was the right time to introduce new ideas we've been working on with customers for a while.

  • The Knowledge Wars™
  • The Knowledge Supply Chain™
  • BIZRULES® RuleMart™
  • BIZRULES® RuleMall™
  • Ruling The Cloud (sm)

You'll hear more about this at RulesFest next week

You can hear more about these ideas, plus get the technical version of this case study, next week at RulesFest 2010 in San Jose, CA. 

SLIDES:  http://www.bizrules.com/library/KnowledgeSupplyChain_forSIM2010_byRolandoHernandez.pdf
SLIDES SHORT LINK:  http://bit.ly/93t7kq
TWITTER:  @BizRulesInc  #BIZRULES | #simposium2010 | #rulesfest  www.Rulesfest.org

May 07, 2010

Terrorists are Coming To Town

Terrorists are coming to town.


We better watch out
We all might die
Stay home don't go out
I'm telling you why

Terrorists are coming to town.


TSA's making a list,
Airlines aren't checking it twice;
We'll never find out Who's naughty or nice.
Terrorists are coming to town.


Wall Street's closed when you're sleeping
Drops 1,000 points when you're awake;
Some rule fool trades 16 billion shares
instead of 16 million.
So be good for Goldman's Sake!


Rule Fools are running Wall Street.
Rule Fools are running this town.


No more need to worry
Cause Rules are coming to town.
Cause Principles are coming to town.


O! We better watch out!

BP is gonna try,
To stop the 5,000 feet underwater oil spout

By giving a containment dome a try.


I know their Experts have
The Knowledge to fix it.
One day we'll know

Why the Blowout Preventer blew it.


Rule Fools are running Wall Street.
Rule Fools are running this town.

Terrorists are coming to town.

Terrorists are coming to town.


BP Oil Containment Dome   Blowout Preventer (US OSHA)


© Rolando Hernandez 

Please use Twitter hashtag #RULEFOOL for this post
Follow me on Twitter username @BizRulesInc


Check out Ten Rules for Restoring Trust in Wall Street, BP, TSA, Airlines... and anyone else who wants to do business in this town!


April 30, 2010

BIZRULES joined Twitter as @BizRulesInc

Follow us on username @BizRulesInc.

Two tags I'd like to use going forward are #BIZRULES and #RuleMap

See you there!

September 25, 2009

CRM Rule #1: Don't blame the customer for your decisions or mistakes


I have been using AT&T CallVantage VOIP for a couple of years now, and I really liked their service. Unfortunately AT&T decided to shut down this service. I'm not sure why. But here are some clues:

"Based on our continued focus to deliver the best possible products and services to our customers and to focus our efforts and investments on new technologies, we are no longer offering AT&T CallVantage Service. All of our current residential and business customer accounts will be retired by end of year 2009. Customers are currently being given the opportunity to migrate to another AT&T service, transfer to another service provider, or disconnect service completely."


"We are focusing our efforts and investments on developing and enhancing our new technologies. While we understand that it may be an inconvenience to transfer services, we are focusing our efforts on making the transition as smooth as possible for customers."


"In April, AT&T CallVantage customers began to receive several notifications informing them that AT&T CallVantage Service is being discontinued and urging them to explore other AT&T service alternatives. If a customer fails to take action, we will continue to reach out to the customer to make sure they are aware of their options to transfer services." *

Until now, AT&T has been doing a great job of sending letters warning me to port my numbers before they shut down CV. I don't want to lose my phone numbers, so I've been looking into my options for porting and using these numbers. I'm going to miss CV: their customer service has been pretty good, and the VOIP service has been excellent.


Today I received an email notice that they ported one of my lines. What I don't understand is why they decided to blame me for deciding to cancel the service.


CRM Rule #1: Don't blame the customer for your decisions or mistakes 

-----Original Message-----

From: AT&T CallVantage Service [mailto:CustomerNotifications@maillennium.att.com]

Sent: Friday, September 25, 2009 12:02 PM

To: xxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: AT&T CallVantage Service Disconnect Order Confirmation for (999) 999-9999


As requested on 09/25/2009, AT&T CallVantage (R) Service is in the process of disconnecting your 2nd Line service. You will not be able to place or receive calls using the AT&T CallVantage Service on your 2nd Line. If you have not done so already, you should immediately arrange for service with an alternate phone service provider.


If you have any questions or concerns simply visit https://www.callvantage.att.com/help. We are sorry you decided to cancel this additional line, but want to thank you again for being a AT&T CallVantage Service customer.




AT&T CallVantage Service Team

Hey it wasn't my decision! I was a happy customer. I think this letter could have been a little nicer. Simple CRM rules can help make it better.


Keywords & tags: AT&T shutting down CallVantage VOIP service

* Links:







September 17, 2009

Business rules drag Orbitz down to Earth

Orbitz just lost its cool.

I just booked a roundtrip flight from Dallas to Atlanta. The outbound flight is at 5:30AM CDT. The return flight is at 4:05PM EDT. Each flight is about two and a half hours long.

But according the Orbitz' email confirmation:

  1. This is an overnight flight.
  2. This flight arrives two days later.
  3. This flight arrives on the previous day.
  4. This flight arrives two days prior.
  5. This flight departs from a different airport.
  6. This trip starts and ends at different airports.  (see the rest of the email text below)

WOW! There is just way too much information here to absorb. I need to take this one step at a time so it can really soak in.

First, "this is an overnight flight." Do you know if you have to pay for pillows and blankets nowadays?

Second, "this flight arrives two days later." Apollo 11 took four days to get to the moon. (July 16-19, 1969)

Third, "this flight arrives on the previous day." Now that I can believe! Believe it or not, that would be the second time this ever happened to me. Once I flew out of Tokyo at night on my birthday. I arrived in Hawaii in the morning, on my birthday. The International Date Line is cool that way. (see http://bizrules.com/resumes/rh_mobil_story.htm

Fourth, "this flight arrives two days prior." Back to the Future. Sounds like a good time to buy some stocks before takeoff.

Next, "this flight departs from a different airport." I hope they have a fast shuttle bus.

Finally, this trip starts and ends at different airports. I guess that message is OK. The main reason I booked this trip is to get from one city to another. So this message is technically correct. I've never seen this message before in Orbitz email confirmations, so this could be a new system enhancement to improve customer service: it's good to let customers know that they will land in a different place than where they took off from. That's all good. So that's not really a bug. It's more like a feature.

This automated email has 5 or 6 mistakes, depending on whether you think #6 is a bug or a feature. Actually 10 or 12 mistakes, because the messages were listed for each flight. That's not good.

Orbitz has a business rule problem. Somewhere in the system, rules are missing or they are just plane wrong. Orbitz needs to improve their business rules management system. Orbitz needs to figure out what their business rules are and what they should be. They need rules that are correct, complete, compliant, consistent, clear, and concise.

That's what Orbitz needs. And what Orbitz customers deserve.

Rolando Hernandez, CEO, www.BizRules.com

NOTE: Below is an excerpt of the Orbitz email

Your Travel Document


Thanks for traveling with Orbitz. This e-mail confirms the ticket number(s) issued for the "Atlanta <DepartureDate>" trip.

Delta Air Lines # 1912
Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL)
Departure (DFW): <DepartureDate>, 5:30 AM CDT (morning)
Arrival (ATL): <DepartureDate>, 8:48 AM EDT (morning)

 This is an overnight flight.

 This flight arrives two days later.

 This flight arrives on the previous day.

 This flight arrives two days prior.

 This flight departs from a different airport.

 This trip starts and ends at different airports.

Delta Air Lines # 67
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL) to Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)
Departure (ATL): <ReturnDate>, 4:05 PM EDT (afternoon)
Arrival (DFW): <ReturnDate>, 5:34 PM CDT (evening)

 This is an overnight flight.

 This flight arrives two days later.

 This flight arrives on the previous day.

 This flight arrives two days prior.

 This flight departs from a different airport.

 This trip starts and ends at different airports.

Update 1: An Orbitz customer service rep said this was due to Delta merging with Northwest. The inventory data from Delta is messed up she said. I wonder how many people received these warnings and error messages.

Update 2: A good place to go for more information on business rules management and rulebase techology is www.rulesfest.org


Rolando Hernandez said:

UPDATE 10/15/2009:

I decided to port my AT&T CallVantage VOIP numbers to Number Garage (http://www.numbergarage.com/). The setup process was simple, and it didn't take long for the port process to complete. I forwarded the first number to my Google Voice number - the combo of Number Garage forwarding my phone# to Google Voice is a no-hassle, no-brainer win-win. Now that I am satisfied with the Number Garage service and reliability, I am going to go ahead and port my second AT&T CV number to NumberGarage.

AT&T CV TIP: Be sure to port out your secondary CV line first. After that is complete, then port out your primary AT&T CV line. Once that completes, AT&T will close your account.

What I really want to do is port one of these phone numbers to Google Voice, but they don't handle porting yet.

Google, when can I port in my phone number?

I am not compensated by Number Garage. Instead, I gladly pay them $9.95 a month (per phone#... plus $29.95 for the first month) to solve my AT&T CallVantage problem. $10 bucks lets me keep a number I've had for many years, then ported INTO CallVantage a few years ago.

It's a pretty good permanent solution for my phone number 1.

And it's a great temporary solution for my phone number 2, until I can port that number to my Google Voice.

One beef: You need to create a new account for each number. Number Garage is working on systems and methods to handle large accounts with many lines. Call them. Tell them I sent you.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is working on new disclosure rules that will require all bloggers and product reviewers to disclose if they are paid or compensated in any way for product reviews, testimonials, tweets, blogs, etc.

Since BIZRULES likes to stay ahead of the curve in the rules business, I added that disclosure above in a shameless effort to (1) comply with new federal regulations that haven't even been finalized yet, and (2) see if this is the first public disclosure under that new law.


Kondalarao Palaka said:

The BRE Family Tree packs a lot of great information. Thanks for sharing. Btw, what are the R's, J's and C's in the chart? E.g. I see a J on the row for Oracle/Business Rules and a C for Haley Systems. There is no legend that explains it.


Fred Simkin said:


Here is my take on this.

I think you are dead on in saying that the era of deregulation is at an end and as we both said in our conversation there will be "s**t storm" of regulatory requirements coming down from International, Federal, State and Local authorities designed to constrain and or prevent the excess that have been apparent in the financial services industry. The word transparency has been bandied about on Capitol Hill and I take it to mean that the financial services community will not only have to demonstrate that it has policies, practices, and procedures but that it is following them. The only way to do that is to have systems (manual or automated) which document enterprise rule compliance.

Only when corporate management can sit before the various bodies that will now govern every aspect of their behavior and physically demonstrate that behavior across the enterprise is constrained in compliance with regulatory requirements consistently and completely will trust begin to build again.

You have elucidated the ten steps that need to be taken by the surviving institutions in order to in place the “rule” structures that will insure this outcome.

Nice Job
Fred Simkin
Smartfix LLC

Charles Young said:

Good stuff!

With my Microsoft hat on (I don't work for the company), one possible omission is WF Rules. This is part of Microsoft's WF (and therefore .NET) stack, and is a sequential engine (not Rete). The next version, due 2009, will be significantly re-worked, and will become a first-class WF model alongside state transition, sequential and other forms of workflow, rather than the integrated companion technology which it is today. Microsoft are currently concentrating their rule engine efforts around WF Rules rather than the BRE that ships with BizTalk.

hnb said:

Maybe this distinction can be refined a even a bit more? Obviously a BRMS does not make a DBMS obsolete. The question seems to be, what is 'data' and what is 'knowledge'. A list of users, for example, seems a clear candidate for the database. However, managing users through a BRMS can be very convenient given the right system. In addition, if users are linked to user profiles, it may be less straight-forward to decide what goes in the database, and what goes in the rules system. Do you have any ideas on this?

Rolando Hernandez said:

Gene, Nice to hear from you. Congrats on your new job.

Scott, You were right buddy! I'll send you the photos of the rule bloggers & you w/ John Z. in a few minutes...

All the best, Rolando

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