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Who Should Read the BIZRULES Blog

You should read this blog if you want to know more about business rule management and knowledge automation. I know a lot about these topics. I’d like to share some of my thoughts, experience and advice with you about documenting, managing, and automating business rules and business knowledge.

I have over 17 years experience designing, building, and deploying rule-based and knowledge-based solutions. This includes harvesting* business rules and expert knowledge from SMEs; documenting and modeling rules; redesigning and simplifying rules; and building intelligent systems using business rule engines and knowledge-based expert systems. I’ve worked with SMEs from various countries, in many industries, and throughout many functional areas. I’d like to share with you some of the lessons and best practices that I’ve learned along the way.

I started learning how to design and build rule-based and knowledge based systems in 1988 when Mobil Oil hired me to develop their global knowledge management and expert system initiative. I left Mobil six years later to start Competitive Edge Systems Inc., a business solutions and technology consulting firm focused on building intelligent rule-based and knowledge-based applications. Founded in 1995, the company started doing business as BizRules.com in 1999.

Through the years I’ve developed a proven and repeatable process for getting knowledge and rules from SME to BRE no matter what industry, function or application you’re dealing with. I know how to work with experts in order to understand and document their reasoning and decision-making processes. I know how to guide experts to explain what they know, how they do it, and why they do it that way. (What, how, and why – I’ll come back to that in a future blog)

In this blog I’d like to tell you about some of the methods and techniques for business rules and knowledge management that work in real life. I also want to tell what you need to know about business rule management and knowledge management, and what you should watch out for.

The more I learn about business rules, the more I realize that there is to know that I don’t know much about yet. Although I have been practicing in this field since 1988, I don’t like to call myself an expert. I read a definition of ‘expert’ years ago that went something like this:

Expert: “ex-spurt”. An ex is a has-been. And a spurt is a drip under pressure.

I know how to encode business rules and expert knowledge in computer languages called business rule engines and expert systems. I apply proven techniques and rigorous methods from these fields of Artificial Intelligence: Knowledge Acquisition, Knowledge Representation, and Knowledge Engineering.

Finally, I’d like to share some lessons learned and best practices with you in this blog as well.

I am not a professional writer, but I like to write. I have a lot to say about things that I know and have experienced. I know how to “do” business rules. Rules are what I know most about, so that’s what I want to write about in this blog.

My approach with the BIZRULES Blog and with the Business Rules Knowledge Base™ (see BIZRULES.INFO) is to tell you what you need to know about rules and how to do it. Proven methods. What works and what doesn't. Real benefits and real ROI from real cases. Facts not hype.

If you need specific help such as business rule management consulting services or BRE professional services and solutions, please visit BIZRULES.COM. That is where you should go to get information about BIZRULES® consulting services and solutions.

* I like to call this eliciting, as in eliciting knowledge from an expert. Extracting is another popular term, but ‘extracting rules from SMEs’ sounds like you’re taking something away that they don’t want to give up. Harvesting is the currently-accepted term for what is really a knowledge acquisition process. Harvesting sounds less threatening.


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