Trip Report BBC 2016

We are back from an excellent week at the Building Business Capability Conference 2016. Our thanks to the organizers.  We are thankful for the opportunity to discuss and share with you our expertise and experience in using the Decision Management approach and decision modeling  technique to help our clients achieve operational excellence through a modern business architecture that is analytic, agile and adaptive.

Decision Modeling with DMN Tutorial

A big thank you to my great class for my Halloween themed Decision Modelign with DMN tutorial.  This class is a mini version of our popular live online Decision Modeling with DMN class. Decision Modeling with the Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard is gaining ground rapidly with vendors and practitioners alike. Most of the attendees were new to the topic and it was great to see how rapidly they could identify the key elements of a decision model – decisions, input data and knowledge sources – and link them into a rich network to explain decision-making. 

A key takeaway for me from this tutorial was that, while decision modeling and DMN is a great tool for those already working with business rules and a Business Rules Management System, it is accessible and powerful for anyone doing analysis. Any business analyst (or data analyst or process analyst) can use the technique to rapidly develop a clear understanding of the decision-making their business needs. 

New Book: Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN

One of the most fun things for me personally at the event was seeing Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN the new book I have written with Jan Purchase, in print for the first time. We did a special run of 100 for the show and I was able to give it to those at my tutorial and delivery thank-you copies to a number of the experts who had reviewed it for us and were attending the show. We also sold it on the bookstore and it was clear that there was plenty of interest in decision modeling and DMN among attendees.

Available now! Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN

Decision Management Solutions Presentations

Read more about my presentation with David Herring, who leads the Process Transformation and Decision Management Program at a large healthcare provider in Northern California, on Decision Services in Healthcare and Building a Modern Business Architecture presented by Gagan Saxena, our VP of Consulting, and Andrew Ray of Goldman Sachs in the next posts in the series.

Other Sessions

There were many other good sessions at the event and it was a pity I could not get to more of them. A few key themes that I noticed:

  • Lots more talk of models as a key analysis approach and less focus on writing requirements documents
  • Lots of interest in decision modeling and DMN with vendor and customer support evident throughout the show (don’t forget this month’s Decision Modeling with DMN training).
  • Clear evidence that business analysts and business people find DMN approachable, understandable and usable with no prior exposure – it works even for folks who have never used business rules for instance.
  • Agile is clearly the new default approach for projects even in very staid and large companies. This is making techniques that work with agile, like decision modeling, more attractive while more waterfall rule-centric approaches are less appealing.
  • Not a lot of talk of analytics but some – in particular some great stuff on how powerful a role a business analyst can play in framing and driving analytic and data science projects.
  • A general sense that a digital present and especially a digital, always-on, sensor-rich and increasingly sophisticated future is going to require smarter systems and new ways to specify, design and build them.

Live Blogging

If you missed the conference, check out my blog on JTonEDM for highlights from nine sessions.