The Power of Business Rules
I’ve been applying a keen eye to Business Rules for a long time now. I find them to be some of the most important places where otherwise intelligent-seeming organizations loose their minds and embed rules so onerous they can literally take down even the largest organizations. Let’s look at a couple of business rules that demonstrate this.
1 – A Specific Corporate Decision
Rule – Apple and the Rule to NOT engineer mobile devices with replaceable batteries.
Pretty obvious this Rule is truly idiotic and there is certainly no denying the fact that it has ripped a gaping hole in Apple’s Customer Satisfaction, Customer Experience and corporate finances. This is brand damage folks, the kind of mistake that should NEVER occur in a well-run organization. You have to CHOOSE to turn a blind-eye to the obvious implications of this choice which is exactly what Apple did. For me, personally, this ruined the brand entirely. I no longer purchase Apple products for my own personal use. Sorry Apple, you are not the kind of company I care to keep.
2 – A Generic Everywhere Rule
Please provide your account number…
AND THEN ASK FOR IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Sorry folks, this again is an idiotic Rule yet it’s baked into more processes than not, we see it every day! What possible purpose does this Rule have? Whatever the perceived value is, I can assure you there is no net value to this rule.
3 – Comcast’s new “Screw the Customer” Business Rule (documented in this post – Comcast Business Rule FAIL)
Now, let’s look at a Business Rule that is actually worth having!
1 – The Joint Chiropractic. The Business Rule? One price, any Joint office nationwide!
Chiropractic is something many people feel they realize substantive health-wellness benefits from consuming. In the past though, these services were characterized by price-gouging and “programs” that quite frankly, were primarily focused on making the Chiropractor A LOT OF MONEY.
Not the Joint. One ridiculously low monthly fee, complete access to a nationwide chain of chiropractors. With adjustments averaging less than $15 per visit. The Joint’s Business Rules have remade the quality and value of chiropractic treatment for pretty much everyone.
2 – And finally, the Business Rule that all mobile providers can no longer LOCK mobile devices – WHILE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE CARRIERS THEMSELVES WITHOUT THE NEED OF A LAW – is now mandated as Federal Law.
Which makes the final and most important point about Business Rules – the rules within each organization can drive the essence of the customer experience, the legality of the organization’s operations, and the most fundamental characteristics of Corporate Culture. When Business Rules are not documented and aggressively managed they can destroy these things.
So get your copy of the Business Rule Toolkit and start applying it to the business rules in your organization. I’m willing to bet you will find more than one opportunity to dramatically improve an essential part of your business by simply identifying Business Rules that need elimination – and then eliminating them!