I’ve been heads-down for a while working on a new book and training: DMN Method and Style. The Decision Modeling and Notation standard now promises to transform the world of proprietary decision management software in the same way that BPMN upended the world of workflow, EAI, and business process analysis software a decade ago. Do we even use those terms any more??
DMN is a business-oriented graphical language that is both descriptive and executable. Its two most prominent features are the Decision Requirements Diagram, or DRD, revealing the dependencies of a high-level business decision on various supporting decisions and input data; and the decision table, a grid defining the rules that determine the logic of an individual decision node in the DRD. In addition, DMN defines a business-oriented executable expression language called FEEL, used in decision tables and literal expressions, a tabular boxed expression format for defining more complex decision logic without programming, and an XML format for decision model interchange based on a formal metamodel. That’s a lot to absorb, so first-generation tool vendors are focusing on DRDs and decision tables, but the rest will come in time.
Just as with BPMN, the DMN spec provides rules about what is allowed and what is not allowed, but no guidance for modelers on using it effectively. That’s the Method and Style part: How do you think about decomposing the DRD? Or start even higher: What does a DRD actually represent? And what is the best way to use decision tables? Table orientation, hit policy, contraction, etc. The DMN spec provides many variations, some better than others. In addition to a detailed explanation of the DMN 1.1 standard, DMN Method and Style provides a methodology for defining and decomposing the DRD using common decision logic patterns that modelers can learn to recognize and incorporate in their models.
Also, as you can see, I have a new website, methodandstyle.com. Pretty soon brsilver.com will roll over to this one, but methodandstyle.com is my new home. Still working on the site, but I’ll be putting up a bunch of DMN resources here for sure, as well as commentary, such as this series of short posts called DMN Demystified.
Wait, there’s more: Training! Like the BPMN class, DMN Method and Style training is aimed at business analysts and business users, and as our BPMN students know, we don’t dumb it down. You’ll learn how to do end-to-end decision modeling for real, doing real exercises in class with Signavio’s DMN Editor, and post-class certification based on an exam and mail-in exercise demonstrating mastery of DMN modeling.
Our first class is live/online, March 29-31 from 11am to 4pm ET each day. After that, we’re planning one about every 2 months. We’re offering this first class only for $350 off the regular price, so hurry to register before the class fills up. You can do that here.