Technique Summary: BABOK 10.9 and 10.10 and Agile 7.5

Technique Summary: BABOK 10.9 and 10.10 and Agile 7.5

By Julie Ramsey

Below is a summary of Technique 10.7 Business Rules Analysis and 10.8 Collaborative Games from BABOK version 3 and Technique 7.5 Kano Analysis from the Agile extension to the BABOK guide version 2.  
 

Technique 10.9 – Business Rules Analysis

Purpose – This technique is used to identify, express, validate, refine and organize the rules of daily business behavior and guide decision making. 

Description – A business policy is about broad control, influence or regulation of the actions of an enterprise or its people. In comparison, a business rule is a specific, testable directive providing criteria to guide behavior, shape judgements and make decisions.   

Analysis of business rules includes

  • Gathering rules from sources like documented policies or stakeholder know-how
  • Writing rules in a clear, explicit and specific way
  • Refining rules to align with business goals
  • Organizing rules for ease of management and reuse
  • Validating rules with stakeholders  

The principles of business rules are

  • Base rules on standard business vocabulary so the domain subject matter expert can validate
  • Separate the rules from how they will be enforced
  • Separate the rules from the processes they support
  • Map the rules to decisions they support
  • Maintain them so they are accessible for monitoring and adaptation over time  

Elements – Business rules may be Definitional or Behavioral



Definitional Rules

Behavioral Rules

Shape concepts or produce knowledge by indicating something is true/untrue about a given concept

Shape business activity by placing obligation or prohibition on conduct, action, practice or procedure

Represent operational knowledge of the organization

People rules even if the behavior is automated

Cannot be violated; can be misapplied

Can be directly violated

Often prescribe how information can be derived, inferred or calculated; a calculation rule is the result of multiple rules building on each other

Business choses to enforce them and the level of that enforcement; this may manage risk or increase productivity

Example: A Preferred Customer is one who has placed over 10 orders per month.

Example: Do not place an order if the billing address does not match the address on file for the credit card.

 

Usage Considerations – Strengths

  • Using a single, enterprise-wide engine to enforce and manage business rules allows for quick implementation of changes
  • A central repository allows for easy reuse across the organization
  • Business rules provide structure for governing business behaviors

Usage Considerations – Limitations

  • Lengthy lists of ambiguous business rules are not useful
  • Business rules may be contradictory or have unexpected results when combined if not properly validated
  • The vocabulary is important and if it’s too simple or poorly defined can result in inaccurate business rules

Technique 10.10 – Collaborative Games

Purpose – Encourage participants to collaborate building joint understanding of a problem or solution. 

Description – Collaborative games are structured techniques to facilitate collaboration.  They may be used to help participants share knowledge and identify hidden assumptions.  By bringing people together who have different perspectives on a topic, the group gains a greater understanding and develops a shared model of the problem or solution. 

When using this technique, it is beneficial to have a neutral facilitator to explain and enforce the rules of the game, keep the game moving forward and ensure all participants play a role in the game.  Activities may include moving sticky notes, writing on whiteboards or drawing pictures.  These visual and tactile activities encourage participants to overcome inhibitions, think creatively and laterally. 

Elements – Game Purpose – Should be defined and is generally to better understand a problem or generate creative solutions.  The facilitator will help participants understand the purpose and work to realize it.

Elements – Process – A game should have rules to keep it moving forward and may be time boxed.  Most games have three steps.  The Opening step involves participants in learning the rules and generating ideas.  The Exploration step engages participants in finding connections among their ideas, testing ideas and experimenting with new ideas.  During the Closing step ideas are assessed and participants determine which may be most useful and productive.

Elements – Outcome – When the game is over the facilitator and participants determine decisions or actions to be taken based on what they learned.

Elements – Examples of Collaborative Games

Product Box – Make a box for the product being sold in a store to identify features which may drive interest in the marketplace.

Affinity Map – Write features on sticky notes and group them by similarities to identify related features or themes.

Fishbowl – Using two groups have participants speak about a topic while the other group listens and records observations to find hidden assumptions. 

Usage Considerations – Strengths

  • Hidden assumptions or differing opinions may be revealed
  • Creative thinking is stimulated Usually quiet team members may take an active role in the activity
  • Exposure of business needs that aren’t being met

Usage Considerations – Limitations

  • Games could seem silly making reserved participants uncomfortable
  • Time-consuming games may seem unproductive if objectives are unclear
  • Since a conclusion is reached by the group, there may be a false sense of confidence

Technique 7.5 – Kano Analysis

Purpose – Kano Analysis helps predict what characteristics or qualities of a product will significantly drive customer satisfaction in the marketplace. 

Description – This technique categorizes features as threshold, performance, excitement or indifferent.  Then the features are rated by measuring the dysfunctional and functional customer satisfaction for each and plotting those ratings on a matrix.  Analyzing the final graph determines if a solution will be unique in the marketplace based on its business value. 

Elements –

Threshold Characteristics are critical for a solution to be considered.  They won’t dramatically increase customer satisfaction, but their absence will cause significant dissatisfaction.  Since stakeholders expect these characteristics they may forget to explicitly ask for them.

Performance Characteristics represent features a customer expects like speed or ease of use.  There is a linear correlation between an increase in performance characteristics and an increase in customer satisfaction.  Performance characteristics are generally the features that easily come to mind for stakeholders.

Excitement Characteristics exceed customer expectations.  Customers don’t know these features are possible or never think to ask for them.  Excitement characteristics dramatically increase satisfaction over time.  Stakeholders may not think of them since they don’t exist on the market today.

Indifferent Characteristics do NOT add value and customers don’t want them.  They are not represented on the Kano Analysis graph because they negatively impact customer satisfaction. 

Determine the Category by answering two questions.  

How do you feel if this feature is present?  (Functional form)

How do you feel if this feature is absent?  (Dysfunctional form)

Possible answers are:

I like it
I expect it
I am neutral
I can live with it
I don’t like it

The answers are mapped on the functional/dysfunctional grid with the top row representing the dysfunction form answers and the left column representing the functional form answers. 







Functional

Dysfunctional

Like

Expect

Neutral

Live with

Don’t like

Like

Q

E

E

E

P

Expect

R

I

I

I

T

Neutral

R

I

I

I

T

Live with

R

I

I

I

T

Don’t like

R

R

R

R

Q

 Legend –

E = Excitement
P = Performance
T = Threshold
I = Indifferent
Q/R = Questionable or Reversed (these answers don’t make sense

Usage - Considerations Strengths –

This technique may be used for consumer and non-consumer solutions
Analysis can determine the priority for a feature 

Usage - Considerations Limitations –

Customer satisfaction is identified, but other factors must be weighed to prioritize a backlog
Categorization of a feature will shift with time as customers’ expectations change