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Decision Model and Notation (DMN) – a practical guide #1

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

DMN is becoming increasingly popular. Many business processes are about approvals – for loans, expenses, travel, documents, and so on. Business process modeling notation (BPMN) is useful for defining the steps of such processes, but it doesn’t explain why things get approved or rejected. This is where DMN comes in, as it standardizes the composition of decision-tree diagrams, automating the underlying logic as decision tables and other user-friendly tabular expressions. But is it the right solution for your company?

So DMN allows us to represent decision logic in a way that’s not only easy to understand, but also able to be precisely replicated. Choosing to use DMN depends on whether:

your business processes require rule-based applications that are subject to regularly changing business rules;your affected business domain and the business rules from which decisions are derived are suitably complex; andyou can see the potential for scaling your rules in a distinct reusable manner.

DMN is suitable for use in all industries and by all types of organisation, especially where decision-making must be accurate and compliant with legislation. Government regulations, including financial, environmental and labour regulations, have risk implications that must be taken seriously. These operational decisions can have major impacts on your operations, so even small enhancements can have considerable effects on your company’s performance and risk profile.

DMN is a great auditing tool, too, as it provides a complete and detailed audit trail of decisions and how they were reached. Plus, if you’re using BPMN, DMN is an obvious complementary choice for modeling and executing business rules, and properly maintaining them within an adaptive and agile development approach.

All of this makes DMN a convenient way of navigating today’s complex business environment, particularly for service-oriented industries such as financial services, insurance, logistics, government, legal and healthcare.

Have we awoken your interest in DMN? If so, please read our next blog, which explains how to get started and what to consider when setting up a DMN project.

Marc Bühler

Marketing Manager edorasware

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