Three Decision Model Predictions and The Decision Modeler

May 6, 2013
Written by
Suleiman Shehu
Suleiman Shehu

Three Decision Model Predictions and The Decision Modeler

The Decision Model (TDM) is a new and rapidly growing methodology and framework for modeling the business logic (business rules) behind business decisions, using a powerful graphical notation, that is easy for both business and IT to understand and implement.

The Decision Model was co-invented by Larry Goldberg and Barbara von Halle, who are the co-authors of the seminal book “The Decision Model: A Business Logic Framework Linking Business and Technology“.

In this blog post, I will briefly outline the three original TDM predictions and compare them with the functionality of the new TDM tool, The Decision Modeler, which will be launched in early June 2013 by BiZZdesign

My Original Decision Model Prediction 1
By the end of 2012 a low cost entry-level TDM modelling tool will exist that will enable modellers to create and validate that their TDM models comply with the TDM 15 principles. There is currently only one tool that has this capability and that is the heavy-weight Sapiens DECISION tool.  DECISION is designed for enterprise TDM modelling, life-cycle management and governance.

My reasons for an entry-level low cost TDM modelling tool are:

There are a large number of small to medium size companies who in the coming months and years would like to use TDM but who will not be able to afford heavy-weight tools such as Sapiens DECISION. Using Excel and Visio for TDM modelling is better than nothing but a modelling tool with proper validation would be much better.
Many departments in many large companies may still like to experiment with TDM using a low-cost entry tool to get started and after the success of an initial TDM project move up to governance products such as Sapiens DECISION.
Having a low-cost or open source TDM modelling tool will empower many thousands to experiment on their own and drive the bottom-up adoption of TDM within organisations of all sizes.

My Original Decision Model Prediction 2
By the end of 2012 a low cost TDM model translator will exist that will be able to automatically convert high-level graphical TDM models into actual “business rules code” for a number of business rules engines.

This tool will enhance the productivity of business rules programmers and ensure that Decision Models are converted without error into code that can execute within different rule engines.

My Original Decision Model Prediction 3
From my perspective Business Decision Management = BPMN + TDM. It is therefore my prediction is that by end of 2012 that a low-cost entry tool will exist that will enable business analysts and TDM modellers to model TDM and BPMN process models in an integrated modelling environment. Let’s not forget that actions required to be executed on completion of a TDM decision should be executed within a BPMN process task. See The Decision Model Book by Barbara von Halle and Larry Goldberg. Also for more information on the integration of TDM with BPMN process models see the BPMN guru Bruce Silver’s blog post.

The Three Predictions and The Decision Modeler
At the time that I made these prediction I was not aware that BiZZdesign was about to embark on developing a TDM tool.  It was only until the autumn of 2012 that I became aware of BiZZdesign TDM plans and finally an alpha version of the tool was available by end of 2012.

So how does BizzDesign’s The Decision Modeler compare with the three TDM predictions?

  • TDM Prediction 1 and The Decision Modeler – BiZZdesign’s The Decision Modeler is priced at around $5,000 for a single user licence and later a lower priced SaaS/Cloud version is planned. The Decision Modeler current checks for some of the 15 principles, including the structural principles and some other checks. In forthcoming releases the software will validate for all the 15 principles. I can therefore confirm that The Decision Modeler meets TDM Prediction 1.
  • TDM Prediction 2 and The Decision Modeler – BiZZdesign has the ability to export TDM models into Excel format that enables TDM models to execute on the OpenRules open source business rules platform.  The ability to export to other business rules platforms such as Drools and ILOG are on the roadmap. I can therefore confirm that The Decision Modeler meets TDM prediction 2.
  • TDM Prediction 3 and The Decision Modeler –The Decision Modeler has excellent integration with process modelling tools. Both BPMN 2.0 standard and proprietary Amber process modelling languages are fully supported and integrated with The Decision Modeler into an integrated modelling environment. I am therefore very pleased to say that the Decision Modeler fully implements TDM Prediction 3.

The Decision Modeler enables a TDM modeller view all the process models that are using a specified TDM model. From a process model, one can click on a business decision task and automatically view the associated TDM model. No other TDM tool has this tight execution with process models, out of the box, as does The Decision Modeler.

I can therefore confirm that The Decision Modeller meets all the three TDM Predictions.

Given that TDM is rapidly revolutionising enterprise business decision management, by enabling the business to re-gain control of the business decisions that business managers are responsible for managing, I believe that the Decision Modeler will have a significant impact by reducing the costs of engaging with TDM.

Future Predictions for Decision Modeler
It is my view that the Decision Modeler, including the integration of TDM with other BiZZdesign modelling tools and languages will rapidly grow from strength to strength in subsequent releases. It is my prediction that BiZZdesign will become the de facto modelling tool for doing TDM modelling within the enterprise.

The second post in the 3-part series will look at how BiZZdesign has integrated TDM with its other modelling tools and languages and some of the implications of this integration for the business and IT.

In the olden days, thousands of years ago, prophets who made predictions that did not materialise were either ignored or more often stoned to death as false prophets.  So my thanks BiZZdesign for developing its TDM product, The Decision Modeler, just in time!

By Suleiman Shehu

Suleiman Shehu is the CEO, of Dublin based Azinta Systems Ltd. Azinta Systems is a business transformation, business integration and consultancy company. Azinta is a KPI The Decision Model consulting partner for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA).

Azinta has recently signed a strategic business partnership with BiZZdesign for EMEA region and Azinta will be providing TDM consulting and TDM methodology training services for those looking to start using TDM with the Decision Modeler.

Suleiman can be contacted at Suleiman, The original article on the three TDM predictions can be viewed.