What are business rules? What are their business advantages?

Making a decision about what to wear to a party is a process that can take hours. If it’s a dilemma for some, imagine decisions that involve the processes of a company?

And don’t think that this is an exclusively female problem, of course, it’s not.

Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg take decision-making so seriously that they don’t waste energy by making decisions that can be avoided.

They have a very limited wardrobe and almost always wear the same clothes, so they don’t waste time on this kind of decision making.

Business rules follow a somewhat similar principle: they are pre-established decisions that help processes flow faster and prevent their employees from wasting time like this.

Do you want to know what business rules are more clearly and how they impact the productivity of a company?


Then check out our post.

Also see in our blog: 7 features that all workflow automation software must have

What are the business rules?

As the term itself suggests, they’re rules that serve to define or restrict some action in the processes of your company.

They’re statements that describe how you must carry out certain operations and if there is some limit that you need to apply.

They guide behaviors and define what, where, when, why and how something should be done in a company.

These rules may be served in a formal, informal, written or automated manner.

However, because they’re so relevant, they’re not only properly recorded, but are also increasingly being implemented with the help of technology through specialized software.

These rules will state how a company works and therefore need to reflect the organization’s policies.

Thus, they point out requirements that shape the execution of activities and processes, guiding the decision-making of its employees.

The possibilities of application are wide and will depend very much on the particularities of each company.

But some commonly implemented business rules are tied to a certain type of process.

Common examples of processes that use business rules:

  • Pricing Calculations
  • Degrees of customer discount
  • Budget approvals
  • Loan releases
  • Benefits offered
  • Establishment of priorities

Applying business rules

Understanding what business rules are is the first step.

Now you need to know how they work.

Very attached to the good performance of the processes and strategies of a company, managers need to define these rules through excellent process analysis.

They must be in accordance with company policies, to speak of their goals and strengthen the defined strategies.

So an important tip is to try to consider the possible rules at the moment in which strategic planning is defined, in order to make it possible to achieve goals with more certainty.

In order to apply business rules, it’s increasingly common to use technology, which ensures automated processes are more agile and efficient.

Examples of business rules

Consider a company that sells books online.

Business rules define the discounts which you can apply in each individual case and also, what the minimum threshold is to offer free shipping to customers, for example.

A business rule will also establish that you can only send a purchase after recording that particular customer’s payment.

In another case, consider a SaaS that works from recurring sales.

The company has been experiencing problems with Defaulter clients.

What do you do if you don’t receive a payment within the agreed upon time limit?

The company that makes SaaS available can decide to cut the software supply based on a deadline established through a business rule.

That is, it may decide to cancel the subscription of a client who fails to make payment for two consecutive months, for example.

You should realize that executing these types of processes is fundamental.

It’s not enough to just know how to analyze and define the established rules, if you can’t put them into practice.

Imagine in the above situations how these processes would occur if all of these guidelines didn’t exist or depended on only manual tasks.

Have you thought about having to decide case by case what discount to give a retailer or whether to cancel the accounts of delinquent clients?

Certainly, your business would lose productivity and mistakes could happen.

How important are business rules?

Every manager must worry about planning strategies and develop processes to improve the results of their company.

And that’s why leaders need to understand exactly what business rules are.

You define them and put them into practice, and control them through automation so you can tell in real time what performance gains they bring to your company.

What are the business rules in terms of advantages for the company?

  • Provide greater process control: to have established rules, it will be easier to notice errors and mixed activities and fix them swiftly. You can have more control over the most relevant processes.
  • Strengthen strategies: bring more efficiency in the implementation of strategic planning to consider company policies, goals set and strengthen processes to achieve them.
  • Reduce costs: monitor rules that take into account your income and goals to avoid losses.
  • Assist in decision making: It’s clear the very definition of what a business rule is, is that they help to ensure that the decisions a company takes are within the standards it desires.

Business rules and process design

One of the most common problems in process design is the inclusion of business rules as flow tasks.

Try reviewing your workflows and note those filled with exclusive Gateways!

Gateways like …

  • If the balance is greater than …
  • If the date is earlier than …

They’re likely to be business rules and not tasks or elements that you typeset in your workflow.

It’s true!

If you move all this complexity to a DMN diagram or abstract the rules in documentation, your flow will be incredibly easy to understand.

Now that you know what business rules are, we would like to hear if and how you use them in your company.

Is there a manual to follow which you can consult or do you use process automation?

Do you believe that business rules could benefit the results in your organization?

Leave your answers and opinions in the comments!

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