Sidebar for the Software Industry:
    Reconfiguration Agility

    Realizing the Management Imperative of
    assemble-to-order production capability for the business itself


    by Roger T. Burlton, Ronald G. Ross & John A. Zachman1





    1. The preeminent software concern to support business agility is reconfiguration agility – how business solutions are configured – and rapidly reconfigured – at any given point in time. 
    2. Building blocks for reconfiguration agility should be based on business knowledge and housed in a Business Knowledge-Base.
    3. Assembling business solutions procedurally results in inflexibility, bloat and complexity – configuration stagnation. A declarative approach, one based on rules, is far superior.
    4. Reconfiguration agility envisions rapid, traceable business change after initial deployment for business products, business processes, and other infrastructure investments. 
    5. These days many business processes need not be undertaken in pre-specified sequences. That doesn’t mean they follow no rules. It means they need to be configured with the appropriate business rules and bots just-in-time.
    6. Agile software development practices have resulted largely from limitations in current technology to easily reuse explicit business knowledge.
    7. Faster development of code using programming languages is not the answer to business agility. The software industry should provide new interactive tools to support rapid reconfiguration of business products and processes.
    8. The software industry has failed to appreciate something fundamental about business activity. Business is grounded in obligations, which can be violated. Such business rules require selective reaction to violations (for example alerts or corrective measures) and graded levels of enforcement (all the way from strictly enforced to simply guideline).
    9. The debate in the software industry over rule-based vs. statistics-based AI techniques will never alter the fact that business is fundamentally obligation-based.
    10. IT Project Professionals need automated knowledge companions – bots that can engage in dialogs to assess business knowledge for gaps, conflicts, ambiguity, and completeness.


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    1 Thanks to Gladys S.W. Lam for input to the content and organization of the Manifesto and to Sasha Aganova for shepherding the work through to completion. Top

    © Business Rule Solutions, LLC. 2017.
    © Process Renewal Consulting Group (2015), Inc. 2017.
    © John A. Zachman®, Zachman International®, Inc. 2017.

    Permission is granted for unlimited reproduction and distribution of this document under the following conditions: (a) The copyrights and this permission notice are clearly included. (b) The work is clearly credited to its three authors. (c) No part of the document, including title, content, copyrights, and permission notice, is altered, abridged or extended in any manner.