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Analysis: Where Rules Management and BPM Meet

Rules management and process management are both aimed at improving business agility and performance, but they're fundamentally different technologies designed for complementary purposes. So which tasks do you handle in each toolset? We'll show you how to strike the right mix of techniques and score that perfect 10!

Executive Summary

If your organization is struggling to increase productivity, ensure process consistency, meet compliance demands and improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, you'll likely encounter both business rule management systems (BRMS) and business process management suites (BPMS) as potential answers to these challenges. Confusingly, each technology crosses over into the function of the other, but BPMS and BRMS serve fundamentally different and complementary roles. The key is to strike a balance, handling certain tasks in the most appropriate domain.

The idea is to handle process logic that controls activity flow, deadlines and exception handling in the BPMS and decision logic that quickly provides answers to complex, multivariable questions in the BRMS. Both systems model, execute and manage this logic, abstracting it from back-end applications so business users can see and change it as required without facing long delays for conventional IT coding and testing.

A BPMS can automate simple rules, but it can't effectively manage complex rules or those that are used across multiple processes. Similarly, a BRMS can trigger the execution of individual activities, but it's not designed to manage the execution of complete business processes. By using the systems together, your business gains more complete and effective control over each process and decision point.