The Print Edition is available from
 Amazon and Barnes&Noble

The Kindle Edition is available from Amazon.

How does your company decide?

Organizations make thousands of automated, operational decisions every week—from targeted pricing of products to determining which customers get automatic approval, from customizing website navigation and content to satisfying regulatory mandates. How well they make these decisions drives their profitability, makes or breaks their reputation and determines what fines they must pay. How these decisions are made is one of a company’s most important assets. 

All too often these decisions are not explicitly managed, assessed or even visible to the company’s business experts. Instead they are buried in the company’s software code and policy manuals, where they are hidden from view and may even be contradictory. Decision modeling gives you the power to change this, to make your organization’s decisions transparent, agile and scalable.

Real-World Decision Modeling is written by two of the field’s foremost experts and addresses why, when and how to model decisions using the Decision Model and Notation (DMN), a new open standard for representing business decisions. This comprehensive book includes:

    • A complete explanation of the new Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard from first principles, no experience required

    • A description of the business benefits of decision modeling including metrics for where and when to apply the technique

    • Over 220 practical illustrative examples and three worked examples 

    • A description of how to analyze business decisions and create models

    • 47 decision modeling best practices

    • 13 patterns and approaches 

    • A full explanation of how decision modeling fits with decision management

    • Illustrations of how decision modeling can be integrated with existing standards like BPMN process models, UML object models and ArchiMate business motivation models

    • Important concepts of decision modeling not included in the standard

    • Advice on how to build a decision practice within your organization

    • A guide to how to select a DMN toolset

    • A comprehensive glossary of all DMN terms and keywords

The chapters of this book consider the following questions:

Why model Business Decisions? The book describes the purpose and value of decision modeling and how it connects with decision management and decision management systems. It shows how decision modeling contributes to delivering seven measurable benefits of decision management and describes the business value of decision modeling. Six compelling reasons for business adoption of decision modeling are defined with reference to specific projects to which it has been applied.

When should Decision Modeling be used? How can businesses target their decision modeling activity for maximum benefit? What properties of decisions can be used to determine the value of modeling them? The authors provide a checklist of features that directly indicate the business value of a decision. They describe how a company can: begin to adopt decision modeling, use it to define new decisions and mine their own business processes and legacy systems for existing decisions—even when these are hidden.

How do Decisions fit within a service oriented architecture? Decisions services are the executable embodiment of decisions and are the most effective means of delivering business know how into an architecture. The role of decision models in specifying a decision service and tracking day-to-day business performance is described with a complete example showing how a decision model can become a living document: a specification of a decision service which both documents and determines its behavior without the need for any other conventional specification document and can be used as the basis for determining its day-by-day business performance.

What is the Decision Model and Notation (DMN)? DMN is described by practitioners with many years’ experience of decision modeling across dozens of corporate projects. Readers require no experience of decision modeling or the DMN standard as the notation is described from first principles. Not simply a reiteration of the DMN specification, this is a practical definition of the standard for current and would be practitioners. It starts with an introduction to DMN and its rationale. A definition of the core concepts follows with examples as well as an explanation of why some features are best avoided. The authors’ experiences are condensed into a set of over thirty best practices and patterns for the effective application of decision modeling. Each one has illustrative examples to articulate good decision modeling technique.

How does DMN relate to other models? A section is dedicated to illustrating how DMN separates business know-how from business process to the betterment of both. Practical examples are used to show how DMN models integrate with business process (BPMN), data (UML/ERD) and motivation models (ArchiMate). Putting DMN in context ensures business decisions can be a first-class citizen of a business architecture.

Where next for decision modeling? This book goes beyond DMN to describe important concepts omitted from the specification. It covers important decision modeling concepts encountered by the authors during real projects that are not covered by the standard. Ways to augment DMN are discussed in detail. Topics covered include how to enrich decision models with a business glossary, other ways of representing decision logic beyond those defined by DMN and how to handle business decisions that yield multiple answers within a collection.

How should an organization adopt decision modeling? The authors’ experience of building their clients’ expertise in decision modeling is brought to bear explaining how organizations can best establish a decision modeling practice. Important prerequisites for the adoption of decision modeling are considered as well as techniques to optimize adoption. The need for tools to support the creation and maintenance of DMN models is explained and a checklist of features is provided to help readers select a tool most suited to their organization.

What do Decision Models look like in practice? Example decision models are described showing the challenges overcome and giving insight into a proven approach for producing DMN models. Each example includes a summary of the business domain, the business process context and the motivations of the project. At each stage the thought process of the authors are exposed, key choices for modeling are described and the rationale for the course taken is fully explained with reference to related best practices and DMN features used.


Review Quotes

"This comprehensive and incredibly useful book offers a wealth of practical advice to any-one interested in decision management and its potential to improve enterprise applications. Using a blend of user case studies, patterns, best practices and pragmatic techniques, "Real-World Decision Modeling with DMN" shows you how to discover, model, analyze and de-sign the critical decisions that drive your business!"
-David Herring, Manager of BPM & ODM Delivery at Kaiser Permanente.

"If you are looking for a complete treatise on decisions, look no further. Even though you end up in decision modeling and Decision Modeling Notation (DMN), you are treated to all the aspects of decisions explained with great care and clarity. This is a greatly needed book that will be studied by decision managers and practitioners for the next decade or more. It will end up on my physical and logical bookshelves."
-Jim Sinur, Vice President and Research Fellow, Aragon Research.

"Written by two of the foremost experts in decision management, this book provides an extensive exploration of business decisions and how they are used in modern digital organi-zations. Taylor and Purchase distill for us the why, how, when and where to apply decision modeling in order to specify business decisions that are effective. Going beyond just an introduction to the Decision Model and Notation (DMN), the authors position this standard with respect to other well established standard notations such as BPMN. This is truly a first comprehensive handbook of decision management."
-Denis Gagne, Chair of BPMN MIWG, CEO & CTO at Trisotech.

" I particularly like the numerous real-world experiences, best practices, misconceptions, patterns and business examples. At the same time, because the Decision Model and Notation (DMN) standard is used throughout the book, it is also a full and readable description of all aspects of the standard, from the business value, the business context, the decision requirements level, all the way to FEEL and decision tables (a part which I read with specific care). All well elaborated and clearly explained. A must read."
-Jan Vanthienen, Professor of Information Management, Business Information Systems Group, KU Leuven (Belgium), Pioneer of Decision Table Theory and Long Term Contributor to Business Rules, Decisions, Validation and Verification Research.

"I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Decision Management and especially decision modeling. The authors use their knowledge and industry experience to explain, both generally and in detail, why you cannot neglect decision management and modeling for business or IT development. The great value of the book is the comprehensive insight into decision modeling and the DMN standard, grounded in real-world cases. It works as a text book and for newcomers to Decision Management."
-Odd Steen, Associate Professor, Department of Informatics, Lund University.

"As a long-time Decision Management consultant and practitioner, it is important for me to have an objective Decision Management reference available. With "Real-World Decision Modeling", I've now found a comprehensive practical guide. James Taylor is clearly the premier authority on Decision Management, and he has teamed up with Jan Purchase to produce the authoritative text on Decision Modeling. For locating a particular best practice, identifying a way to integrate the Decision Management Notation with another notation, or referring a less experienced colleague or client to a good decision modeling information source, and much more, this book is the definitive work."
-Dan Binney, Harmony Solution Services LLC.


About the Authors

James Taylor
Decision Management has been James’ focus for the last 13 years – since he first came up with the phrase – and he is almost certainly the best known proponent of the approach. While working at FICO he wrote a book on the topic with Neil Raden. Since then he has written Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics (IBM Press, 2012), dozens of articles and white papers and several book chapters expanding and developing the core concepts. One of the original submitters of the Decision Model and Notation standard, he has been using decision modeling on client projects since 2011. He has designed and written effective development methodologies and developed several modeling tools, including one based on DMN - DecisionsFirst Modeler. As the founder and CEO of Decision Management Solutions, he works with clients to help them implement Decision Management and Decision Modeling as well with vendors who are adopting Decision Management as an approach that maximizes the value of their products. With his long history in this space and his experience both working directly with clients and with technology vendors, this book will ensure readers can fit this new approach into their current environment.

Jan Purchase
Jan Purchase has been working in investment banking for 19 years, the last 13 of which he has focused exclusively on the use of business decisions, decision modeling (in TDM and DMN), business rules, business rule management systems (BRMS) and business process modeling. He is a founder of Lux Magi Financial Rules (LMFR): a company specializing in delivering, training and mentoring all of these concepts to financial organizations. All of LMFR’s clients have benefited from the adoption of decision modeling, one international initiative included a set of fourteen separate decision modeling projects trained and mentored by LMFR. Jan has maintained a blog ‘Decision Management for Finance’ since 2010 highlighting the practical lessons learned from applying decision modeling and BRMS at scale and providing useful feedback to LMFR’s clients and vendor partners. He has published many white papers, hosted multiple webinars and chaired several public coaching sessions on the application of decision modeling and BRMS to problems in finance. Lux Magi has been applying TDM and, latterly DMN, to finance and regulatory compliance projects since 2011. The practical experience gained from all of this work will be channeled into this book to benefit newcomers to decision modeling.

The Print Edition is available from Amazon and Barnes&Noble

The Kindle Edition will be available from Amazon.

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