Thursday, March 08, 2007


Rules Help Us Innovate

Charlie Bess over at EDS' Next Big Thing makes a counter-trend argument that business rules free us to innovate.

The application of a business rules engine should allow an organization to take latency out of the areas where there is a defined way to proceed and focus creativity on the activities that remain. Innovation in an organization with well implemented business rules is like the quote:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
- Reinhold Niebuhr

I guess this is like Bach, working under the extreme musical constraints, was able to produce such masterful works.

Rules form an intellectual stovepipe, which allows our thoughts (smoke) to rise in a concentrated way to heights otherwise not possible. That is good inside the stove pipe. Sometimes, however, the solutions to our problems lie outside the rule-enforced stovepipe. At those times, we need to blow holes in the sides our stovepipes.

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I was making the assumption that the rules are right or at least based on the common good. If the rules are wrong -- you're probably right it will not be fixed by continuous improvement. There are time when demolition is required.
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