In a previous post, I discussed why Policies & Rules Are Not Created Equal. In short, Policies are guidelines that are directional or informative, while Rules assert controls that may or may not enforce policies. From a technical perspective, many are quick to assume that rules equate to some range of values, or if-then statements. For example, in order to be compliant with various data quality policies, an organization might say:
- Allowable values for Transportation Zone include 0000000001, 0000000002, or 0000000003.
- Customer Payment Term ranges from Z001 - Z005.
- If customer is in Germany, then Sales Org. must be 0001.
While this is all valuable information, this language doesn't translate well to a business user. At Syniti, our recommended best practice is to write system agnostic business rules. System agnosticism is the idea that each rule must have the capacity to work with various systems. In an exercise to create agnostic rules, consider the business implication, or underlying purpose, for each statement above.
Written as implication statements, these agnostic rules can now become useful to a diverse set of business users, from those using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, to those using customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Having this information available to all walks of users via the Knowledge Tier offers a greater business understanding when policies change, or when organizations migrate to new systems. This agile approach to governance is what the Syniti Knowledge Platform is all about.
System-specific requirements can be defined, enforced, remediated, and monitored in Stewardship Tier modules such as Data Quality, Mass Maintenance, ADM, and MDM. A direct relationship between the system agnostic and system-dependent rules can then be established via an Enforcement Profile. While the Knowledge Tier governs the flow of information throughout the organization, the Stewardship Tier “churns the wheels” which make the data fit for use.
Information Governance can be complicated to implement, but yields important benefits. At Syniti, customers may be assigned a designated Customer Success Manager who can help guide you and provide further expertise on implementations. To learn more about the customer success program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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