Consider you have a personal goal to lose some weight in three months. What would you need to do to achieve this goal? Perhaps you decide to lose weight by running 5 km per day. So, you set a rule of running every day for losing some weight. Losing weight is your objective; running every day is similar to a business rule here. The business requirement would be to effectively carry out the set rule by acquiring a fitness band or smartwatch to keep track of your running schedule, buy sports shoes, and obtain fitness attire.
Indeed, the concept of business requirement and business rule has a distinct differentiation.
Business Rules: What is it?
As per BABOK, a business rule can be defined as a specific, actionable, and testable directive under an organization’s control and supports a business policy. Business rules enable people to make decisions and direct people towards what to do and what not to do. Business rules involve terms, facts, and actual rules and apply to people, processes, and an organization, on the whole, to help the organization achieve its goal.
Business rules give a clear idea about how a process functions. Therefore, business rules must be documented thoroughly so that they are accessible by everyone in the workplace. However, they may also be stored informally initially. It might include a set of statements to serve as a business strategy or business directives and guide the workforce. Business rules can be categorized into coordination rules, qualification/disqualification rules, and decision rules. Additionally, business rules might also be incorporated into computing systems, which help enterprises achieve their goals effectively. You can know more about business rules through industry experts and how they have leveraged to gain maximum benefits out of it.
Business Requirements: What does it mean?
On the other hand, business requirements explain what needs to be done to comply with a business rule. Thus, business requirements inform people and organizations what should be the result. Since business requirements are responsible for implementing business rules, they must be in the same line as business rules but not in contradiction to the business rules.
Business requirements must be in sync with business rules, and if business rules are changing, so should the business requirements. Business requirements are indispensable to an enterprise and often call for preparing a business requirements document (BRD) that should outline business solutions distinctly. The BRD objectives include gaining agreement with stakeholders and describing how business customer needs would be met by the answer.
Example Illustrating the Difference Between Business Rule and Requirements:
Business rules and business requirements are hierarchical, and it is to be noted that all business rules are business requirements, but it is not vice-versa. It is also essential that to implement one particular business rule, more than one business requirement could be needed.
To open an account in Wells Fargo, a minimum age requirement is in place.
Here, the business rule is that individuals opening a self account should be 18 years old.
The business requirement would need individuals to submit their birth certificate, driving license, or any other certificate to validate their age.
Ultimately, let’s take a quick look at the below table to summarize the differences between business rules and requirements.
|Business Rules||Business Requirements|
|Business rules are the directive force behind a process.||Business requirement is enforced to comply with the business rule|
|Business rules can exist without business requirements.||Business requirements have to be functional within the scope of business rule.|
|It informs the employees of the organization as to what needs to be done to achieve an end result.||It tells people how to implement the business rule.|
|Business rules have to be in accordance with the company objectives and vision.||Business requirements have to be aligned to the business rules.|
Final Takeaway: Business Rules vs. Business Requirements
Though business rules can be similar to business requirements, different ways and tools have to be adopted when managing them.
It would be appropriate to quote Gladys Lam’s words here,
The important point to remember is that business rules are what we need to guide behavior. However, how you choose to implement or enforce those rules is a different matter.
In a nutshell, business rules and business requirements help reduce disparities and help achieve business objectives in a more organized manner, including confusion, errors, and delays.