Decision management

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Decision management, also known as enterprise decision management (EDM) or business decision management (BDM) entails all aspects of designing, building and managing the automated decision-making systems that an organization uses to manage its interactions with customers, employees and suppliers. Computerization has changed the way organizations are approaching their decision-making because it requires that they automate more decisions, to handle response times and unattended operation required by computerization, and because it has enabled "information-based decisions" - decisions based on analysis of historical behavioral data, prior decisions, and their outcomes.


Decision management is described as an "emerging important discipline, due to an increasing need to automate high-volume decisions across the enterprise and to impart precision, consistency, and agility in the decision-making process."[1] Decision management is implemented "via the use of rule-based systems and analytic models for enabling high-volume, automated decision making."[1]

Organizations seek to improve the value created through each decision by deploying software solutions (generally developed using BRMS and predictive analytics technology) that better manage the tradeoffs between precision or accuracy, consistency, agility, speed or decision latency, and cost of decision-making within organizations. The concept of decision yield, for instance, focuses on all five key attributes of decision-making: more targeted decisions (precision); in the same way, over and over again (consistency); while being able to adapt "on-the-fly" (business agility) while reducing cost and improving speed, is an overall metric for how well an organization is making a particular decision.[2]

Organizations are adopting decision management technology and approaches because they need a higher return from previous infrastructure investments, are dealing with increasing business decision complexity, face competitive pressure for more sophisticated decisions and because increasingly short windows of competitive advantage means that the speed of business is outpacing speed of information technology to react.

The topic of decision management is discussed by technology vendors with relevant technologies and in books such as "Smart (Enough) Systems", which argues that applying the approach to operational decisions is an effective way to make information systems smart enough to be useful (as distinct from intelligent in the sense of artificial intelligence).[3] and "Decision Management Systems", which focuses on the kind of systems resulting from applying decision management and contrasts these agile, analytic and adaptive systems with more passive decision support systems.[4]

Other terms used include "intelligent process automation" (where decision management is combined with business process management).[5]


There are a number of different approaches used to apply decision management principles. In general these follow three steps:

  1. Decision identification and decision modeling using either open standards such as Decision Model and Notation or proprietary approaches such as The Decision Model[6]
  2. Development of a system or service (often called a Decision Service) that automates all or part of the decision
  3. Ongoing monitoring and management of the decision to keep the business rules and predictive analytics models used up to date

Decision management often involves the use of A/B Testing and experimentation as well.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ Taylor, James; Raden, Neil (June 2007), Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions, Prentice Hall PTR, ISBN 0-13-234796-2 
  4. ^ Taylor, James (2012), Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytic, Pearson Education, ISBN 0-13-288438-0 
  5. ^ Fisher (Editor), Layna (2013). iBPMS - Intelligent BPM Systems. USA: Future Strategies Inc. ISBN 0984976469. 
  6. ^ Von Halle, Barbara; Goldberg, Larry (2010), The Decision Model. A framework for business logic and business-driven SOA, CRC Press, ISBN 9781420082814 

See also[edit]