How Many Business Rules Does a Company Need?
A business rule is the guidance placed on the conduct, action, practice, or procedure within a particular activity, concept or entity. They can be factual statements, formulas, derivations or definitions. They can also be constraints, criteria and conditions.
They help guide the needed decisions made by a business. They also tell you when, how and if you can or cannot do something. Business rules should be specific to a company’s needs, strategic approach and interactions.
How many business rules are needed
There is no perfect formula to identify how many business rules should be established by a company. Each business rule must have value and purpose to the company. And, each company is relatively unique so there is no generic number that would apply to all companies. Every company has its own happy balance of the amount of business rules needed to successfully guide its decisions and activity.
Does a small company need less business rules
The size of the company has little impact to the number of business rules needed for effective operations. A small company may still be in an industry that is heavily regulated, require a lot of standards or have high customer expectations.
A company with one product offering may need less product-level business rules than another company that offers multiple products. A company that have a high amount of customer complaints may need more customer-centric business rules.
But large or small, each company needs to establish the business rules needed to help it function well internally and compete successfully externally.
Can you have too many business rules
Absolutely! The more business rules a company has, the more structure and constraint it has. However too many business rules could also mean too much constraint where a company suffocates itself with micromanagement. Too many business rules could also be too difficult to manage if there is a need for continuous changes.
A business rule can always be changed at any point when the circumstances around its purpose changes. The rule can be updated, replaced and managed according to its lifecycle. The business is supposed to grow and change so the business rules must change with it to make sure internal and external expectations are met.
The right number of business rules
How many business rules is the right number?
In the end, there is no way to predict the ideal number of needed business rules. A strong business architect or business rules architect is the best person to help a company define and manage all those business rules throughout the rule lifecycle.
There should be enough business rules for a company to operate effectively and consistently without being bogged down with minutia. When a company is operating consistently and effectively, then it found its ideal number…until the rules need to be changed again.