Force sourcing is a massive and complex effort by the Department of Defense to coordinate and provide for the U.S. military needs worldwide. Computer databases allow authorities to efficiently to access information regarding the positions of military troops and other personnel groups, the talents and abilities of individual personnel and the distribution of equipment and supplies to personnel. Business rules are primarily used in the database system to control or choices by staff members to ensure proper management in supply chains.
All branches of the U.S. Military and Department of Defense refer to computer databases with force sourcing information. Vendors and civil authorities can access the same databases with a lower security clearance in order to jointly coordinate events, training and manage the supply chain. Business rules are expected to standardize operations and overcome problems such as error reduction and improve the sharing of information between systems and companies.
The BusinessRulesGroup.org website defines business rules as being "a statement that defines or constrains some aspect of the business, and intended to assert business structure or to control or influence the behavior of the business." In a 1997 article Ellen Gottesdiener, the President of EBG Consulting, Inc. mentioned that business rules were becoming recognized as a distinct concept, practice and methodology. However at the same time she described the term itself as still being more of a buzz word with different meanings in the world of business and Information Systems.
The primary use of business rules for force sourcing seems to appear within the Information Systems that control the supply chains. However, according to Gottesdiener, the rule is owned and defined by the business people and not the creators of the technical platforms. Essentially the system is coded to adhere to business side needs to create, order, sell or deliver real-world products. Business rules control the information gathered for the delivery address to ensuring that restricted products are not shipped into zones that regulate or ban products or specific ingredients. In the case of military supply, rules can be added to efficiently divide product quantities among a variety of shipments have a practical mixture of complementary goods and not just one type of item.
The term “business rules” appears in numerous military vendor documents, DoD policies and Joint Staff Global Force Management documents. However, it seems that the only complete list of business rules appears in Department of Defense Manual Number 8260.03 published June 14, 2011. The thirteen rules shown in a table format are clearly intended for use within the coding of Information Systems to control organizational data and relationship pathways between departments.
Prior to providing identifying information for adding coding to the system, the DoD manual lists each rule beginning with a narrative statement that describes the purpose of that rule.
The first three rules are the Overarching Rules establishing the basis of all other rules.
Rule 1 - Every organization has a leader.
Rule 2 - An organization's command structure and its corresponding chain of command must demonstrate equivalence.
Rule 3 – A billet cannot be decomposed into any other organizational elements.
The next two rules support the Unity of Command by maintaining a subordinate and superior order and prevent associations from existing simultaneously. The remaining eight rules can be found in the DoD Manual and deal with more technical issues related to how items are associated with each other and terminating relationships.
- ScienceDirect: The E-Supply Chain Portal – A Core Business Model
- EBG Consulting, Inc : Business RULES
- BusinessRulesGroup: Defining Business Rules
- DoD Technical Information Center:Department of Defense Manual NUMBER 8260.03, Volume 2 June 14, 2011
- DoD Technical Information Center: Performing XML Data Validation in the Global Force Management Data Initiative
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