Business rules type on the use of a product or service


In this article we will discuss a business rules type, where you define how to use your product or service and its corresponding parts.

By the use we could also mean the purpose of your product or service and each of its components.

You might argue that defining the purpose of your product cannot occur after defining implementation and production procedures.

And you would be right.

The use or purpose of your product/service as a whole as well as of its main parts must be defined at the very beginning, as the first step in management business rules.

Note for this blog-post: The chapter on the management business rules type will differ in the book from the original article published in this blog here. The differences consist of the following. Two concepts will be added before the original content. The first is the definition of the product’s/service’s purpose. And the second is the one published in the article “Compare, but don’t … compare”.

At this stage of your business rules definition (after details on production and sustainment), you provide concrete details on the use of the product or service. Many of these can only be understood while or after the details on implementation and production processes are defined.

This business rules type will also differ from the navigation/structure-defining type of the business rules. In the navigation part you decided how your product or service is structured and how you can access one or another part of your product or service.

How is the defining question in the navigation business rules type.

When you consider the use of your product or service, the key question is Why. Why does your customer need this product or its particular part? Why is it important? Why can’t it be replaced with another?

Let us consider what this might mean on concrete examples.

Self-learning and self-help books can serve as great examples to this business rules type. Most of them contain a section or chapter, which is titled in or of versions of “How to use this book”. It is often a part of the Introduction, which is usually written after the book itself is written or planned in detail.

The first example, which I suggest to consider is “Scrivener for Dummies” by Gwen Hernandez.

You are probably familiar with the concept of the books “For Dummies”.

I’ve chosen the one dedicated to Scrivener, since I use this software for writers for all my writing projects, including this one. And because of its light and full of humour style. Deepening my Scrivener skills using this book is a lot of fun for me.

The use of this book is described in the introduction to the book, containing in addition to general information about the book also the following sections:

    • Conventions Used in This Book
    • What You’re Not to Read
    • Foolish Assumptions
    • How This Book Is Organized.

The information is these sections summarizes for example what is the book is about and what it is not about:

“This book is not a philosophical work on the theory and value of writing software. In my house, that kind of book would be a doorstop.”

The section “How This Book Is Organized” tells how the book is structured and offers a short description of each of its parts.

And as all books “For Dummies” it contains a legend and conventions for the codes and icons.

You will also find there that you need certain skills to start working with Scrivener, such as clicking and drag and drop, while at the same time there is a simply, fun and memorable explanation how these are done.

Some often used key-combinations are listed in the Introduction as well.

The introduction of this book is a combination of navigation and use business rules. It also summarizes how and with what purpose the book was created, as well as which skills are needed before its use and which will be acquired during and after reading it (implementation and production, as well as management business rules).

Based on this example we can say that the business rules on the use of a product or service:

    1. relate directly to management and navigation business rules types and at least partially to the implementation and production rules as well.
    2. They specify the skills needed for each procedure during the use/operation of a product/service. This relates to management business rules as well.
    3. These rules are partially or completely presented to the end-user of the product or service. They might also vary for various types of users. For example, script-writers are presented in Scrivener with different kind of introduction to the screenplay template than the fiction writers to the two available templates for novels.
    4. These rules usually offer a summary of new terminology (including often used abbreviations and acronyms) and of knowledge or results, which are acquired during the use of the product/service.
    5. They specify what other conditions (in addition to skills) are mandatory for successful use of the given product/service, such as wireless connection, power, running water, day/night time, minimum/maximum operation temperature and humidity, availability of certain tools and supplies, etc.

I would like to end this article with another example of how to use a non-fiction book. This is an excerpt from a book “Practical Enlightenment”, written by award winning authors Ariel and Shya Kane and which can be found among self-help and spiritual books on . The following quote is from the foreword by the best-selling author Menna van Praag:

“I recommend that you read Practical Enlightenment in the same way you would read a fairy tale. Simply immerse yourself in the story. “Listen” to the words without applying anything as “advice” to fix yourself. This book isn’t a pill to fix your flaws and make you perfect. It’s a light to illuminate inside of you the natural knowing that you already are prefect, exactly as you are. When you experience that, you will experience enlightenment.”


This post is a part of “Business rules: General”, copyright © 2015-2016 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels