So, I'm finally back from the Business Rules Forum and have one thought about what I witnessed. One of the BoF sessions I attended was all about rule management, addressing concerns about rule authoring, permissions, analysis and deployment. 98% of the audience came from "the business side" of the enterprise. A repeated theme was that they don't trust their business people necessarily to write and deploy rules. They still want the IT staff involved to do rule analysis and the actual deployment. Some audience members raised concerns that folks on the business side don't know how to write business rules. This scares me. If you're on the business side of the enterprise, your job is to write the rules, whether they are implemented via IT resources or if they are merely policies in a manual or the way you deal with customers. Business rules are the way you do business, and IT is certainly not (or shouldn't be) the expert in that regard.
I'll admit that currently there are technical limitations to allowing business folks to write and deploy rules on IT infrastructure without the intervention of IT staff. But ultimately, IT should be transparent and the people who write the rules (ie, who run the business) on a daily basis should simply be able to do so. If a business person can't write business rules, perhaps he should be flipping burgers down at Krusty Burger.
Of course, I'm also fully aware that some/many business folks don't know how to write rules and only can keep their jobs because it takes IT quite a while to realized bogus rules in code, and by then, it's assumed that it's IT's fault the system doesn't work or make sense. A transparent business rule facilitating technology will make the business side of the enterprise more directly accountable for their decisions. Be careful what you wish for.