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Decision Model and Notation (DMN)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Decision Model and Notation (DMN) is a formalized method of making and mapping out decisions through official business processes.

DMN is used across enterprise businesses to ensure consistent, repeatable decision making and modeling. The DMN method has been adopted by A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide), a highly regarded collection of standard business analysis practices.

In DMN, diagrams are used to notate the decision-making process. The parts played by individuals and departments are documented and the process itself is guided by the formal rules of DMN. Notation is expressed in a simplified language, Friendly Enough Expression Language (FEEL), which maintains clarity and supports automated decision making.

Common formalized rules, language, methods and mapping of a decision process help ensure thorough analysis of requirements and challenges for decisions, while making communication clear across departments and organizations. DMN is used in a complementary way with business modeling and process notation (BPMN). The two methodologies are used in separate stages to keep decisions out of business processes. This separation keeps processes smooth and removes potential complications.

DMN is a creation of the Object Management Group (OMG), a not-for-profit technology standards consortium. The group includes vendors, individuals and academic and government organizations. DMN was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts.

This was last updated in September 2018

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