Are Overcomplicated Business Rules Destroying Value?

In his usual cerebral way, Tim Cummins recently blogged about the concept of whether business rules are destroying contracting value inside industries and companies. I especially enjoy his analysis of why we're prone to creating too many rules. Tim writes that "there is a natural inclination to want more rules". Why? Because rules are "surely the route to greater power and more resources and to ensure control over the ignorance or poor judgment of others." But this approach also introduces its own set of issues such as a "quintessential 'police force' mentality -- and as the challenges of modern policing reveal, it is not especially effective and becomes a slippery slope of ever-greater constraints on freedom."

How does this manifest in the real-world? In the comments section of the post, a reader chimed in to Tim’s post and cited a concrete example of where rules can hurt contracting in the form of HIPAA privacy rules that health care providers must abide by. In the buy-side contracting world, I've seen strict "rules" around indemnification, for example, get in the way of agreements, not to mention cost savings. Perhaps we should take a more optimization-driven approach to many rules, letting suppliers tell us what certain rules are worth. Then decide whether or not we can Rule without them.

- Jason Busch

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