If you’re a Government or corporation creating new policies, regulations, or even laws for COVID-19, rules as code presents a whole bunch of benefits.

What is Rules as Code?

Rules are policies, business rules, regulations, and in Government organisations they can be the actual law. Nearly every rule written ends up being interpreted in to systems, websites, apps, or connected devices.

Rules as Code is an approach that acknowledges this, and rather than writing a document which needs human interpretation, creates actual logical rules that other systems can interact with directly (an API). …

Service Design is a strange and inconsistent thing. Few fully understand what the ‘service’ part refers to, and by extension the value in practicing service design gets lost in assumption.

The existential design problem

As a result of the confusion our collective practice has experienced, for many people Service Design stopped being about making stuff, and started being about processes and methodologies.

All sorts of newfangled ‘labs’ sprung up. The word innovation was thrown around like dollar bills in a lewd hip hop music video. We’d finally found the panacea for turning those pesky ambiguous problems in to plausible products and services.

But it didn’t always work. In some cases because of the way those teams worked, and in some cases because of the weird and wonderful ‘problems’ they were asked to solve. …

Last year I started working on “rules as code” – a government project to draft machine readable laws and policies, rather than just human readable ones.

One of the questions that came up a lot when we discussed creating a computerised version of government rules was “what happens to discretion?”

The answer is simple: nothing.

All that we do when we codify the law is make a version that says whether a scenario definitely does, or definitely does not follow some measurable rules. …


TJ Harrop

RegTech Product guy. Currently NSW Government. Prev: UK Gov, Jaguar Land Rover, Apple & more stuff. Been around the block. Ex digi lecturer. Designers can code!

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