Ian Graham (of Trireme) pointed out a great example of a government project that should have used business rules - Jobcentre Plus misses deadline. This story, courtesy of the British Government, tells of a simple increase in an allowance that failed to make it into a system despite a year's notice. As the article says
Software experts say such a minor change would only take so long if the earlier rules had been hard-coded into the software.
I have to contrast this experience with my friends at Egg (also in the UK) who change their rules themselves without IT involvement and who have made 40 changes in 3 years without even having to re-start the rule server and who take 2 days to make a change like this. Or, to use a government example, my friends at the Department of Motor Vehicles in California whose licensing system brings in $4B annually in revenue and who can make a 20 rule change in less than a month. This is not rocket-science, plenty of companies and government agencies are using business rules management systems to build for change.
I'll close with the comment Computing made - We need a change in attitude - "Change needs to be built into IT from the start".