Business Analysis. Method without Madness
Effective business analysis is required before funding a project that impacts your business processes. For example, a system implementation, process automation, new process introduction, or a compliance initiative.
Business Analysis will ensure:
- Your needs and requirements are clearly specified
- You can quantify the benefits or return on investment of the desired solution
- You can deploy a solution with least risk, cost and duration
- Your solution is properly adopted by your users.
Many projects fail, because of inadequate business analysis. This is often because organizations lacks the relevant business analysis skills or the willingness to because to fund the business analysis phase of the project.
Effective business analysis will reveal
- Where things go wrong and why
- Wasted effort, time and cost
- Simplification options
- Automation options
- Behavioural change requirements
- New or modified processes
And will enable you to prepare a Statement of Work to deliver the required changes
This note describes the business process methodology that we use when planning CRM deployment for our clients.
The Business Analysis Process Map
We recommend Elements Cloud, a powerful and elegant process mapping application that is available at no charge and which integrates with Salesforce.com. We have created a business Process Map shown below that describes the Business Analysis process that you are welcome to use. If you would like complimentary access to this detailed process map, please register to access the Xenogenix Ltd map space by clicking on the following link: https://app.q9elements.com/signup?team=58bd8d063fa4ae054975b438&partner=XA1044
Here is an image of the process map that is available to you;
The process map offers a pictorial narrative of each sequential activity step of the process . The ‘Activity Boxes’ are triggered by an input state or condition and will have one or more output states or conditions.
Each activity box will have one or more associated resources. These may be either human or system resources.
An activity box such as box 1 may have a highlighted upper left corner, which signifies that there is a more decomposed level of process detail available on a lower hierarchy of the map. This level of process detail can be reached by clicking on the highlighted corner of the activity box.
For example level 1.1 of this process map reveals the following process detail.
Step by Step Business Analysis
The overall process contains the steps as in fig.1. . We show the steps required if
a) current processes have already been mapped and analysed (see the link from box 1 to box 4 ) and
b) if the current ‘As Is’ processes need to be analysed. (see the link from Box 1 to Box 2)
Initiate , Plan and approve the project
Inevitably it is tempting to avoid running a Business Analysis work plan outside of a formal project structure. This temptation will often lead to project failure so we advise that you avoid it!
The project Sponsor should initiate and source funds for the project and appoint the Business Analyst and, if required, a Project Manager. These resources should confirm the project Stakeholders and appoint the rest of the project team.
We find that a Business process change project will often require some sort of survey of the stakeholders to get an understanding of the effectiveness and understanding of the current processes and what future changes or improvements are most important.
The survey results will inform the goals, objectives and scope of the project.
The Project manager can then define a viable project plan for approval by the sponsor.
Map Current Processes for Business Analysis
Once the project is approved, the project manager should appoint people to the team who have a thorough grasp of how the current processes work in practice.
This team can then create an ‘Enterprise’ process model that shows the interdependency of all the processes. The drill down on box 2 shows an example enterprise process model for a B2B entity.
Once the Enterprise model is defined, the project team can define those processes that are in scope for this Business Analysis project.
Capture In scope processes.
The Elements cloud application and methodology makes it very easy to capture processes that can be easily understood.
Each process starts with one or more Input conditions or states which are captured on flowlines with an arrow termination.
An activity that follows an input flowline s described (using subject verb object phrase) in an activity box. Resources are added to the activity box.
Once the process flow is mapped (end of box 3) then it may be required to capture the CRM data object field information that is needed at each activity step. (See section
Also you may need to add procedure notes, activity step notes to some of the activity boxes in the map.
Analyse Current Processes
Once the in scope processes have been mapped, the processes can be analysed for problems and improvements.
We recommend the creation of a scoring matrix to evaluate the relative priority of each problem or issue. The example matrix shown below assesses:
• the relative impact of the process problem on critical performance objectives for this client, and
• the degree of difficulty in the proposed solution
Once the Scoring matrix has been agreed, then in Box 2, the process team should ask themselves ‘ What are the problems with this activity step?
Box 3: They should express the issue as a problem statement and estimate the impact that this problem has on each of the issue attribute. and summarise the analysis in a ‘Data Table ‘ attachment on the respective activity record.
Box 4: Having identified the problem statement, the team should create a solution statement and estimate the potential difficulty of implementing the solution.
The following example map , box 8 contains such a data table attachment
When clicking on this data table the business analyst can create a data table record similar to the following example:
Design Future State Process(es) and Solutions
This process is identical to the process to capture as Is processes. However it is more important to capture the Data Object field requirements for each activity to build a Data Dictionary for each System Data Object.
System Integration : Map Inter system data flows
This is not an easy task, but we advocate the following method:
Box 1: Create a process flow map for activities performed by the system(s)
Box 2: If there is System UI available, then screenshot each UI page and attach to each relevant process activity box
Box 3: Document the field attributes and data transformations used on each activity step. You can use a Data Table to record the field attribute data
Build Data Model and Data Dictionary
You can use the elements map to create a data model schematic. Here is an example.
To build a data dictionary, you may choose whether to complete a spreadsheet template or use a Data Table such as the example shown below:
Prepare Statement of Work
Once the processes and data flows have been defined, the analyst can prepare a statement of work which will define a costed work plan to deliver the solution.
Close the Project
Once the SOW is accepted, then the project manager should close the project.
If you need help with your CRM business analysis, we can help!
Give us a call on 08456 525 625 or fill in your details: