Top 5 Business Analysis Activities on a CRM Project, Beyond Requirements

‘Business Analysis’ is an umbrella term that gets used often too narrowly for requirements gathering and acting as the bridge between users and development teams on projects.

Our point of view is that Business Analysis is about investigating the business situation, planning out how it may be improved upon, evaluating and recommending potential solutions and working with users on deployment and training; all this in addition to eliciting, analyzing and documenting the requirements of systems, IT or otherwise.

Here is our take at what a Business Analyst does outside requirements management on a CRM initiative. We cover aspects that involve activities leading up to the project; and during and after the implementation, working with users on implementing and championing a new and improved business process.

1. Map the Strategic Context and Intent for the Project to its Implementation.

While it is true that in most organizations at most times, it is the senior executives or a dedicated internal strategy team, or even a specialist consultant team conducting such strategic analysis, the Business Analyst translates the strategic context to project scope and priorities.

2. Identify and Manage Stakeholders.

Think of stakeholders as consisting of choosers and users of the system. While the Project Manager may take the lead on communicating with the choosers of the system, the Business Analyst is responsible for analyzing the landscape for identifying all stakeholders.

3. Prepare Business Case for the Project

The analysis of project benefits and costs, the documentation of risk, impact and mitigation strategies is the essence of a Business Case that every significant CRM initiative will need to present to the Project Sponsors. While keeping an eye for the costs is the full time activity of a Project Manager, the Business Analyst becomes the custodian of Benefits realization from the project.

Preparing the business case also involves mapping the high level requirements to available solution options, evaluating their fit for the project needs.

4. Prepare Project Scope

The scope of the project drives the expectations around the project – in terms of costs, timelines and benefits derived. The data, business process and external systems under consideration to include in a CRM implementation are documented as part of the Project Scope. Scoping involves a study of the business drivers, prioritizing functionality that makes the biggest business impact. The Business Analyst is the top advisor to the Project Manager for this activity.

5. Ensure User Adoption

It is common for Business Analysts to also wear the hat of a Training Manager or Change Management specialist on a project. It is one thing to think of user adoption as an activity or after thought at the end of a solution being developed but in the well-run project with an effective Business Analyst; this role is the voice of user adoption even during upstream activities such as requirements, design and development.

Related articles from the Varasi team covering the 5 themes above: Click to know more.

    Ramana Metlapalli
    Ramana Metlapalli
    Ramana is a Managing Principal at Varasi. Ramana is a lifelong learner and eternally curious about what goes into making some individuals and organizations, high performance ones. He writes about Business Analysis, Salesforce best practices and the world of Consulting.