Business Analysis vs. Systems Analysis (WHAT vs. HOW) for the CRM project

There is a range of analysis activities that go into a CRM project. It is important to place business analysis in its context by contrasting it from Systems Analysis. Business Analysis identifies what it takes the business to evolve from its current state to an aspired one. Systems Analysis on the other hand directly addresses the requirements of systems being developed.

Business Analysis addresses WHAT is being implemented and Systems Analysis leads to design that answers HOW the solution will be implemented.

As an illustration – Business Analysis lists the ability to support three types of campaigns (email, trade shows and webinars) as a requirement for the CRM system. The deliverable from Systems Analysis specifies the Campaign Page Layout include a picklist for these 3 types campaigns, and for each type of campaign, have fields that are specific to the campaign type

Of course, these distinctions between the terms Business and System Analysis are at best gray and depend on the organization, size and scope of the implementation.

Bottom line is -Avoid the pitfall of making unreasonable assumptions that your project team is on the same page on what the Business Analysis tasks and deliverables for your CRM initiatives include. Clarify for yourself, your project team and to the project stakeholders at large the Business Analyst’s scope of activities. You need your Business Analysts to appreciate the strategic intent of the project and understand how their work is translated downstream to requirements for the system being developed.

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.