Choosing a Business Analysis Type: Built-In Functionality Vs. Custom Engineering

Business Analysis BoxAfter deciding whether your analysis will be tactical or strategic, the next step in Business Analysis is identifying what kind of functionality you need from your software system.

Will you use the built-in functionality, or will you also need custom engineering? Do you need the features available out-of-the-box, or do you need more than that?

The majority of businesses prefer to use the built-in functionality. Their strategic decision is going with a new software platform that brings built-in best practices. But some businesses prefer or require custom software engineering because no software automates its processes out of the box.

The functionality you need, built-in or custom, determines the type of analysis you need.

Gap/Fit Analysis

A Gap/Fit Analysis is for businesses that plan to use the built-in functionality of the software.

A Gap/Fit Analysis is for businesses that plan to use the built-in functionality of the software.

The analysis examines how to automate business processes and activities within the existing software functionality, or the fits. It also examines processes and activities that can’t be automated by the software, or the gaps.

Gaps are expected. No software system automates every unique process for every business. The analysis therefore also examines how to fill the gaps. Gaps are typically filled by a manual process or activity; by subscribing to other software modules from your provider; by using software from another provider; or through custom software engineering (which would then lead to Business Process Engineering Analysis).

A Gap/Fit Analysis identifies how a software solution fits a business out-of-the-box and, when it doesn’t, how to fill in the gaps.

Business Process Engineering Analysis

A Business Process Engineering Analysis is for businesses that plan to use functionality that doesn’t yet exist in the software.

A Business Process Engineering Analysis is for businesses that plan to use functionality that doesn’t yet exist in the software. It is inherently more complex than a Gap/Fit Analysis because it starts from the ground up.

The analysis first defines the business process that needs to be automated, which includes business modeling and business process definitions that take into account structure, policies, and operations. The technology provider then designs a solution based on the Business Process Definition and, after approval, develops it.

Additionally the analysis and development may involve multiple systems, such as a legacy system that isn’t going away, that need to be integrated. This in turn requires Integration Analysis.

A Business Process Engineering Analysis identifies how to add new functionality to the software platform based on what the customer requires it to do.

How to Choose

Strategic Tactical
Gap/Fit Focuses on processes within existing software functionality Focuses on activities within existing software functionality
Business Process Engineering Focuses on processes outside existing software functionality Focuses on activities outside existing software functionality

The majority of customers prefer a Gap/Fit Analysis. They want to leverage the best practices built into the software, or take a fresh look at the software to see how to further leverage it. The Gap/Fit Analysis is focused on existing processes and existing functionality, so it’s quicker to perform and requires a smaller investment with quicker return on investment.

Since the Business Process Engineering Analysis starts from the ground up and ultimately requires design and development, it is a broader analysis that takes more time and requires a larger investment with longer return on investment – but also possibly a greater return.

It’s not uncommon to do a combination of both analyses. For example, a business likely wouldn’t jump into a Business Process Engineering Analysis for new functionality without first doing a Gap/Fit Analysis that examines the existing functionality. Likewise, a business that does a Gap/Fit Analysis might identify a gap that is best filled through development, leading to a Business Process Engineering Analysis.

Your Software System Can Do More

Business Analysis Services are the way to make sure you’re always getting the most out of your technology. You need to talk the people who know technology best — the people who develop it.

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