3.2.1 What is system and process analysis?

System and process analysis are tools which can be used to define the innovation needs of a business problem. System analysis is a method that helps businesses pinpoint where changes need to be made in the system, so that limited resources can be focused on those areas. Process analysis determines what steps within a task are required to create a measurable output. It provides an opportunity to identify problem points in a workflow, understand the factors that affect performance, and question why certain actions are taken.1

System and process analysis are the key points for achieving successful innovation output. They are tools to define the innovation needs of a business problem. A business problem however is sometimes hard to define. In fact often, different people see the problem in different ways. Unless the problem is clearly defined, articulated, documented and understood, there is not much chance of delivering a successful project.

For identifying your business problem, answer these three questions:

1. Our main problems in business are    
    (What is the adverse situation?)
2. Our business problems are mostly affected by
    (Who are the stakeholders?)
3. The impact of problems are
    (What is the impact of the problem?)


The business problem is that we cannot track contact with each of our customer, which affects our staff - particularly in Sales and Dispatch. The impact is that we do not know of problems with orders until it is too late to do anything to resolve the problems.2

1 InnoSupport: Supporting Innovations in SME. 3.2 System and Process Analysis. 2005