Business Processes & System Requirements

Business Processes & System Requirements

The challenge

Information technology is only useful insofar as it supports the business processes an organisation carries out to meet its aims and objectives. The better the integration between technology and processes, the more efficient and effective the organisation is likely to be. Put simply, business processes are the best way to define and explain your requirements for supporting information system. The challenge is that, while the characteristics and capabilities of equipment and software can be quite precisely defined, business process are mostly organic, rooted in history, and often quite opaque. They may also be flawed, inefficient and – sometimes – completely unnecessary.

The challenge
How we can help

How we can help

Adapta consultants benefit from a broad range of technology-specific knowledge and skills – but we also focus on business process analysis and improvement, where our team draws on the combined experience of all business areas: finance, fundraising, grant management, marketing, and volunteer management and more. Our approach benefits further from long experience with many not-for-profit organisations, meaning that our business process work begins with a ready-made appreciation of third-sector culture and constraint. We understand why charities, membership bodies, trusts and others have the decision-making and other arrangements that may seem odd to those outside the sector.

We recommend a staged approach to our business process work:

Stage 1 - we identify with you the current (high-level) business processes operating in your organisation and how you would like to measure any potential improvements (eg “faster?” ; “cheaper?”, “more transparent?”, “more effective?”)

Stage 2 - we plan with you a series of workshops to document and discuss the key processes, and we agree the managers and staff who need to be involved

Stage 3 - we facilitate the workshops, document the outputs, review them with you and refine the outputs further as appropriate

Stage 4 - (optionally) we run further workshops to consider and document improvements to the current processes

Stage 5 - (optionally) we consolidate the process documentation (and potentially any proposed improvements) into a format for later inclusion in a requirements specification for the supporting information technology

How we can help How we can help

What we will deliver

We always agree the format and level of detail of our deliverables in advance of starting work. Depending on the scope of the review – and the intended audience – we will produce deliverables in the format and to the level of detail you need. Our standard format for business process documentation is a “swim lane” description using Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel or Visio (though we can also produce the documentation in other popular formats if preferred).

Alongside the process flow diagrams, we can also provide extensive narrative, schedules of the key control points and a list of critical data items for separate entity modelling.

What we will deliver
How we can help

Our credentials

Workshop facilitation is a specialist skill in its own right. Our consultants are trained and experienced in managing workshops – including groups with diverse organisational interests and priorities. We are able to work across all business areas and our experience with so many other organisations facing similar challenges means that we can bring suggestions for change that will improve efficiency and optimise the use of technology while retaining the cultural elements that make your organisation unique.

Our credentials

What our clients say

, Rebecca Pritchard
Client Quote

Rebecca Pritchard
Former Director of Operations, Crisis

"Adapta have been honest and realistic with us throughout. They are clear where they can add value and where we can do things on our own – so it feels like a partnership..."

, James Kliffen
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James Kliffen
Head of Fundraising, MSF UK

"You have had a huge influence in our fundraising, and I would enthusiastically recommend you to other charities (and often have)..."

, Phil Durbin
Client Quote

Phil Durbin
Former Head of Corporate Systems, Salvation Army

"Unlike many consultants, Adapta won’t tell you what you expect to hear. They will be very honest and challenging and, even if some of what they say is uncomfortable to hear, it means you end up getting better advice."

, Dawn Varley
Client Quote

Dawn Varley
Operations & Strategy Director, Badger Trust

"I knew I could task them with my problem, and leave them to undertake the work in a professional yet friendly way, bringing their expertise and experience to the project…"

, Iain McSeveney
Client Quote

Iain McSeveney
Finance Director, Medical Aid for Palestinians

"I’m very pleased with the professional way that Adapta managed the project for the selection of MAP’s new accounting software. It was obvious that they have great experience in the charity sector and on the range of suitable accounting software currently on the market..."

, Rachel Rand
Client Quote

Rachel Rand
Strategic Director - Finance and Corporate Services, NCB

"I would not embark on any IT project without first meeting with Adapta to understand how they feel they could support me. I have found their guidance and practical support invaluable…"

, Rosalba Leonelli
Client Quote

Rosalba Leonelli
Head of Finance, Client Earth

"Thank you to you and your team for developing and facilitating an excellent workshop. You fully understood our needs which were evident in the workshop structure and content…"


We strive to support a dynamic, impactful sector that leads through innovation and collaborative thinking. We are continually amazed by the incredible work the sector does and the support it gives to make a difference to millions of lives in the UK and across the world. View the organisations we work with here.

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Case Studies

Our case studies provide real examples of the support and advice we give organisations, detailing the issues and challenges each faced and how, together, we were able to help them.