Don’t Forget the End User — Lessons from CRM and Decision Management Failures

on April 11, 2024
design for end user

Design for the End User

Product and services are designed for the end user, the people that will actually be using them. This seems like a no-brainer, but often times end users are ignored, as the market is flooded with things that no one ever buys. Organizations often overlook end users as well, especially when it comes to IT projects. It’s no wonder that many if not most projects fail.

CRM Project Failure Example

Recently, we spoke with a business analyst that works for a major professional organization. She was tasked with implementing a new CRM system. This was a major project, including gathering requirements from various teams, shortlisting and selecting a vendor, finding the right implementation partner, and developing the training material. After over a year’s work and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested, the new CRM system was up and running. Success? It depends on how you define the metrics. The business analyst met all her deliverables yet adoption was less than 10%. It turns out the leaders that spearheaded the project never included the end users in the process. The value of the new CRM system wasn’t clear to them and useability was less than desirable.

Fintech Decision Management Failure Example

One of our fintech clients had a “working” solution for automating key decisions in Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, and Accounting: all business rules were hard-coded. This meant that the decision logic was inaccessible by the end user, the business analysts and domain experts that manage these decisions. Any modifications to the rules, no matter how small, required significant IT intervention. As a result, they had high maintenance costs and were unable to respond to the market changes in a timely manner.

End Users are One of Many Stakeholders

The fintech had considered leveraging out-of-the-box applications to solve their end user problem. These supposed “turnkey solutions” did offer graphical interfaces that were easy to navigate and use. However, none of the them had the functionality and flexibility to cover all their use cases. The company would still need to build out many applications in order to meet the service and reporting needs of various stakeholders including customer service reps, managers, and customers. Maintenance costs would continue to be high, if not even higher than with their legacy system.

Decision Management for All Stakeholders

To solve these challenges, the company selected SMARTS™ decision management platform, as its core middleware. SMARTS™ provided the functionality, flexibility, and useability the company needed to support decision management throughout the entire lifecycle of an automated decision. While their IT team was involved in initial setup and integration, after SMARTS™ was in place, business users from the different departments were able to define the data structure, design, test, and deploy the decision flow and business rules, and monitor business performance themselves.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Through implementing SMARTS™, the fintech company was able to drastically reduce the development cycle and improve overall business performance. Now business analysts and domain experts have full control over business rules. They can author, test, modify, and publish them without IT intervention. This has allowed their IT team to focus on monitoring overall system performance. As a result, they achieved the following:

  • Publish around 6,000 releases in one year. With their legacy system, publishing 100 releases was challenging as each release took several days.
  • Reduce average processing time by 80% to around 30 milliseconds. With SMARTS™, the company is now able to automate millions of transactions each day!

Want to learn more about how Sparkling Logic and SMARTS™ is supporting business analysts in driving business performance?

Come see us at BBC 2024. Carole-Ann Berlioz, Co-Founder and CPO at Sparkling Logic, will be among the leading business rules experts that will be presenting. Learn how to effectively transform requirements into business rules that are easy to understand, implement, test, and manage. 

In addition, learn how we’re leveraging generative AI with AI Assistant to make decision management tasks even easier for business analysts.

Search Posts by Category


Sparkling Logic Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company dedicated to helping organizations automate and optimize key decisions in daily business operations and customer interactions in a low-code, no-code environment. Our core product, SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Manager, is an all-in-one decision management platform designed for business analysts to quickly automate and continuously optimize complex operational decisions. Learn more by requesting a live demo or free trial today.