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Introduction to Business Analysis Body of Knowledge

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Welcome to the first post from a series called “Introduction to BABOK®”. The goal of this series is to introduce you to the business analysis framework defined in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® for short) and the organisation behind it: the International Institute of Business Analysis. If you have never heard of BABOK® this and the upcoming posts are a good starting point to learn more about it.

Structure of the series

Starting from today (01/09/2020) we will post about BABOK® weekly.Each post will be dedicated to one aspect of this great publication. At the end of this series you will understand its major elements: the Business Analysis Core Concept Model, BA Framework with Key Knowledge Areas, and a set of competencies of Business Analysts.

Are you ready? Let’s start!

What is BABOK®?

BABOK® is a guide for professionals active in the field of business analysis. It contains the business analysis framework: a collection of best practices split into the following six areas of activity (called key knowledge areas):

  • Business analysis planning and monitoring,
  • Elicitation and collaboration
  • Requirements life cycle management
  • Strategy analysis
  • Requirements analysis and design definition
  • Solution evaluation

We will explain these key knowledge areas in detail in the upcoming posts.

BABOK® has been developed by practitioners for practitioners. The business analysis tasks, defined in knowledge areas, are described with guidelines on how to perform them: inputs, outputs, stakeholders to be involved, guidelines and a list of techniques that one may use to gain the predefined result.

Next, BABOK® dedicates a separate chapter to competencies of business analysis professionals: personal qualities, knowledge and skills a person should posses to be effective in the Business Analyst role.

The field of business analysis is very broad. To cover this breadth, BABOK® defines perspectives that explain how business analysis activities look in different environments, for different initiatives. BABOK® V3 depicts five perspectives:

  • Agile
  • Business intelligence
  • Information technology
  • Business architecture
  • Business process management

What is IIBA®?

IIBA® stands for the International Institute of Business Analysis™. It is a non-profit organisation striving for professionalization of the business analysis field. It creates a community for business analysis professionals: internationally and locally, through chapters.

Everybody who has interest in business analysis can become a member of the international community. Members get access to BABOK®, IIBA® reports and publications, webinars, an on-line library and more. Additionally IIBA® also offers multiple certifications in business analysis: for starters, mid-career, as well as experienced professionals. The certifications are available at great discount to IIBA® members. We have already published two posts dedicated to the ECBA™ certification and CCBA® certification.

Through local chapters, IIBA® brings like-minded people together to discuss locally relevant topics, to prepare for exams, and to share knowledge and experiences during events/meet-ups.

Why is BABOK® important to you and business analysis activities?

BABOK® defines a framework for business analysis activities. This framework can help you with:

  • Deciding upon an approach for how to tackle your business analysis assignment.
  • Establishing a common language; you can rely on definitions from BABOK® – they are industry standards. You can use these definitions to create common understanding among your stakeholders and allow them to communicate clearly.

Tools and techniques form the toolbox of a Business Analyst. It is a known phenomenon that we often choose a technique we are proficient with and not the one best suited to the situation at hand. This may result in business analysis results that are not optimal. Each BABOK® task description includes a list of appropriate techniques to use. It also explains how to use each technique making it easier to apply. Experimenting with techniques extends our toolbox and helps us grow in the business analysis role.

The competencies for business analysis defined in BABOK® can be used for assessment of our own skill set and helps us become better in what we do. They will be explained in a separate email.

The next post in this “Introduction to BABOK®” series will explain the core concepts of business analysis.

Have a great day!

References: BABOK V3