Thursday, 28 June 2018 12:19

A 3-D View to Understanding the BABOK

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As a business analyst practitioner and facilitator, I often find myself cautioning those individuals who are embarking on certification to pay particular attention to 2 key things when studying for either the CCBA Exam or the CBAP Exam.

  1. Do not read the BABOK from front to back or put another way, do not read it in a linear fashion!
  2. Rely heavily on your experiences and pragmatic approach to business analysis.

Here is how I start off the conversation with BA Certification candidates;

"If you had to choose a Knowledge Area or Task outlined in the BABOK, which one would you start with?"

As you can imagine responses are wide and varied some respond with Strategy Analysis, others with Elicitation and Collaboration while others are adamat that all business analysis activities must start with Planning and Monitoring.

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The truth is ALL business analysis activities must start with a business need. All business needs must consider validity to the business and feasibility.

The sixty four million dollar question now becomes how do we go about doing this?

The answer quite frankly is not an easy one, and this is where the 3-D approach comes into play.


Consider This Business Analysis Exam Study Tip

In order to understand the business need it is likely we are going to want to engage with stakeholders, this means we would need to a. identify stakeholders and b. conduct some sort of elicitation activity to do so. In order o identify stakeholders we may have to undertake some sort of current state analysis by modeling out the organization or developing a context diagram.

And there you have it! To simply understand the business need we have evoked activities from the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, Eliciation and Collaboration, Strategy Analysis and Requirements Analysis and Design Definition, all these activities have collided together for the sake of on task - understanding the business need, and we have yet to begin to understand what the solution may look like, if in fact it is feasible!

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For exam preparation I would strongly suggest that you consider reviewing the input and output diagrams as this will paint the 3D story of how knowledge areas and tasks are closely inter-related here's a classic example.

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Note all tasks that use the output from task 3.1 Plan the Business Analsyis Approach

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There certainly are a great deal of tasks dependent on the output for task 6.2 Define the future state!

Would you like a copy of a comprehensive map that demonstrates all the relationships between knowledge areas?

Check this Out >>> The New IIBA Business Analysis Core Standard

 Glenn Brûlé

Glenn brings more than two decades of focused business analysis experience to every client engagement. Ranked in the world’s top ten as a subject matter expert, Glenn works directly with clients to build and mature their business analysis capabilities.

A recognised expert in the creation and maturity of Business Analysis Centres or Excellence, Glenn has guided clients in the energy, financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, insurance and automotive industries, as well as government agencies across the world. His approach to maturing requirements management and development capabilities focuses on short-term reduction in costs, resources and time to market while charting a path to long-term change that drives organisations competitively forward.

As a Certified Scrum Master, CSM, Glenn is a proven leader when it comes to working in Agile environments. He is most passionate about ensuring that self organising teams are winning teams that appreciate the ever changing dynamics of a culture that is shifting towards an Agile environment.

Traveling extensively to speak at conferences, and work with clients Glenn is afforded a rare global viewpoint on the state of BA. Recent travels have taken him to six continents where he has spoken before more than 14,000 business leaders. This on-the-ground experience provides a reality-based perspective of BA in regions around the world and proven guidance on how to overcome geographic, cultural and language barriers.

In 2009, Glenn published his first two works, the CBAP™ Exam: Practice Test and Study Guide and Business Analysis Terms, 1st edition. He is also a regular contributor to Modern Analyst and BA Times as well as other industry publications. Glenn is also the owner of SLIDE21 & The Hippo-Campus - the worlds leading platform for BA Certification Preparation and can be contacted at

As a founding board member of IIBA® and former Vice President, Chapters, Glenn drives the advancement of the BA profession globally. His personal commitment and involvement has resulted in the founding of chapters in more than a dozen countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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