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BABOK Version 3 vs. Version 2 – Taming the Guide – Part 2: Techniques

In Part 1 we started our comparison of BABOK version 3 and its predecessor, version 2. We outlined the Knowledge Area and Tasks that are changing with the new release and showed where the major changes are occurring. Our view is there were substantive, but not necessarily shocking changes in the versions pertaining to the KAs and Tasks. Now we turn our attention to the updates of the General Techniques in the latest BABOK version.


General BABOK techniques are another major area of change in BABOK v3, which we cover second for similar reasons as we did for the KAs. Namely, the amount of familiarity people have for the v2 techniques will help make understanding the changes in v3 a bit easier.

Version 2 of the BABOK included 34 general techniques and 15 task-specific techniques. Version 3 has added 16 additional general techniques, a whopping 47% increase. We could debate whether such an increase was needed, but one thing is certain: there are several new techniques to master if you plan to pass the CBAP or CCBA exam. And, for those using the BABOK as a general reference, Business Analysis has more techniques than ever that are regarded as generally accepted in the industry.

See Table 1 below for a summary of both the stability and changes to general techniques from BABOK version 2 to 3.

Technique Same Rename New Notes
10.1 Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria X      
10.2 Backlog Management     X  
10.3 Balanced Scorecard     X  
10.4 Benchmarking and Market Analysis   X   Added “Market Analysis”
10.5 Brainstorming X      
10.6 Business Capability Analysis     X  
10.7 Business Cases     X Was a task in v2
10.8 Business Model Canvas     X  
10.9 Business Rules Analysis X      
10.10 Collaborative Games     X  
10.11 Concept Modelling     X  
10.12 Data Dictionary   X   Dropped “Glossary”
10.13 Data Flow Diagrams X      
10.14 Data Mining     X Most applicable to BI Perspective
10.15 Data Modelling X      
10.16 Decision Analysis X      
10.17 Decision Modelling     X Includes Decision Tables and Decision Trees, both part of “Decision Analysis” in v2
10.18 Document Analysis X      
10.19 Estimation X      
10.20 Financial Analysis     X Moved from Enterprise Analysis in v2
10.21 Focus Groups X      
10.22 Functional Decomposition X      
10.23 Glossary     X Split off from v2 Data Dictionary & Glossary
10.24 Interface Analysis X      
10.25 Interviews X      
10.26 Item Tracking   X   In v2 were part of “Problem Tracking” and an Element in “Manage Solution Scope & Requirements”
10.27 Lessons Learned X     Dropped “Process” from title
10.28 Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) X      
10.29 Mind Mapping     X  
10.30 Non-Functional Requirements Analysis X      
10.31 Observation X      
10.32 Organizational Modelling X      
10.33 Prioritization     X Previously were techniques in “Prioritize Requirements” in v2
10.34 Process Analysis     X Includes SIPOC and Value Stream Mapping, arguably part of process modeling
10.35 Process Modelling X      
10.36 Prototyping X      
10.37 Reviews   X   Formerly “Structured Walkthrough” in v2
10.38 Risk Analysis and Management   X   Formerly “Risk Analysis” in v2
10.39 Roles and Permissions Matrix     X Previously techniques in “Conduct Stakeholder Analysis” in v2
10.40 Root Cause Analysis X      
10.41 Scope Modelling X      
10.42 Sequence Diagrams X      
10.43 Stakeholder List, Map, or Personas     X Previously techniques in “Conduct Stakeholder Analysis” in v2
10.44 State Modelling   X   Called “State Diagrams” in v2
10.45 Survey or Questionnaire X     “Survey/Questionnaire” in v2
10.46 SWOT Analysis X      
10.47 Use Cases and Scenarios X     Formerly “Scenarios and Use Cases” in v2
10.48 User Stories X      
10.49 Vendor Assessment X      
10.50 Workshops   X   Called “Requirements Workshops” in v2

Table 1: BABOK v2 vs. v3 General Technique Differences


As you can see in the table above, all 34 general techniques from BABOK version 2 remained intact or were renamed. Again, we could argue the wisdom of keeping all the techniques or the appropriateness of adding some of the narrower techniques. Like any Body of Knowledge, there will be tasks and techniques in BABOK® Guide v3 that will never apply to a particular person’s job or career situation. The challenge becomes that of a) mastering the content enough to pass the CBAP or CCBA exam and/or b) deciding whether to use the particular techniques on the job.

Of the 16 “new” techniques, half of them are not actually new. Some have been moved out of task-specific techniques, such as Business Cases. Some are divisions of other techniques such as Process Analysis, which has many similarities to Process Modeling. Table 2 below is our list of the truly new techniques added to BABOK version 3.

10.2 Backlog Management Used to record, track, and prioritize remaining work items. Agile Perspective
10.3 Balanced Scorecard Used to manage performance in any business model, organizational structure, or business process. BPM Perspective and Process Analysis
10.6 Business Capability Analysis Provides a framework for scoping and planning by generating a shared understanding of outcomes, identifying alignment with strategy, and providing a scope and prioritization filter. BPM Perspective and Process Analysis
10.8 Business Model Canvas Describes how an enterprise creates, delivers, and captures value for and from its customers. BPM Perspective and Strategy
10.10 Collaborative Games Encourage participants in an elicitation activity to collaborate in building a joint understanding of a problem or a solution. Facilitation and Workshops
10.11 Concept Modelling Organize the business vocabulary needed to consistently and thoroughly communicate the knowledge of a domain. Glossary
10.14 Data Mining Used to improve decision making by finding useful patterns and insights from data. BI Perspective
10.29 Mind Mapping Used to articulate and capture thoughts, ideas, and information. Conduct Elicitation

Table 2: Truly New Techniques in BABOK Version 3

In the next part of this article, we examine the two major additions to BABOK version 3: the BA Core Concept Model and Business Analysis Perspectives.

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Richard Larson

With over a decade of experience in working for GoPromotional UK, Richard Larson has been an integral part of marketing GoPromo’s award-winning brand. Richard’s skillset varies from a deep understanding of product strategy to his consistent ability to design, analyze, and execute team-based marketing projects. Richard’s team leadership at GoPromo is complemented by a love for data-driven results and his ability to connect with audiences."