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Author: 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."

The Ultimate Guide to CBAP Certification FAQs, Part 1: General, Study Tips, and Prep Materials

Watermark Learning holds monthly IIBA Certification chat sessions, and we get great questions each time.

I compiled many of the questions received over several months and answered them below. Most are about CBAP certification and we’ll publish a separate blog post on ECBA questions.

This extensive guide will be organized into five sections. (Sections 1-3 are covered below. Sections 4-5 will be added in part 2 of this blog, coming soon.) Some questions could apply to multiple sections and we made a judgement on where they best seemed to apply. The sections are:

  1. General
  2. CBAP Study Tips
  3. CBAP Materials:
    1. CBAP Exam Simulator
    2. Study Guide and Flashcards
  4. CBAP Exam
  5. CBAP Application


Q. What is the passing mark for CBAP? How many have taken the v3 exam? What is the estimated pass rate?
A. IIBA does not reveal any of these numbers, but we assume the passing mark it is 70% and the estimated first-time pass rate is 80% and may be higher.
Q. What is the timeline for the end-to-end process? For example, I complete training, finish application, get approved and take the test? Are there time requirements?
A. The main time constraint is the one year you must sit for your exam once your CBAP application is approved. Generally speaking, a sensible goal is to take your exam within 6 months of approval. If you follow advice and devote 100 hours of study, that amounts to an average of 4 hours per week, which is quite manageable. Taking a class will reduce the remaining time needed to prepare.
Q. What is different between Watermark Learning and other online training sites?
A: There are several ways (and thanks for asking): 1) Our experience – we’ve provided both PMP and CBAP preparation longer than other vendors. 2) We thoroughly understand bodies of knowledge like the BABOK and can effectively translate it to help you understand it. Our knowledge gives you an edge using our exam questions with explanations for correct and incorrect answers and BABOK reference numbers to focus your study. 3) We offer a comprehensive solution that no other vendor does: a 35-hour CBAP prep class that includes our top-rated Study Guide, flash cards, study tables, and the best exam simulator available. 4) Responsive and supportive customer service.

CBAP Study Tips

Q. Ideal preparation time (in days or months) required to complete the CBAP certification?
A. We recommend 100 hours of study time, which can be reduced if you take a class like our CBAP Certification Prep class. The time you can devote to studying will determine how long that takes. Let’s say you can spend 4-5 hours a week studying, then it will take approximately 6 months of studying.
Q. I started reading the BABOK just 2 days back. I went thru the first KA (Planning) and realized that I might be better off going thru the Techniques chapter first and then come back to the KA chapters (with good understanding of each technique that is being described). Does that make sense?
A. Yes, that sounds like a good approach for you. There will be several questions on techniques on the CBAP exam, so they are a critical part of the BABOK to study. Another approach is to study each Knowledge Area and then study the techniques for each task. That provides some context for applying the techniques.
Q. I found I am having to memorize the tasks associated to the techniques. For example, I would think brainstorming could logically apply to analyze current state. Are there any other ways to make understanding this more logical?
A. My question to you is: why do you feel a need to memorize the tasks for each technique? That is a difficult chore. My suggestion is to become familiar with each technique and have a general understanding of the techniques used by each task.

CBAP Materials

CBAP Exam Simulator

Q. Is the interface of IIBA’s exam similar to Watermark’s (with flags, etc.)?
A. Yes, the actual interface will be similar. You should be able to navigate back and forth through your exam, flag questions for review, and browse thru any of your unanswered questions. Our simulator has a timer like the real exam so you can practice doing “speed tests” to gauge your pace for answering questions.
Q. Does the format of the questions on Watermark reflect exactly the format of the questions on the exam? If not, what are the differences?
A. We can’t say exactly, but we are very close. IIBA uses an exam methodology based on Bloom’s taxonomy, providing a clear structure for writing questions and answers. With over 10 years of experience with CBAP preparation, we have refined our abilities to create effective practice questions. The feedback we receive from successful candidates is our best indicator of how close we are.
Q. I’ve heard CBAP v3 exam is only about case studies and scenarios. At the same time, your CBAP simulation exam still has definition-based questions. Can you please elaborate why?
A. Only partially true. We have been told there are three types of questions on the v3 CBAP exam with rough estimates of their percentages: 1) Case studies (30-40%), 2) Scenarios (30-40%), and 3) Knowledge-based recall questions (20-30%). BTW, our exam simulator contains all three types to approximate these. The knowledge-based questions in our CBAP Online Study Exam will build your knowledge and confidence to answer the more difficult scenario and case study questions.

CBAP Materials: Study Guide and Flashcards

Q. Are the simulation exams included within the Study Guide?
A. Not within our CBAP Certification Study Guide, but you have online access to them. Because of the added length of BABOK 3, our Study Guide expanded to match it. To keep the size manageable, we removed our simulated exam from the v3 Guide. We felt you would be better served by having access to unlimited simulations with the free trial subscription to our Study Exam during your trial period.
Q. Are the BABOK Flashcards definition only or are they also directly related to test questions?
A. Definitions only. The BABOK Flashcards will help you master BABOK terminology, which in turn helps you differentiate between correct and incorrect answers. We recommend using the flashcards to solidify your knowledge and build your confidence.

Which Business Analysis Certification is Right for Me? Five Crucial Questions to ask Yourself

If you are a business analyst interested in certification, you are likely wondering which one would be the best for you.

The CBAP® from IIBA is perhaps the best known, but the newer PMI-PBA® from PMI is growing in popularity. They require 7500 and 4500 hours of experience respectively, which may be more than you have accumulated in your career. Even if you have less experience, there are other certifications and certificates requiring fewer hours to qualify that would be good alternatives until you get enough hours for your preferred credential.

The choice of which BA certification to pursue can be a difficult one. We present here a review of the top choices and offer some thoughts about which ones to consider. The list is not exhaustive, but we aimed to include the ones with the broadest international appeal. These choices are in alphabetical order with links to the provider’s website:

Here are the questions to ask yourself before deciding which certification is best for you:

1. What is my typical role on projects?

The first question you need to ask yourself is what business analysis role you play on projects.

  • Maybe you don’t have a role yet or are just getting started in the field. If you have no real business analysis experience, a certificate like the ECBA or CPRE would be best in those cases. As Table 1 below shows, no BA experience is necessary, although some BA training is required. The ECBA is a single certificate, while the CPRE has three levels to allow you to accumulate additional certificates as your career progresses.
  • Likewise, if you don’t have a BA role but work with BAs, want to learn more, and add a certification, then choose an ECBA or CPRE. Examples are managers, product owners, developers, testers, and even domain subject matter experts.
  • Are you a part-time business analyst? Are you splitting time with between other roles such as project management or tester? You might be called a “hybrid BA.” The two credentials to consider are CCBA and PMI-PBA. They require less experience than a full-time BA and, in the case of the PBA, are based in part on sources such as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®).
  • Are you a full-time BA? We recommend the CBAP for you if you have enough hours to qualify. If not, then the CCBA or PMI-PBA are bridges to getting your CBAP.
  • Do you do business analysis work but have another title? There are many roles that require business analysis skills. We often are asked questions like this one: “I was a business analyst for many years, but that was a long time ago. Now I’m an account manager doing mainly sales work. A credential would give me more credibility. What do you suggest?” There are many roles that require business analysis skills. For example, salespeople working with customers to understand their business need and recommend solutions are doing business analysis work. Our advice is to read the BABOK® Guide from IIBA to really understand all the ways you are doing business analysis work and use those tasks and hours on your application. The important thing is the work, not the title.

2. How much experience do I have doing business analysis work?

  • As stated earlier, people with either little or no business analysis experience would qualify for the ECBA or CPRE.
  • If you have 2-3 years of experience and/or 3750 hours or more of BA work you have performed, then the CCBA is right for you. It is the only certification of the ones we are reviewing designed for beginning-to-moderate level business analysts. The PMI-PBA has close to the same experience requirements as the CCBA, but we classify it differently due to its higher number of hours needed.
  • If you have 4500+ hours of BA experience, the PMI-PBA is suitable for you if you have a college degree. If you don’t, then you need 7500+ hours, in which case you may want to aim for the CBAP.
  • What if I have 6-7000 hours or so? Should I wait? Perhaps. It depends on some of the other factors mentioned here and what is your motivation for getting your certification. If you have the 7500+ hours or are very close to it, we usually recommend the CBAP, particularly if you’ve done business analysis work, even if that was not your title.

3. What is your employment situation?

Do you work for an organization or as a consultant? Are you between BA jobs? Trying to break into the field?

  • If you are currently employed as a BA, whether in that role full-time or not, your motivation for gaining a certification may be different from others. Like many of your peers, you would likely be happiest with the CBAP or PMI-PBA. That might even include waiting until have enough hours to qualify.
  • On the other hand, are you a consultant, trainer, or unemployed and want a certification to help get your next job? You should get the highest certification you qualify for today, and “upgrade” to a higher-level certification when you qualify.
  • If you are trying to enter the BA field, the ECBA or CPRE are your best choices.

4. How aware is your organization of the various certifying bodies?

  • It makes sense to seek financial and other support from your organization for whichever institute your organization is most aligned with. PMI and IIBA are the most widely-known certifying bodies in North America, but it makes the most sense to get the certification that helps with your current and future jobs.
  • The CPRE is better-recognized in Europe and India, so organizations in those areas may be more receptive to it than others.

5. What are your future career goals?

  • If you plan to stay in the BA field and focus on the BA role, then the CBAP makes the most sense (assuming you have organization support – see #4).
  • Alternatively, let’s say your goal is to move into other jobs, with project management being an obvious choice for some. Or, maybe you are focusing on Agile and want a certification to help your career. In these cases, the PMI-PBA is the better choice given it can help you work toward your PMP or PMI-ACP.
Type Name and Link Issued by BA Experience Needed BA Training Needed Exam
 CBAP  Certified Business Analysis Professional  IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis)  7500+ hours in the past 10 years  35 hours  120 question, multiple choice exam, with basic, scenario, and case study questions
 CCBA  Certification of Capability in Business Analysis  IIBA  3750+ hours in the past 7 years  21 hours  130 question, multiple choice exam, with basic and scenario questions
 CPRE  Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering  IREB® (International Requirements Engineering Board)  None  Exams after 3 levels of courses – Foundation, Advanced, Expert  Varies – True/False and Multiple Choice, using basic and scenario questions.
 ECBA  Entry Certificate in Business Analysis  IIBA  None  21 hours  50 question, multiple choice exam, with knowledge-based questions
 PMI-PBA  Professional in Business Analysis   PMI® (Project Management Institute)  4500+ hrs (Bachelor’s) or 7500+ hrs (High School) in the past 8 years  35 hours
 200 question, multiple choice exam, with basic and scenario questions
Table 1: Summary of BA Certifications
About the Authors
Richard Larson, PMP, CBAP, PMI-PBA, President and Founder of Watermark Learning, is a successful entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in business analysis, project management, training, and consulting. He has presented workshops and seminars on business analysis and project management topics to over 10,000 participants on five different continents.
Rich loves to combine industry best practices with a practical approach and has contributed to those practices through numerous speaking sessions around the world. He has also worked on the BA Body of Knowledge versions 1.6-3.0, the PMI BA Practice Guide, and the PM Body of Knowledge, 4th edition. He and his wife Elizabeth Larson have co-authored five books on business analysis and certification preparation.
Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP, CSM, PMI-PBA is Co-Principal and CEO of Watermark Learning and has over 30 years of experience in project management and business analysis. Elizabeth’s speaking history includes repeat presentations for national and international conferences on five continents.
Elizabeth has co-authored five books on business analysis and certification preparation. She has also co-authored chapters published in four separate books. Elizabeth was a lead author on several standards including the PMBOK® Guide, BABOK® Guide, and PMI’s Business Analysis for Practitioners – A Practice Guide.

Top 5 Reasons Organizations Should Support Certifications

There will always be a debate about certifications and whether organizations should support them. Some feel they are an essential and growing part of professional life. Others feel a credential does not make practitioners a better business analyst, Agilist, or project manager. Both sides have a point, and the debate will continue.

What is undeniable, though, is what we see as the organizational benefits for supporting certifications and credentials. Support can include (in no certain order): providing time to study for a certification exam, paying for certification classes, hosting study groups and forums, and incorporating credentials into hiring and promotion practices. We’re sure there are even more.

Related Article: Business Analysis on its Path to Maturity

Here are the top five reasons organizations should support certifications and the benefits to those that do:

1. Facilitates a common language and set of techniques.

An industry standard and credentialing process, like the PMP or CBAP, unites practitioners across organizations and countries. Take the PMP, for example. Prior to the PMBOK and its framework, most organizations managed projects according to their own methods or those from a proprietary vendor. The large push to get project managers certified with the PMP helped organizations use a common language for common processes and techniques that had previously different terminology. This leads to increased mutual understanding which, in turn, increases quality and reduces re-work. Recruiting is also improved, and managers can hire with more confidence when candidates use common concepts and terminology.

2. Provides an avenue for employees to show dedication to a profession.

More than one CIO has told us they value certifications for the dedication that employees show when pursuing and achieving one. We couldn’t agree more. Some people will take initiative on their own and be self-motivated to achieve one independently. They are valuable staff members (and in the minority). Most people need some encouragement and a path for getting a credential. However, we don’t advise the routine use of credentialing as a way to weed out employees who don’t achieve one, but that is a subject for another blog.

3. People learn a lot when studying for credentials.

Successful, credentialed participants are almost always more effective at work. The reason is the amount of learning that has to take place in order to pass an exam. Even those of us who have been on the job and who have had training related to our industry (business analysis, project management, Agile), come to realize what we don’t know. Using my experience as an example, I (Rich) thought I understood project management until I studied for my PMP. Hah! What a mistake! Doing my prep work of reading, attending a class, and doing practice exam questions woke me up to the reality of what I did not know. Many hours of study later, spread over several months, got me ready to pass the exam. My studying also gave me increased PM knowledge which I still use to this day when managing projects and programs.

It is well to add here that some certifications usually result in more learning than others. “Broad industry standard” type exams like the PMP, CBAP, and PMI-ACP require rigorous study because of their scope. Almost invariably those studying for these exams encounter many “aha” moments, paradigm shifts, and new understanding as they study and find gaps in their knowledge. Our research shows it takes 100 hours on average of study time to prepare for the CBAP, for instance.
Another type of credential requires less study. These exams are narrowly focused and usually relate to proprietary methodologies, like the CSM, IREB, PRINCE2, BRMP, and ITIL. These types of certifications rely on a training class focused on key concepts after which candidates take an exam, often at the end of class.

4. Demonstrates commitment to employees.

Leaders in most organizations would say they are committed to employees. Saying it is one thing, but demonstrating it is another. Pay is one way, but people would not work for you without it. Promotions? Same thing, but to a lesser extent. Choice projects? Not everyone can work on them.

Providing the professionals in our organizations with a path to a relevant credential is a practical and meaningful commitment. It is a demonstrable form that employees will appreciate and will contribute to their long-term loyalty. We know this from first-hand experience.

“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
Sir Richard Branson

5. Better employee retention.

This last point may seem counter-intuitive if you fear that helping people gain a credential only helps them land a new job. Anecdotal evidence exists that if you don’t train people, and don’t support them in advancing their knowledge and skills, they will likely leave sooner1. The quote from Henry Ford sums up this point.

larson april ba

What do you think? Are there other reasons that organizations should support (or not support) certification? Please weigh in with your comments.

1. See Training Magazine, April 2013.

The Entrepreneurial BA Practitioner – Part 5: More Thoughts on How Business Analysts Can Help Innovate

We’re back in a new year, and the setting of New Year’s resolutions. We usually don’t set too many since they are so easily broken, but one is to finish the entrepreneurial BA series that began in 2015.

In past articles, we covered these topics such as the similarity between business analysis practitioners and entrepreneurs and the types and stages of entrepreneurialism.

In part 4, we focused on innovation and entrepreneurship and suggested that we could contribute to innovation in our organizations through intrapreneurship. But there are different types of innovation and different intrapreneurs are suited to different types of innovation. The author Tony Davila mentions four types of innovation, centered on whether they are incremental or breakthroughs, and summarized in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Types of Innovations

Part 4 of our series included thoughts about how business analysis practitioners can best contribute to the various innovation types. Business analysis can certainly help with all four categories. This article will focus on how it can help with the two most applicable types of innovation and expand on how practitioners can best contribute to innovation.

Continuous Progress

The upper left-hand quadrant of Table 1 is perhaps the most traditional form of innovation. It has its roots as a “continuous improvement process” (CIP) but it is more than CIP. First, CIP is often done by the workers who perform a process or build a product. It is often a by-product of doing the work vs. an independent effort.

A continuous progress effort is similarly incremental but performed by a specialized team with a charter to create improvements or “innovations” in a product or process. These teams are ideal avenues for intrapreneurs to help create innovations since they are focused on doing just that vs. workers focused on their normal jobs. The independence of intrapreneurs allows greater potential for innovations as opposed to smaller improvements.

Innovation translates ideas into products or services that customers will pay for. We would extend the definition to include new product features added to existing products as well as creating completely new products. According to Davila, this quadrant is implemented “top-down,” meaning that the new products or features are requested by management and the development team is responsible for bringing them to life.

An example of Continuous Progress Innovation: The insurance company where we have our homeowner’s insurance accepts claims and helps homeowners recover from losses. They have long provided us with booklets and reminders to record our valuable possessions in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. We have yet to do more than superficial noting of our valuables by using a paper-based method that would easily burn up in the case of a fire!

Two recent continuous progress-type innovations they have created include 1) cataloging our possessions using a smartphone and uploading them to the company’s system. This feature has been such an easy and effective way to record things that we actually used it! 2) Video submission of claim damages. While we, fortunately, haven’t had to use this feature yet, the concept is appealing and would save time when submitting a claim. Neither of these would be called a “breakthrough,” but they are valuable and count as innovative.

Emergent Improvements

The top right-hand side of Table 1, Emergent Improvements, are usually implemented in a “bottom-up” way. These types of innovations are also tailor-made for intrapreneurs since they are suited to efforts by teams with the time and the responsibility to create innovative solutions. Whether bottom-up improvements remain incremental or become breakthroughs depends on several familiar factors:

  • Time. The amount of time given the team to create new products and/or features. Creativity takes time, especially when trying to learn from customer use and preferences for the products we build. The more time, potentially the more breakthrough innovations can occur.
  • Risk Tolerance. Organizations that have high-risk tolerance can potentially achieve more breakthroughs than those who are more risk averse. Often there are huge failures (remember the Apple Newton device? No, well, that proves our point) before the breakthroughs occur (the iPhone). If the organization feels it cannot tolerate big failures, then the incremental kind of innovation is more feasible.
  • Project Delivery. For IT innovations, an “adaptive” or agile type of project approach will generally be able to deliver more breakthroughs than a “predictive” or waterfall type. An adaptive approach to building products is better able to adapt to how customers will use a product or feature. Plus, adaptive methods are structured to learn from quick and early delivery of features and to adapt future deliveries based on that learning. A predictive approach tends to plan longer cycles. True, predictive approaches can be done iteratively and incrementally and benefit from the use of visual models like prototypes. But, they often fall into the trap of trying to predict how customers will like or use something long before product features are developed. Feedback loops in a predictive approach are not as direct and as a rule, products are modified less in that environment than in an adaptive one. This fact results in potentially unused features and functions.
  • Size Matters. The smaller the change, the more incremental the innovation. Breakthroughs usually require a larger “leap forward” than incremental improvements.

An example of an Emergent Improvement: A few years back Target Stores was falling behind its competition in social media engagement with its customers. The project started as a top-down Strategic Bet by management, and a small intrapreneurial team was formed to work on it. The team hatched the idea of using a Facebook page they named Cartwheel to provide shoppers with discounts based on the type of products they frequently bought. The idea won management support and quickly grew to a large team of 200+ part-time people and bogged down.

To break out of the quagmire, the team convinced management to down-size the team to 50 full-timers (still a somewhat largish effort). They got approval for the team lead to become the product owner with final decision-making authority. The third key element was to convert the Facebook page into a mobile app and to release it in beta form. That allowed the team to monitor and change it in real time and to respond accordingly.

With the independence gained from these changes, the effort turned into a successful bottom-up innovation. Target’s share of social media engagement rose 251% the year after Cartwheel launched and 80% of that was attributable to the new app.

The above example started off as a Strategic Bet and stalled until the team involved was able to turn it into an Emergent Improvement. The smaller sized and dedicated team was more effective. Successfully managing the risks of releasing an app in beta form allowed some of the innovation. Changing the project delivery mode to an adaptive approach supplied much of the rest of the innovation.


Organizations have different tolerances for innovation, and that is an important factor for how we can be most effective at helping them innovate. This article listed various ways that business analysis practitioners can help contribute to innovation based on the various types, focusing on the two most likely ones.


1 “The Innovation Strategy Big Companies Should Pursue,” by Tony Davila, Downloaded April 12, 2015.


About the Authors

Richard Larson, PMP, CBAP, PMI-PBA, President and Founder of Watermark Learning, is a successful entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in business analysis, project management, training, and consulting. He has presented workshops and seminars on business analysis and project management topics to over 10,000 participants on five different continents.

Rich loves to combine industry best practices with a practical approach and has contributed to those practices through numerous speaking sessions around the world. He has also worked on the BA Body of Knowledge versions 1.6-3.0, the PMI BA Practice Guide, and the PM Body of Knowledge, 4th edition. He and his wife Elizabeth Larson have co-authored five books on business analysis and certification preparation.

Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP, CSM, PMI-PBA is Co-Principal and CEO of Watermark Learning and has over 30 years of experience in project management and business analysis. Elizabeth’s speaking history includes repeat presentations for national and international conferences on five continents.

Elizabeth has co-authored five books on business analysis and certification preparation. She has also co-authored chapters published in four separate books. Elizabeth was a lead author on several standards including the PMBOK® Guide, BABOK® Guide, and PMI’s Business Analysis for Practitioners – A Practice Guide.

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.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below.