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CBAP Certification: From What is It? to I Did It!

The business analyst (BA) role has become essential in today’s workplace as a vital component of a successful project. The business analysis field has been accelerating at a rapid pace, and this acceleration has caused some understandable growing pains. Among the challenges are a lack of standardization, inconsistent terminology across organizations, and difficulty in assessing knowledge and skills of BAs.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) was founded as a non-profit organization to promote the growth and professionalism of business analysis. Part of IIBA’s mission is to document and maintain standards for business analysis, and to recognize and certify practitioners. The CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional) certification program was put in place in 2006 to screen, test, and certify qualified and knowledgeable BAs.

This article briefly summarizes the CBAP program, and why business analysts should become certified. The majority of the article covers the steps and several tips to help you become certified.

IIBA and Certification

The IIBA was formed in 2003 as a non-profit organization devoted to creating awareness and recognition of the importance of business analysis. Part of IIBA’s vision is to build its image and become identified as the professional organization for BA professionals. It is also focused on identifying BA skills and competencies, and certifying practitioners based on them.

In fact, the IIBA’s mission is to “Develop and maintain standards for the practice of business analysis and for the certification of its practitioners.” One of the main creations of the IIBA has been its Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (called the BABOK for short or sometimes just the BOK). The BABOK is a guide to the generally accepted knowledge and practices in the BA profession. The other significant creation has been the CBAP certification: Certified Business Analysis Professional. The authors are proud to be among the world’s first CBAPs.

The CBAP certification process came from a BA task analysis study done back in 2006. From that, a committee of experts developed examination questions to test the business analysis knowledge and its application by BAs. Along with a rigorous application process, the examination is used for assessing and certifying experienced and knowledgeable BA practitioners.

In the spirit of the CBAP exam, and to start preparing to pass it, we’ve assembled a few basic multiple choice questions. These questions are typical of those on the exam—they are not from the exam. The answers are revealed at the end of the article.

Here’s the first of the questions; go ahead and see how you do!

1) The BABOK defines Business Analysis as:
A) Analyzing business problems and determining which projects will best solve those problems.
B) Identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems.
C) Verifying business requirements by ensuring the solution meets business needs.

Certification Requirements: How do You Stack up?

  • Five years (7,500 hours) of business analysis work in the last 10 years 
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge in 4 out of 6 BABOK™ Knowledge Areas 
  • 21 hours BA professional development in last 4 years
  • Minimum high school education
  • Two work references

Application Process

The IIBA made the CBAP application process a rigorous one, to screen out under-qualified and less-experienced BAs. Check out the basic qualifications in the sidebar to the right. IIBA’s website has a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions document about the CBAP process. Visit for more information.

Tip: The CBAP application can be tedious to complete. Use the thetemplate that IIBA provides to document your work experience and project hours.

To take the CBAP exam, your application must be pre-approved. The professional development hours must also be complete before applying. This requirement has prevented more than a few otherwise-qualified applicants from being allowed to sit for the exam. Make sure you can document your education hours with a certificate or other written proof.

Benefits of CBAP Certification

Given the strict requirements and rigorous application process, one would assume the certification is worthwhile, right? Well, as a matter of fact it is. There are a number of benefits that IIBA has identified to organizations to certify their BAs through the CBAP designation:

  • Employee development and recognition is enhanced.
  • CBAPs have signed a Code of Conduct, which increases the professionalism of its adherents. 
  • CBAPs are identified as individuals with an advanced level of knowledge and qualifications, and follow established standards, making them a good choice for critical projects
  • CBAPs produce reliable, quality results with increased efficiency and consistency
  • Employers have a reduced risk in hiring and promoting people with the CBAP credential.

IIBA has also identified several benefits for you to become CBAP certified:

  • Demonstrates dedication and commitment to the business analysis profession
  • Ability to enhance the profession and have a voice among other professionals
  • Expedited professional advancement because the CBAP sets individuals apart
  • Demonstrates knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective business analyst
  • Advanced career potential – without having to become a Project Manager!
  • Opportunity to earn more income
  • Be recognized by the organization and peers as experts in their field.

The CBAP Exam

Hopefully, you can see there are many benefits for you or others at your organization from BA certification. To help you get started, here is some valuable information about the exam and tips for passing it.

As of the date of this article, the CBAP exam is a collection of 150 multiple-choice questions. Some are simple and straightforward, some are downright difficult, and most are challenging. The exam will be“going electronic in mid-2008, but for now it is paper-and-pencil based. It is also held in a few select cities. The IIBA web site contains current and future exam dates.

The exam duration is three hours, and you may find that you need most or all of that time. Because of the length, some people find it useful to start the exam by noting a few key mnemonics and definitions. If nothing else, this “brain dump” helps alleviate a little test anxiety that many people feel in a high-stakes exam like the CBAP. We’ve recommended this same technique for years to people preparing for the PMP exam.

Tip: do a “brain dump” of key concepts at the start of the exam to help clear your brain, reduce test anxiety, and to serve as a reference as you take the exam.

OK, ready for another exam question?

2) The BABOK defines a Business Analyst as someone who:
A) Translates business needs into a design that can be implemented by the development team.
B) Responds to client requests and provides solutions that best meet those needs within time and cost restraints
C) Elicits, analyzes, communicates, and validates requirements for changes to business processes, policies, and information systems.

BABOK Overview

The CBAP exam is heavily based on the BABOK guide. There are some exam questions not strictly found in it, but thoroughly knowing the information in the guide is the surest way to pass the exam. The BOK has over 300 pages of often-detailed tasks, inputs, outputs, and techniques. It is helpful to have a plan and tools for breaking the BABOK down into logical pieces for memorization and study.

To start you off breaking down the BABOK, here are highlights of it and some key areas to study.

Tip: Start by memorizing all the Knowledge Areas (KAs for short). Then work on memorizing tasks with each KA. Some have too many, so start with KAs having only a few, like Enterprise Analysis and Elicitation, and work up from there.

Enterprise Analysis

This KA focuses on identifying business opportunities through feasibility studies, creating business cases, cost/benefit analysis, etc. It covers looking at the big picture through building a Business Architecture framework, in order to later integrate requirements into it. Plus, it can provide a context or foundation for evaluating future projects, issues, and changes. There are only six tasks in this KA, so you are advised to memorize them and their order.

Goal: Facilitating the optimum project investment path for the enterprise.

Requirements Planning and Management

The next KA deals with resources and tasks for planning and managing requirements activities throughout the “requirements process.” It identifies a myriad of activities and deliverables, and we advise you not to try and memorize them all. Instead, organize the tasks into logical groups, such as Team Roles, Risk Approach, Manage Requirements Scope, etc. The chapter also covers planning for how changes are controlled and managed, and begins the process of prioritizing requirements.

Goal: Organize the requirements effort, including resources, monitoring, project coordination, and changes.

Tip: Study the most on Enterprise Analysis and Requirements Planning and Management, because they comprise the highest proportion of exam questions, according to the IIBA.

By now you may be ready for another exam question!

3) The BABOK defines a Requirement as:
A) A condition or capability of a product or solution that documents a problem or objective of the business.
B) A need or necessary feature of a system that could be sensed from a position anywhere within the system.

Requirements Elicitation

Requirements must be elicited from stakeholders in order to be analyzed and documented. This KA covers the process, tasks, and techniques for doing just that. There are ten techniques to be familiar with, such as brainstorming, interviewing, requirements workshops, etc. Make sure you know all ten of the techniques, including the strengths and weaknesses of each and how to perform them. Prioritize your time by concentrating on the most important techniques like interviewing.

Goal: Use appropriate techniques to elicit complete and accurate requirements.

Requirements Analysis and Documentation

Considered by many to be the “core” of what a BA does, Requirements Analysis and Documentation deals with how stakeholder needs are analyzed, structured, and documented. The understanding is that the ultimate goal of business analysis is for later use in designing and implementing a solution.

To represent commonly accepted practices, this BABOK KA covers 20+ analysis and documentation techniques. While you may not have used every one, you are expected to be able to answer questions about them. There is an emphasis on modeling techniques, so make sure you know them, like data modeling, use case modeling, etc. Learning about new techniques is one of the many ways that the CBAP certification process helps us improve as BAs.

Goal: Have a clear enough understanding of the requirements to enable building a solution to meet business needs.

Tip: When preparing for the exam, the terms used in the BABOK won’t always be the terms you’re used to on the job. Make sure you know and memorize the BABOK’s terms if you want to pass the exam, even if they are “wrong.”

Requirements Communication

For requirements to be valid and approved, they must be communicated. This can and should happen throughout the life cycle of eliciting, analyzing, and documenting them. The Knowledge Area on requirements communication focuses on expressing the output of requirements analysis and documentation. It covers the need for presenting requirements in formats suitable for your intended audience.

Goal: Achieve a shared understanding of and agreement to the product requirements.

Solution Assessment and Validation

Once requirements have been approved, they need to be implemented to be of value. To do this, BAs work to ensure the best solution is chosen (i.e., requirements are fulfilled by a technical design). The BABOK also mentions, but does not elaborate on the QA process, and that BAs contribute to test plans and testing process. Also covered in this KA is the role played by BAs to facilitate the implementation and help resolve any post-production issues.

Goal: Ensure the final solution meets business needs and can be implemented.

Tip: The BABOK is a long document, so make sure you leave plenty of time to read, study, and memorize key parts of it. Get plenty of rest before the exam; sleep will help you more than cramming!

Breaks are essential to learning and memorizing complex material, and to break down the important parts of the BABOK.

To give you a break right now, it’s time for another question:

4) When developing alternative solutions, how do BAs record the process of flowing from requirements to design:
A) Map the Requirements to the Design.
B) Determine Number of Design Phases.
C) Map Requirements to Design Phases.
D) Update Requirements Traceability Matrix.

Underlying Fundamentals

The knowledge and skills described in the BABOK don’t happen on their own. BAs need many other underlying skills in order to perform the tasks identified in the BOK. There is no explanatory information to study, so you must rely on general knowledge of business, communication, management, leadership, and problem solving.

Goal: Improve effectiveness in doing our jobs.

In summary, the authors believe that CBAP certification will be the next “in demand” certification for people doing project-related work. This will be primarily Business Analysts, but Project Managers, Systems Analysts, QA Analysts, and even Application Developers will want to explore the CBAP. The future of business and technical careers will belong to people who are adept at communicating, analyzing, solving business problems, and producing enduring results. Those who “earn” the CBAP designation will also be the ones to “earn” more financially, as well.

Tips: To prepare for the CBAP exam, here are some final thoughts to help you pass it:

  • Read the BABOK completely 
  • Take a prep class to help focus on key areas 
  • Join a study group to concentrate on one KA at a time 
  • Take practice exams 
  • If time, re-read portions of the BABOK you had trouble with in practice exams

Here are the answers to the sample exam questions: 1 b), 2 c), 3 a), 4 d)

IIBA, CBAP, and BABOK are registered trademarks of the International Institute of Business Analysis.

Elizabeth Larson, CBAP, PMP and Richard Larson, CBAP, PMP are Principals, Watermark Learning, Inc. Watermark Learning helps improve project success with outstanding project management and business analysis training and mentoring. We foster results through our unique blend of industry best practices, a practical approach, and an engaging delivery. We convey retainable real-world skills, to motivate and enhance staff performance, adding up to enduring results. With our academic partner, Auburn University, Watermark Learning provides Masters Certificate Programs to help organizations be more productive, and assist individuals in their professional growth. Watermark is a PMI Global Registered Education Provider, and an IIBA Endorsed Education Provider. Our CBAP Certification Preparation class has helped several people already pass the CBAP exam. For more information, contact us at 800-646-9362, or visit us at

The Strategic Role of the Business Analyst

The new role of the BA is far more strategic in both the organizational sense as well as at the project level.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that the BA, when appropriately leveraged, represents a liaison between business, project and customer teams.  This shift in responsibilities identifies two areas that need to be addressed by any organization seeking to expand this role:

  • The organizational structure must support the actions of a “strategic” BA position
  • The BA candidate must have wide skill sets, encompassing many general management competencies

As organizations shift to become “projectized,” the roles and responsibilities that have supported projects within a traditional matrix structure must shift as well.  Over the years we have seen organizations struggle with the following challenges related to shifts in both structure and culture:

  • Broken or disjointed cross-functional communication channels
  • Uncertainty around roles and responsibilities within the project structure and beyond
  • Quality concerns at the point of project delivery
  • Skewed scope statements and thus implementation plans due to early stage breakdown
  • Overall loss of productivity on project teams due to lack of continuity and methods

The items noted above are telltale signs that several strategic components of a best practice project management environment are missing.

Forward looking or “best in class” organizations have aggressively embraced the concept of the BA role.  And, what sets them apart from the old school thinking associated with this job title is the escalation and expansion of the roles, definition and responsibilities.  Not too many years ago a BA may have been confined to a very technical role within an IT environment working on specifications, functionality and even some quality and testing related to one or more project life cycles.  Today, we are seeing BA positions filled from across the organization and expect that this trend will continue, as it should.

Let’s address these points built in the context of how they can be leveraged to meet the challenges:

Broken or disjointed cross-functional communication channels
A BA should be in front of any project communication produced from the point of team inception to the close-out phase.  This interaction does not mean that the BA takes on the role of project manager (although we have seen organizations combine the two roles), as it is not effective on larger and longer term initiatives.  Our experience shows that an independent BA position can help to promote better communication, align protocol and help the project manager to extend his/her reach into the project teams.

Uncertainty around roles and responsibilities within the project structure and beyond
The BA functions as a tour guide through the project plan ensuring that all of the moving pieces are touching at the right points.  We call these critical communication points and they can be built around time, budget or deliverable expectations.  The BA will be assigned a protocol map within the project structure to enable them better access to expectations and provide for a proactive way to reach team members.

Quality concerns at the point of project delivery
In reality, the BA is monitoring quality points through the project life cycle thus producing a quality product at the close of the project.  Very much like the thinking around proactive quality control, the BA is in front of each deliverable and monitors the progress against the project plan. This allows for immediate communication between the project manager, customer and associated teams.

Skewed scope statements and thus implementation plans due to early stage breakdown
The planning stages of a project are obviously critical to the implementation plan and ultimate quality.  A BA should be assigned early in the process and work hand in hand with the project manager to ensure the highest level of intimacy with the plan.  And, just as importantly they need to have a direct connection to the internal and external customers in order to ensure collaboration and proactive attention to emerging issues.

Overall loss of productivity on project teams due to lack of continuity and methods
A strategic BA assists the project manger and PMO with the execution of best practice within an organization’s project management structure.  The BA has a unique opportunity to guide the process through an existing methodology and essentially help the project to operate in better alignment.  This is accomplished by having a dedicated individual who is consistently working against the deliverables and is not distracted by the operations management associated with the project manager’s job.

By taking the above steps you have begun the shift toward the organizational structure needed to take advantage of the BA position.  With that said, we still have one more change to make in order to secure success.

It is obvious that the BA role as defined in this article will require wider skill sets than the more traditional BA position still driven from the IT departments of yester year.  To that point we have begun to see a trend where the BA position can spawn from either business or IT.  This is an interesting point as it speaks volumes to an organization’s maturity around project management.  Imagine, for just a moment, an organization that has no boundaries within in its functions and everyone on the team collaborates against a common goal.  I like to call this organizational desegregation and cultural morphing.  As we begin the next phase of benchmarking the project management industry and clients, we are beginning to see this shift as a representative of the next wave of advancing thought in the project management space.  It was not too many years ago that I published an article on the emerging role of the project manager as the CEO of his/her project.   I am confident that the BA role will take a firmly positioned spot in the upper hierarchy of any world class project organization within the next few years.

In order to succeed the BA will need to have a competency profile that meets the following criteria:

  • Excellent understanding of both business and technology within the project environment.
  • Be a leader, communicator and professional.
  • Understand the skills associated with internal consulting techniques.
  • Be proficient in project management skills as well as complete understanding of the internal process.
  • Epitomize the essence of a collaborator and team player.
  • Understand and be able to navigate your organization’s politics and structure.
  • Be able to manage, without having authority, via negotiation.
  • Understand true stewardship-based service.

So, the BA role probably looks a little different than a traditional structure may have dictated.  Yet, this is the trend and I believe will become the norm.  As organizations look to enhance productivity and quality while reducing cost they are finding this role to be ultimately important.  Additionally, project managers we spoke to during the research for this article all stated that having a BA on the team made their job easier and allowed them to focus on deliverable based activity.

It is important to note that this type of structure is recommended for mid to large size projects, but on the smaller initiatives we found that these attributes were part of the project manager’s role.

Phil Ventresca, MBA is Founder, CEO and President of Advanced Management Services, Inc. (AMS),, a full service management consultancy servicing an international client base.  Phil has utilized his extensive background in management and consulting to lead AMS to its current status as a multi-million dollar enterprise with an international customer base.  He has led the organization to recognize several strategic breakthroughs such as developing partnerships with distance education providers, software developers and publishers.  Through these efforts, AMS has emerged as a leader in consulting, training and assessment services.

His entrepreneurial spirit and keen business insight has benefited many organizations through his consultive engagements with clients such as Boston Edison, ADP, State Street Bank, Cabot Corporation, Merisel, Data General, Simplex, AT&T, BIC, Bank of Montreal, Kronos and others. Phil is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University’s Division of Extended Education. He is responsible for the development and delivery of a project management curriculum to varied international client base as well as a contributor to a unique leadership development program. Phil can be reached at [email protected] or 781-828-8210.

Struggling to Define Business Analysis and the Role of the BA.

There is still a lot of debate in business analysis circles around what our role is, and what is offered by the various organizations, representing and supporting business analysts. Is the role all about requirements analysis? Are we just interested in IT and systems analysis or are our practitioners focused on the broader business and processes? Is certification of business analysts the answer?

I came across an interesting article forwarded to me by some information architecture friends. The article on the discipline and role of Information Architects (IAs) was written by Jesse James Garrett in 2002 and the issue of defining the roles of information architects that they were struggling with back then, are very familiar issues that we are now facing as BAs. If you enter the phrase “defining the damn thing” in Google you can still find remnants of that debate.

Garrett argued that there is a discipline known as information architecture as well as a role known as information architect and that they evolved hand in hand, but that the time had come for change. Similarly, just as there is the discipline of business analysis, there is the role of the business analyst.

If we define the discipline based on the role then we may potentially be too broad, as the role of a BA varies from organization to organization and encompasses BAs working as commercial, process, financial, technical and systems analysts. Organizations representing business analysts are looking to certification or accreditation as a way of defining the role, and bringing in some level of standardization in order to decrease ambiguity in the marketplace. Garrett, however, cautions that if we go down the track of defining the role we inevitably threaten someone’s sense of identity. If the BA’s role differs from the organization’s job description, then does it follow that they are not business analysts?

Alternatively, if we define the role based on the discipline, then whatever the field of business analysis is, those who are specialists in this field are business analysts. This definition however could, in practice, become too narrow. The potential to be “boxed in” may result in BAs having little influence or control over important aspects of projects, where BA competencies and capabilities are of great value and add strategic value to organization goals and objectives for process improvement.

As a BA I’m more often involved at a strategic level.  Rather than my involvement with projects ending with the delivery of requirements, I’m utilized throughout the project: I bridge the gap between the business and the technology team; review processes and operations; as well as investigating and advising on the project’s impact and dependencies on other systems and programs initiatives across the enterprise.

All this activity means my role is not easily defined. This is not because I’m trying to be all things to all people (the Project Manager, the Business Analyst and the Systems Architect) or take over another project team member’s role, its more a reflection of the discipline of analysis being increasingly seen as a core capability and that the frameworks and tools used for analysis can be drawn upon for expertise throughout the life of the project, and through all the programs across the enterprise.

In short, as a business analyst I do lots of things. Don’t put me in a box or label me and don’t predefine what I do … it limits the possibilities for my involvement to add value within projects, between projects, across programs and across the enterprise.

Garrett suggests that we seem to be at an impasse in the definition debate:

 “Any definition broad enough to encompass the role is too broad to foster useful discussion of the discipline; any definition narrow enough for the discipline is too narrow for the role….basing either definition on the other means one is going to be insufficient. Trying to do both at once isn’t working, producing a classic chicken-and-egg problem”.

This is where our business analysis “Community of Practice” can come together to shape the future of the profession. We should define the scope of what is business analysis as a discipline. Once we achieve this end, this will empower us to look at what the discipline offers in the way of frameworks and tools to interested practitioners, as the specialists in this field.

Ultimately, the definition, role, responsibility, and the future of BAs will be determined not by us, but by organizations that will base their decisions on their resourcing needs. It is therefore up to us as a Business Analysis Community to continue to promote what we do and how we do it, and share our knowledge, understanding and expertise within the community. By doing this as a community, we can go out to organizations and showcase the capabilities and competencies of business analysis. This will show the value of the discipline regardless of the role within the organization.  Instead of prescribing what a business analyst is or isn’t, let’s talk about our frameworks, our theories and what tools are out there to get the job done.

Maria Murphy is an experienced business manager and information and communications specialist. She has over 10 years senior management experience within the commercial environment, medical/pharmaceutical industry, not-for-profit organizations and government. She has experience with managing large federal government contracts and project management of large scale ICT business system reviews, development of requirements, systems planning and change management.

Maria is the Regional Lead for a Business Analysis at SMS Management and Technology and provides advice to her colleagues on developing requirements specifications for appropriate IT systems to support clients’ programs and initiatives. She can be reached at [email protected].

The Hard Skills Precede the Soft Skills for BAs

You may have noticed that I value soft skills (BA Fundamentals) very highly. The ability to work with (and at the highest levels, influence and negotiate with) people is a key success factor for senior BAs that the CBAP test cannot measure directly, but the world will always measure first.

I call on IIBA education providers to step up to this challenge – people classes are harder to do well, and look pretty flaky when done well, but they work (witness Dale Carnegie’s ongoing success, in spite of their “flaky” program).

In the meantime, soft skills without BA hard skills do not result in good BA practice. Promotions, recognition, a chance to jump to the next project before the first has collapsed, yes. Good BA practice, no.

This month is pure hard skill (thanks to blogger John Dean last month for an excellent presentation of the “sky level” overview of the problems I am presenting, and the importance of solving them).

In prior months we looked at a stakeholder type of breakdown (i.e., a top down analysis). We got individuals, businesses, governments, non-profit/non-government, and a sense of what they wanted (hire, do business, enforce the law, etc.).

There were still too many questions (what do you do if DNA is planted at a crime scene?) and too many gaps in understanding (all stakeholders need to identify employees when they hire them – what is the same, what is different).

The proposal for a new technical approach (i.e., in this case a bottom up analysis) is to move away from stakeholders for the moment, and consider actual identity transactions. Then we will see if any structure suggests itself when we consider the detailed transactions (did I say bottom up?).

There is no easy precedent for this analysis: it is huge. If anyone can suggest a technique for organizing the following list, I will try it out next month. Otherwise, I will do what I want, so there!

Here is one brainstorm – by the way, I think I’m smarter than my readers – prove me wrong!

How well does your brain compare with mine – what important transactions did we miss? What are the categories or structure we can use to organize this unruly list?

Identify a qualified BA (the CBAP is the current standard – are you helping to set it)?

  • Cross a Hostile Border
  • Cross a Welcoming Border
  • Cross a Border at some level of gradation in between (is there any set of statuses that is simpler than the exponential combinations of relations between individual countries)?
  • Identify a friend in person Identify a friend remotely Identify an enemy in person
  • Identify an enemy remotely
  • Identify family for daily stuff
  • Identify family for inheritance stuff
  • Identify the owner of an object
  • Identify the owner of non-physical property
  • Identify DNA at a crime scene
  • Identify the actual criminal regardless of DNA, which is portable
  • Paternity
  • Maternity (an issue for modern procreation, no doubt)
  • Buy candy
  • Buy cigarettes or alcohol
  • Buy medical marijuana
  • Buy stocks
  • Set up a trust
  • Create a will Identify a conspiracy group
  • Perform Identity theft
  • Counter Identity theft
  • Perform successful witness protection
  • Hide from an abuser
  • Identify an abuser
  • Control or prevent spam, viruses, worms, spyware, etc.
  • Hire a janitor
  • Hire an FBI agent
  • Hire a fast food worker
  • Hire a dockworker
  • Hire a government worker
  • Hire a CEO
  • Hire a doctor/nurse/health provider/hospital
  • Hire a CIA worker
  • Hire a CIA spy
  • Hire a black budget spy
  • Hire a president, congressman, etc.
  • Hire a police officer, detective, TSA screener
  • Buy weapons at a swap meet
  • Trade weapons for drugs on the street
  • Obtain permit to own a weapon
  • Obtain permit to carry a concealed weapon
  • Obtain permit to use a weapon in public with backing from law enforcement (this is NOT just cops)
  • Give blood
  • Give sperm
  • Adopt a child
  • Put a child up for adoption
  • Be convicted of a crime
  • Be acquitted of a crime
  • Be left in limbo re: a crime (mistrial, hung jury, never charged, never caught) omigod.

What are the categories, if any?

What did I leave out (participate in a one night stand? – follow-up one night stand if VD is detected?).

If you can’t think about this, you may be struggling with what you are working on – test yourself! ©

©2008 Marcos Ferrer

Fill-in-the-blanks: A Process / Content Framework

If you’ve read the previous entries in this blog, you have seen that we’ve been building up to something, and this new entry will hopefully bring us to our first conceptual plateau, upon which there is much more to build.

What we’ve done so far is to reorient our view of requirements and the BABOK, by going from this (based on BABOK 1.6):


to this (based on IIBA guidance on BABOK 2.0 direction and the concepts from the three previous blog entries):


Following the previous blog entry about content vs. process, we are naturally led to the above structure which manifests that distinction and also provides a framework within which we can indicate the appropriate methods, tools, techniques, and standards for the corresponding process phase, within the corresponding language domain.

For example, in the Software Development x Elicitation cell, we would typically find UML, prototyping, consideration of legacy systems, etc.; while in the Enterprise e-Learning Infrastructure x Elicitation cell, we might find multimedia complexity requirements analysis, consideration of training data privacy laws, task analysis, etc.

This view brings up some interesting questions about

  • Ownership of the process itself (process design, continual improvement, and governance)
  • Whether this view contributes to or hinders senior management’s ability to obtain a dashboard view of the benefits, costs, and risks related to current requirements management efforts
  • The potential benefit to the enterprise as a whole should this view be adopted by managers and individual contributors involved in managing or meeting requirements

We’ll tackle one of those in the next entry. Meanwhile, I, and I am certain your colleagues, would love to hear your comments.