Rich here. It’s been a while since I’ve written about BABOK techniques you need to know to pass the CBAP or CCBA exam. If I’m going to try and finish covering all 34 general and 15 task-specific ones by the end of the year, I have to get back to it.
In past blog posts I featured all the task-specific techniques and four of the general techniques: Data Modeling, Observation, Scenarios and Use Cases, and State Diagrams. Next I want to explore Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria Definition with an excerpt from our book CBAP Certification Study Guide.
This technique covers the specifics we employ as BAs to facilitate decision-making about requirements. Its purpose is to think through and define the criteria that will be used to approve and accept a deliverable. The difference between acceptance criteria and evaluation criteria are as follows:
• Acceptance criteria – the basic measurements that must be achieved in order to judge whether a given project or solution is worth implementing. Typically used when evaluating one solution, and is frequently associated with acceptance testing.
• Evaluation criteria – the key requirements that will be used to decide between alternative solutions, assuming there are alternatives. They would be used to score the possible alternatives to recommend the best one.
In the case of acceptance criteria, the decision is about whether to “accept” a deliverable and then the criteria represent the minimum level a solution must meet. For instance, a new order entry system must be capable of adding a new order, and adding items to the order.
Evaluation criteria support broader decisions, such as which COTS package to purchase for a sales commission application. The criteria, such as security, ease of use, cost, etc. form the basis for making the decision, and could be employed with a technique like a weighted ranking matrix. (Decision Analysis is a whole other topic and another blog entry!)
The two BABOK elements to know for this technique are:
1. Testability. To know if a solution has been met, it needs to be expressed in testable form. The solution will be measured against the criteria.
2. Determine Ranking and Scoring.
- Ranking: determining the order of importance of requirements, to be used in prioritization. The BABOK technique of Prioritize Requirements would be one way to create rankings.
- Scoring: a process to determine how well a solution meets a requirement. It needs a scale and agreed-on levels for scoring.
Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria Definition is a widely referenced technique in the BABOK. Out of the 34 general techniques, only 3 others are referenced more often. Because of the wide use of this technique, expect one or more questions on the CBAP or CCBA exam.
To learn more…
1) Get a copy of the BABOK by downloading it from the IIBA.
2) Read about all general techniques in our CBAP Certification Study Guide.
3) Take our CBAP Certification Preparation training course.