In my continuing coverage of the various BABOK techniques, I want to address three task-specific ones. There are 15 total task-specific techniques in the BABOK, and this entry outlines three of them. You should be familiar with each of these as part of your CBAP exam preparation, and for their overall applicability to business analysis.
I think of baselining as more of a concept or what the BABOK calls an “element,” more than a true technique. Baselining involves establishing a point at which a project or product scope is agreed on, and any future changes should only be made using a change management process. If changes are approved, they are recorded, which creates a new baseline, and the scope is said to be “re-baselined.”
There might be other techniques to establish or change the baseline, like using a structured walkthrough or change control. In the end, whether we call baselining a technique or an element, it IS an important step in requirements/scope management.
Signoff is another technique that is more of an element or even a task, and less a formal technique. Sure, it is essential to get requirements approved, and to have someone with the appropriate authority level do the approving. But, there isn’t any industry standard method of doing signoffs, unlike standards for the many modeling techniques in the BABOK.
Both Baselining and Signoff are techniques that apply to the task Manage Solution Scope & Requirements, 4.1 in the BABOK.
Using checklists is a wise idea, but do we need a technique for them? And if we do, then is there any reason for them not being a general technique? There are several places where business analysts could use a checklist, such as setting up an agenda, ensuring requirements quality, and remembering all the non-functional requirement categories. The BABOK refers to checklists in the task Verify Requirements, which makes sense. Checklists can help recall the needed parts of requirements documentation. That sounds like a requirements communication activity, but I don’t want to quibble at this point.
Checklists are attached to task 6.5, Verify Requirements.
In sum, these techniques are all important. If you are studying for the CBAP exam, I’d be familiar with the concepts they represent, and not worry too much about details for these techniques.
To learn more…
1) Get a copy of the BABOK by downloading it from the IIBA.
2) Read about all the task-specific techniques in our CBAP Certification Study Guide.
3) Take our CBAP Certification Preparation training course.