Watermark Learning Blog

Last month, I attended the PMI Global Congress in Phoenix, AZ, and of course one of the hottest topics at the congress was the PMI-PBA credential. With the announcement of the PMI-PBA pilot recipients, there are now 185 PMI-PBAs worldwide and that number is expected to grow quickly!

With so few who’ve passed the exam so far, everyone has a lot of questions on how to best prepare for the exam.  Here are some of the questions and answers that came out during the PMI Global Congress.

BA PracticeWhen is Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide (BA Practice Guide) coming out?

According to what we heard from the PMI Global Congress, PMI’s BA Practice Guide will be available starting December 1, 2014.  It will be a free download for PMI members for six months and then will be a for purchase publication.  See more details.


Will the BA Practice Guide help prepare for the PMI-PBA exam?

Yes. The Business Analysis Practice Guide addresses best practices in business analysis aligning tools and techniques to the domain and tasks of the examination.

Will emphasis on traceability in the PMI-PBA exam continue?

No. PMI has been developing new questions for the exam bank with the goal of developing a broader range of questions. Traceability will still be important to study; however, be sure to study all of the PMI-PBA domains and tasks to ensure you are well-prepared for the breadth of the exam.

Where can I find information on what the examination covers?

PMI has provided an Examination Content Outline that provides details on the domains and tasks with domains along with tools and techniques covered. This is a high-level view of business analysis but does provide insights to knowledge a candidate needs to have for certification success.

Does PMI have any other resources for PMI-PBA preparation?

Yes, PMI has published a Reference List of materials useful in preparing for the PMI-PBA examination.

What resources does Watermark Learning have to help me in preparing for the PMI-PBA examination?

Watermark Learning has been working hard since the PMI-PBA credential was announced to bring you great study materials. See below for resources and availability. Join PMI-PBA list to be the first to get announcements of new resources available.

3 thoughts on “BA Practice Guide and PMI-PBA Q&A

  1. I have somewhat stumbled across this site in my search for information regarding PMI-PBA and the IIBA certifications (including the new Sept 2016 for the latter). My organization has recently established a “business transformation” team that includes PM and BA personnel, as well as others such as tech writers and OCM specialists. Each of our positions will ultimately require a certification relevant to their area of expertise. For PM’s we have defined this to be CAPM and PMP, but for BA’s we are struggling to chose between IIBA credentials and PMI-PBA. The latter seems like an up and coming certification but even today there is not a great deal of training aligned with it outside of boot camp courses. Given Vicki James dual BA credentials, I was hopeful she could offer a perspective on which path to follow. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • Your question is a very good one, but not easy to answer. Here are some considerations to help you decide which is best for your team.
      • CBAP. At the highest level, the CBAP has been and will continue to be the “gold standard” of BA certifications. It’s for those who want to make business analysis their profession and who do not see getting “promoted” to a PM as a career choice. It’s becoming globally recognized. However:
      o The application is cumbersome to complete, although less so than in the past.
      o Two references are required.
      o We’re told the test is quite difficult. (we were among the first CBAPS, so our experience is 10 years old)
      o As with all such designations, it’s important to understand the related body of knowledge rather than relying on personal experience which varies from organization to organization.
      • There are other levels of IIBA certifications.
      o There is an entry-level for those who have knowledge about business analysis but no practical experience. For example, they might have studied it in school, but never worked in that role.
      o You might want to consider the CCBA would be the best for some of your team. It’s roughly equivalent to the CAPM for project managers.
      • The PBA is perfect for a hybrid BA/PM role, for consultants, and for trainers. One of the blog links below will take you to an interview with a hybrid PM/BA who just got her PMI-PBA designation.
      Although applying for both the CBAP/CCBA and PMI-PBA requires actual BA experience on projects, a strong case can be made for showing how doing tech writing, for example, uses BA skills. That’s certainly the case for OCM specialists as well. It’s a question of understanding what IIBA and PMI mean by business analysis experience and showing that the work done, regardless of title, is business analysis work. I used such experience to get both my CBAP and PMI-PBA in my current role as CEO.
      I hope this helps. The links below will take you to additional Watermark blogs on the subject (newer than the one you ran across) as well as the IIBA certification information.
      http://www.watermarklearning.com/blog/
      http://www.watermarklearning.com/blog/cbap-ccba-v3-exam-update/
      http://www.watermarklearning.com/blog/pmi-pba-certification-thoughts-field/
      http://iiba.org/Certification-Recognition/certificationlevels.aspx

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