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More about the BABOK Guide v3

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It has now been a month since the International Public Review of A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®) Guide v3 began. I have had a chance to do a bit of review firsthand and wanted to share some findings.

BABOK Guide v3 Knowledge Areas

BABOK Guide V3 Knowledge Areas

The draft of the BABOK® Guide v3 contains the same number of knowledge areas with generally the same intent as the BABOK® Guide v2. While many of the names have changed, two of the knowledge areas really have the greatest change in intent.

Elicitation and Collaboration

This change moves communication from the Requirements Management and Communication knowledge area into the Elicitation knowledge area.

“The Elicitation and Collaboration Knowledge Area describes the Tasks that business analysts perform to prepare for and conduct Elicitation and Collaboration activities, confirm the results obtained from these activities, and communicate to stakeholders once the business analysis information is assembled.”

With this they have adjusted the processes in this knowledge area to:

  • Prepare for elicitation
  • Conduct elicitation
  • Confirm elicitation results
  • Communicate business analysis information
  • Manage stakeholder concerns

Requirements Analysis and Design Definition

“…business analysts are also responsible for the definition of design, at some level, in a change initiative.”

Business analysts doing design is a theme I heard at several IIBA Professional Development Days this spring. This may contradict how we have thought of business analysis in that we provide the what (requirement) while others provide the how (design). I think two interesting questions will be (1) how to differentiate when we are crossing over into design and (2) how to keep the roles and responsibilities regarding both clear within our project team. The following table comes directly from the BABOK® Guide v 3 Proposed Draft.

BABOK Guide V3 Requirements and Design

Tools and Techniques

The biggest concern I have with the BABOK® Guide v 3 proposed draft is the increase in the number of tools and techniques, from 34 to 46. I believe the greatest test of the value of a business analyst comes from the core competencies that they possess, including their ability to learn and think outside of the box, not the number of specific tools they have in their toolkit. A few of the new tools and techniques are very specific and do not appear to be tools that 80% of the BAs will benefit from 80% of the time, so I am unsure of the value of having these included in the BABOK® Guide. Instead, I feel they would be more appropriately shared with the BA community through articles and references from IIBA. Business Model Canvas is just one example that I believe would be better served outside of the BABOK® Guide. On the other hand, they have added Collaborative Games as a tool and technique that incorporates many different tools that promote collaboration on ideas. These more general categories of tools and techniques are better suited to the BABOK® Guide and knowledge required for BA certification.

Here is a complete list of new and changed tools and techniques:

  • Backlog Management
  • Balance Score Card
  • Business Capability Analysis
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Collaborative Games
  • Glossary (split from Data Dictionary)
  • Decision Modeling
  • Item Tracking
  • Problem Tracking
  • Reviews
  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Roles and Permissions Matrix
  • Scenarios (split from Use Cases)
  • Stakeholder List, Map, or Personas
  • Workshops (was Requirements Workshops)

Underlying Competencies

There is not a lot of change to the structure to the underlying competencies. There are only a few name changes at the highest level with a few additions to the specific competencies. Overall, I think these competencies become a bit more clear and useful with the changes, which are outlined below.

Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Added Conceptual Thinking
  • Added Visual Thinking

Behavior Characteristics

  • Added Organization & Time Management
  • Added Adaptability

Business Knowledge

  • Changed Business Principles and Practices to Business Acumen
  • Added Methodology Knowledge

Communication Skills

  • Added Non-Verbal Communication
  • Added Listening
  • Removed Teaching (see Interaction Skills)

Interaction Skills

  • Changed Facilitation and Negotiation to Facilitation
  • Added Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Added Teaching

Software Applications become Business Analysis Tools and Technology

  • Changed General-Purpose Applications to Office Productivity Tools and Technology>
  • Changed Specialized Application to Business Analysis tools and Technology
  • Added Communication Tools and Technology


This represents the biggest change to the BABOK® Guide as far as structure. The idea is that there are processes and best practices that are specific to different types of projects. The perspectives section details these differences in terms of:

  • Change Scope
  • Business Analysis Scope
  • Impact on Knowledge Areas
  • Methodologies and Techniques
  • Underlying Competencies

This means that for the following “perspectives,” there is additional information contained within the BABOK® Guide.

  • The Agile Perspective
  • The Business Intelligence Perspective
  • The Information Technology Perspective
  • The Business Architecture Perspective
  • The Business Process Management Perspective

These perspectives will undoubtedly be great resources as BAs venture into new territory. The additions to perspectives raise several questions for me. First, does the idea of perspectives open the BABOK® Guide up for future perspectives? Will the growth be manageable? Also, how much will specifics on perspectives be included in the CBAP®/CCBA® tests?

It will be interesting to see where the perspectives go in the future.

This sums up the high level overview of the BABOK® Guide Version 3 (proposed draft). Please take a look for yourself and provide your comment to the IIBA by July 11th and make your voice heard.

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