New IIBA Certification: IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (IIBA-AAC)
Looking for your next certification? IIBA is launching a new certification this summer – the IIBA® Agile Analysis Certification™ (IIBA®-AAC™). This is the perfect certification for business analysts who want to demonstrate that they have the skills and expertise needed to be an effective business analyst working in an Agile project team. This certification will validate your ability to:
- Be an integral part of a successful Agile team.
- Utilize a comprehensive set of techniques and practices for effective business analysis in an Agile environment.
- Help a team and its organization transition from more traditional methodologies to an Agile approach.
The target audience for this new certification is practicing business analysts, Agile team members who wish to become Agile Analysis Certification credential holders, or individuals wishing to understand business analysis in an Agile environment – such as product owners and managers.
Why this New Certification and Why Now?
Agile is a high growth area, and IIBA foresees this trend to continue. Agile was ranked first in the top three areas business analyst professionals perform their work in the 2017 IIBA Annual Business Analysis Salary Survey. BAs working in an Agile space also reported earning up to 30% more. This represents a growing opportunity for IIBA and their education providers, such as Watermark Learning, to provide additional professional support and an Agile certification.
Further, more and more organizations are adopting agile approaches. As good as Agile is, it is not a silver bullet. Agile projects can still fail, and, as an industry, we need to improve project success rates using an Agile approach. To do that, we believe business analysis offers a key skill that is often missing in Agile development. BAs don’t do enough analysis in an Agile environment given the short cuts in analysis that generally occur in an Agile environment.
Many business analysts and their organizations are also unsure how the BA fits in an Agile environment. It is our proposition that BAs should play a very significant role in the Agile space and they already have the core competencies that can be leveraged for project success. We still believe it is critical to understand the business needs and do analysis in an Agile environment.
IIBA’s Agile Extension is a very important step towards business agility and harnessing the value of the business analyst. It contains the key principles of Agile Business Analysis, three planning horizons, an understanding how interactions and feedback cross horizons, and how and when business analysis techniques are applied during different planning horizons. The goal is to help practitioners go beyond user stories and understand what analysis really means in an Agile environment.
The good news is that there are no eligibility experience requirements for this exam. However, IIBA does recommend that BA professionals have 2-5 years of Agile related experience and Agile practitioners have 2-5 years of experience.
The Exam Process
Results from early exams (June 1st to mid-July) will not be reported back to the test takers until mid-July. After the preliminary exam period, exam results will be available immediately.
Here are the steps for taking the exam.
- Step 1: Complete registration form. You can find the registration form on the IIBA website (once registration opens).
- Step 2: Pay the exam fee. Once the application has been submitted, you will pay for the exam through the pay portal on IIBA.org.
- Step 3: Schedule your exam. Once payment has been received, IIBA will email a link to schedule your exam with the online proctor. Select the best date and time that works for you based on availability.
- Step 4: Take your exam.
- Step 5: Pass your exam. ?
- Step 6: Recertify every 3 years from your certification date.
The overall exam is a practice-based exam that focuses on those aspects of effective analysis work in an Agile environment. It is expected that the business analyst has acquired enough practical experience to successfully complete straightforward tasks.
The exam has 85 scenario-based questions, based on Version 2.0 of IIBA’s Agile Extension. Like other certifications, the exam is multiple choice. The IIBA-AAC exam is two hours in length and delivered via remote online proctoring. The exam blueprint includes:
- Agile Mindset – 30% (25 questions)
- Strategy Horizon – 10% (9 questions)
- Initiative Horizon – 25% (21 questions)
- Delivery Horizon – 35% (30 questions)
Note: The above study areas also include about 30 questions on techniques.
For the latest updates, check out iiba.org.
Watermark Learning will have IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (IIBA-AAC) preparation support later this year, including an Online Study Exam, followed by an updated Agile Business Analysis course, suitable for the IIBA Agile Analysis Certification, to help people prepare.
Dr. Susan Heidorn, PMP, CBAP, HSDP, CSM, BRMP is the Director of Business Solutions for Watermark Learning in Minneapolis. Susan is an experienced consultant, facilitator, speaker, and trainer, with over 25 years of business experience. Susan directs programs in business analysis, business relationship management, and leadership, including developing and delivering courses and providing consulting. She has been a speaker at a number of IIBA® and PMI® conferences as well as local and regional organizations, boards, and private clients. She is a lifelong learner whose passion it is to guide people into achieving excellence in their personal and professional lives and works on creating positive impacts to the organization.