8/20/2014 Update: Watermark Learning’s PMI-PBA Online Study Exam is now available!
Also register for the PMI-PBA Certification Preparation Course today!
PMI® has announced its newest credential, the Professional in Business Analysis (PBA). With this initiative, PMI acknowledges the importance of the BA profession and function. We feel the PBA certification will increase the stature of Business Analysis because of PMI’s new credential, and we’re excited about this new offering. Applications begin May 12, 2014. See more at PMI.org.
Many in the industry wonder how this will affect IIBA, and its CBAP® and CCBA® certifications. We see all three credentials co-existing and serving different purposes. As an organization, Watermark Learning has supported both IIBA and PMI and contributed to both the PMBOK® Guide (4th and 5th Editions) and BABOK® Guides (versions 1.6, 2.0, and 3.0). To the best of our knowledge, we’re the only organization that has done so. And, we have long felt that both PMI and IIBA, along with their respective bodies of knowledge, well serve both the business analysis and project management communities.
Business analysis is part of projects, but it is also larger than the project. That is, some parts of business analysis fall within the scope of the project, and some do not. We will be publishing more detailed articles on the differences between the CBAP/CCBA and the PBA certification shortly. In the meantime, we’d like to share our thoughts about the new certification:
- We believe a major distinction between the two perspectives, PMI’s and IIBA’s, is that in the PMI worldview, business analysis supports project and program management. That is, business analysts support the efforts of the program and project manager. The IIBA perspective is that business analysts support the organization. Which does the organization need? Both, of course. Which helps the organization strategically? IIBA. That is not to say that the IIBA has no interest in the part of business analysis that supports the project/program. It’s just that business analysis is so much more.
- Some of the new PMI-PBA designation goes into needs assessment, which occurs prior to project initiation, as well as evaluating the solution post implementation. Having said that, PMI is mostly concerned with business analysis done during a project. Future Watermark blogs will provide high-level mapping between PMI domains and BABOK Knowledge Areas.
- For those who mainly work on projects, and for those who perform a hybrid Project Manager-Business Analyst role, the PMI-PBA is a good certification to have.
- Strategic, enterprise BAs, and those BAs who are professional BAs so to speak, might not gain as much from the PBA certification. We would never discourage them from seeking this new certification, but the IIBA designation will be more meaningful to them.
In the end, the BA community can either try to ignore the new PMI initiative, or embrace it and see how the two competing certifications can co-exist. Watermark is doing the latter. We totally support IIBA and its contribution to the BA community. We also totally support PMI and its contribution to the PM community. Ultimately BAs need to understand the PM role and vice versa. They need to collaborate and to communicate, especially in the areas of greatest overlap such as scope management, communications management, stakeholder management, to name a few. Collaboration is the key to project, program, and organizational success.
What do you think?