A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge

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A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) is the written guide to the collection of business analysis knowledge reflecting current best practice, providing a framework that describes the areas of knowledge, with associated activities and tasks and techniques required.[1]

According to Capability Maturity Model Integration, organisations interested in process improvement need to adopt industry standards from the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (and other associated references) to lift their project delivery from the ad hoc to the managed level.[2]


The BABOK was first published by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) as a draft document version 1.4, in October 2005,[3] for consultation with the wider business analysis and project management community, to document and standardise generally accepted business analysis practices. The first formal release was at version 1.6 in June 2006.[4] Version 2.0 was released 31 March 2009.[5]

As with other bodies of knowledge, the BABOK is defined and updated by the professionals who use it every day,[6] and is under active review and consultation all the time. Version 3 of the BABOK Guide had its public release on 15 April 2015.[7]

Professional Certification[edit]

Once the body of knowledge was established, IIBA created the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) designation to recognise senior business analysts who could demonstrate in-depth long-term experience in these knowledge areas (5–10 years in a dedicated business analyst role).

IIBA also offers the Certification of Competency on Business Analysis (CCBA) designation that recognises Business Analysts with 3750 hours business analysis experience, including 900 hours experience in two knowledge areas or 500 hours experience in four knowledge areas, and 21 professional development hours.[8]

For both certifications the applicant must have a minimum high school education (or equivalent), two references from a career manager, client or Certified Business Analyst Professional and sign the IIBA Code of Conduct.[9]

Knowledge Areas[edit]

The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge defines 6 knowledge areas, which group together related sets of tasks and techniques. Each of these tasks and techniques describes the typical knowledge, skills, processes, and deliverables that the business analyst requires to be able to perform those tasks competently.

While a flow of tasks and processes is suggested by these knowledge areas, the BABOK is deliberately not setting out a prescribed methodology. Indeed, version 2.0 has separated techniques from the knowledge area tasks, into a new section.

Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
How Business Analysts plan the tasks and activities for Business Analysis. It covers Stakeholder Analysis, selecting an approach to managing issues, risks and requirements; deciding how to monitor and report on requirements activities; and negotiating how to manage change on a project.
How Business Analysts work with stakeholders to help them understand their requirements within the scope of a project. It covers eliciting requirements; brainstorming; analysing documents; running focus groups; analysing system interfaces; interviewing; observing; prototyping; facilitating requirements workshops; reverse engineering existing systems; and collecting input via surveys and questionnaires.
Requirements Management and Communication
How Business Analysts ensure that the project team and stakeholders stay in agreement on project scope. It covers communicating requirements; resolving conflicts; gaining formal approval; baselining and tracking requirements through to implementation.
Enterprise Analysis
How Business Analysts take a business need: define that need; identify gaps in current capabilities that stop that need being met; then if change is required, to propose an approach and scope for finding a solution and building the case to justify the work. It explores assessing business architecture; undertaking capability gap analysis; feasibility studies; defining the solution scope; and developing a business case.
Requirements Analysis
How Business Analysts work with the whole project team towards defining a solution that should meet the agreed requirements. It covers documenting and analysing business, stakeholder, functional, and non-functional (quality of service) requirements; modelling the business domain using process diagrams, flowcharts, data models, decision models; exploring behaviour models using use case, user experience design, storyboards, wireframes, user profiles and user stories; and finally verifying and validating requirements.
Solution Assessment and Validation
How Business Analysts assess proposed solutions to help the stakeholders select the solution which best fits their requirements, and once selected how the business should prove that the solution meets those requirements and ultimately whether the project has met its objectives. It covers evaluating alternate solutions, quality assurance processes, support through implementation, and post-implementation reviews.
Underlying Competencies
Covers the leadership, problem solving, and communication skills; business and technical knowledge that support effective business analysis.
Defines a range of specific skills, methods, and tools that enable the business analysis tasks in the six knowledge areas — there are 34 techniques listed in the Techniques section, with a further 15 defined within the knowledge areas.


External links[edit]