A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge

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A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) is the globally recognized standard for the practice of business analysis. BABOK® Guide reflects the collective knowledge of the business analysis community and presents the most widely accepted business analysis practices.[1]

BABOK® Guide recognizes and reflects that fact business analysis is continually evolving and is practised in a wide variety of forms and contexts. It defines the skills and knowledge that people who work with and employ business analysts should expect a skilled practitioner to demonstrate.

BABOK® Guide is a framework that describes the business analysis tasks that must be performed to deliver a solution that will provide value to the sponsoring organization. Each business analysis task contributes to this overall goal directly or indirectly. Many elements of a task may vary, including the form those tasks take, the order they are performed in, or the relative importance of the tasks.

BABOK® Guide describes the skills, knowledge, and competencies required to perform business analysis effectively. It does not describe the processes that people will follow to do business analysis.

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


BABOK® Guide was first published by International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) as a draft document version 1.4, in October 2005, for consultation with the wider business analysis and project management community, to document and standardize generally accepted business analysis practices. The first formal release was at version 1.6 in June 2006. Version 2.0 was released 31 March 2009. Version 3 was released in April 2015.

BABOK® Guide is defined and updated by the professionals who use it every day and is under active review and consultation all the time. Prior to publication, BABOK® Guide undergoes a full public review where any person can provide feedback and comment on the content.

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).[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

Structure and Content[edit]

BABOK® Guide includes chapters on:

  • Business Analysis Key Concepts: define important terms that are the foundation of the practice of business analysis.
  • Knowledge Areas: represents the core content of BABOK® Guide and contain the business analysis tasks that are used to perform business analysis.
  • Underlying Competencies: describes the behaviours, characteristics, knowledge, and personal qualities that help business analysists be effective in their job.
  • Techniques: describes 50 of the most common techniques used by business analysts.
  • Perspectives: describes 5 different views of business analysis (Agile, Business Intelligence, Information Technology, Business Architecture, and Business Process Management). New to BABOK® Guide version 3, Perspectives demonstrate the continued evolution of the practice of business analysis.

Knowledge Areas[edit]

BABOK® Guide organizes business analysis tasks within 6 knowledge areas. Each task describes the typical knowledge, skills, deliverables, and techniques that the business analyst requires to be able to perform those tasks competently. The knowledge areas logically organize tasks but do not specify a sequence, process, or methodology.

The knowledge areas of BABOK® Guide are:

  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring: describes the tasks used to organize and coordinate business analysis efforts.
  • Elicitation and Collaboration: describes the tasks used to prepare for and conduct elicitation activities and confirm the results.
  • Requirements Life Cycle Management: describes the tasks used to manage and maintain requirements and design information from inception to retirement.
  • Strategy Analysis: describes the tasks used to identify the business need, address that need, and align the change strategy within the enterprise.
  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition: describes the tasks used to organize requirements, specify and model requirements and designs, validate and verify information, identify solution options, and estimate the potential value that could be realized.
  • Solution Evaluation: describes the tasks used to assess the performance of and value delivered by a solution and to recommend improvements on increasing value.


  1. ^ "BABOK Guide - IIBA | International Institute of Business Analysis". www.iiba.org. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  2. ^ "CBAP Certification - IIBA | International Institute of Business Analysis". www.iiba.org. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  3. ^ "CCBA Designation". Retrieved October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Certified Business Analysis Professional". Certification. IIBA. Retrieved October 2015. 

External links[edit]