The BABOK® Guide describes business analysis areas of knowledge, their associated activities and tasks, and the skills necessary to be effective in their execution. The primary purpose of the BABOK® Guide is to define the profession of business analysis. It serves as a baseline that practitioners can agree upon in order to discuss the work they do and to ensure that they have the skills they need to effectively perform the role, and defines the skills and knowledge that people who work with and employ business analysts should expect a skilled practitioner to demonstrate. It is a framework that describes the business analysis tasks that must be performed in order to understand how a solution will deliver value to the sponsoring organization. The form those tasks take, the order they are performed in, the relative importance of the tasks, and other things may vary, but each task contributes in some fashion, directly or indirectly, to that overall goal.
This chapter provides an introduction to key concepts in the field of business analysis and describes the structure of the remainder of the BABOK® Guide. Chapters 2 through 7 define the tasks that a business analyst must be capable of performing. Chapter 8 describes the competencies that support the effective performance of business analysis, and Chapter 9 describes a number of generally accepted techniques that support the practice of business analysis.
Chapter 5: Enterprise Analysis The Enterprise Analysis Knowledge Area describes the business analysis activities necessary to identify a business need, problem, or opportunity, define the nature of a solution that meets that need, and justify the investment necessary to deliver that solution. Enterprise analysis outputs provide context to requirements analysis and to solution identification for a given initiative or for long-term planning. Enterprise analysis is often the starting point for initiating a new project and is continued as changes occur and more information becomes available. It is through enterprise analysis activities that business requirements are identified and documented. It describes the business analysis activities that take place for organizations to: § Analyze the business situation in order to fully understand business problems and opportunities. Assess the capabilities of the enterprise in order to understand the change needed to meet business needs and achieve strategic goals. § Determine the most feasible business solution approach. § Define the solution scope and develop the business case for a proposed solution. § Define and document business requirements (including the business need, required capabilities, solution scope, and business case).
Chapter 6 Requirements Analysis The Requirements Analysis Knowledge Area describes the tasks and techniques used by a business analyst to analyze stated requirements in order to define the required capabilities of a potential solution that will fulfill stakeholder needs. It covers the definition of stakeholder requirements, which describe what a solution must be capable of doing to meet the needs of one or more stakeholder groups, and solution requirements, which describe the behavior of solution components in enough detail to allow them to be constructed. The tasks in this knowledge area apply to both stakeholder and solution requirements. In addition, requirements analysis may be performed to develop models of the current state of an organization. These domain models are useful for validating the solution scope with business and technical stakeholders, for analyzing the current state of an organization to identify opportunities for improvement, or for assisting stakeholders in understanding that current state.
Chapter 7 Solution Assessment & Validation The Solution Assessment and Validation Knowledge Area describes the tasks that are performed in order to ensure that solutions meet the business need and to facilitate their successful implementation. These activities may be performed to assess and validate business processes, organizational structures, outsourcing agreements, software applications, and any other component of the solution. Business analysis plays a vital role in ensuring that the process of reviewing, selecting, and designing the solution is done in a way that maximizes value delivered to stakeholders. The business analyst knows the business environment and can assess how each proposed solution would affect that environment. The business analyst is responsible for ensuring that stakeholders fully understand the solution requirements and that implementation decisions are aligned with the relevant requirements.
Chapter 2 Planning & Monitoring The Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area defines the tasks associated with the planning and monitoring of business analysis activities, including:§ identifying stakeholders§ defining roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the business analysis effort§ developing estimates for business analysis tasks§ planning how the business analyst will communicate with stakeholders§ planning how requirements will be approached, traced, and prioritized§ determining the deliverables that the business analyst will produce§ defining and determining business analysis processes§ determining the metrics that will be used for monitoring business analysis work. In addition, this knowledge area describes the work involved in monitoring and reporting on work performed to ensure that the business analysis effort produces the expected outcomes. If these outcomes do not occur, the business analyst must take corrective action to meet stakeholder expectations.
Chapter 4 Requirements Management & Communication The Requirements Management and Communication Knowledge Area describes the activities and considerations for managing and expressing requirements to a broad and diverse audience. These tasks are performed to ensure that all stakeholders have a shared understanding of the nature of a solution and to ensure that those stakeholders with approval authority are in agreement as to the requirements that the solution shall meet. Communicating requirements helps to bring the stakeholders to a common understanding of the requirements. Because the stakeholders represent people from different backgrounds and business domains, this communication is both challenging and critical to the success of any initiative. It involves determining which sets of requirements are relevant to a particular stakeholder group and presenting those requirements in an appropriate format for that audience. Management of requirements assists with understanding the effects of change and linking business goals and objectives to the actual solution that is constructed and delivered. Over the long term, it also ensures that the knowledge and understanding of the organization gained during business analysis is available for future use.
Chapter 8 Underlying Competencies & Chapter 9 Techniques - part 1 The Underlying Competencies Knowledge Area provides a description of the behaviors, characteristics, knowledge and personal qualities that support the practice of business analysis. The underlying competencies are, of course, not unique to the business analysis profession. They are described here to ensure readers are aware of the range of fundamental skills required, and provide a basis for them to investigate further into the skills and knowledge that will enable them to be accomplished and adaptable business analysts.
Chapter 9 Techniques - part 2 The Techniques Chapter provides a high-level overview of the techniques referenced in the Knowledge Areas of the BABOK® Guide. Techniques alter the way a business analysis task is performed or describe a specific form the output of a task may take. The techniques listed here are only a subset of the techniques used by practitioners of business analysis. The ones listed here are applicable to enough different situations and business domains, and have been adopted by enough business analysis practitioners, that a skilled generalist should reasonably be expected to be familiar with the existence and purpose of the technique. Business analysts who specialize in a particular methodology or business domain may need to understand a smaller set of techniques in greater depth, or may need to develop expertise in techniques not described here. In a number of cases, we have grouped a set of conceptually similar techniques into a single entry. This was done to indicate that any one of the variant techniques that are listed in that entry (or even variants that are not specifically mentioned) may be usable for that purpose. While there are certainly important theoretical and practical differences between these variants, most practitioners will find that expertise in a single variant is sufficient in any particular environment.
Chapter 3 Elicitation and Exam tools Eliciting requirements is a key task in business analysis. Because the requirementsserve as the foundation for the solution to the business needs it is essential that therequirements be complete, clear, correct, and consistent. Leveraging proven means toelicit requirements will help meet these quality goals. The definition of elicitation is: 1. to draw forth or bring out (something latent or potential) 2. to call forth or draw out (as information or a response) These definitions highlight the need to actively engage the stakeholders in defining requirements.This chapter includes details for eliciting business, stakeholder, solution, or transitionrequirements. The business analyst should understand the commonly used techniquesto elicit requirements, should be able to select appropriate technique(s) for a givensituation, and be knowledgeable of the tasks needed to prepare, execute and completeeach technique.Eliciting requirements is not an isolated or compartmentalized activity. Typically,requirements are identified throughout the elicitation, analysis, verification and validationactivities. For example, requirements may be elicited in interviews or requirementsworkshops. Later, when those requirements are used to build and verify model(s), gapsin the requirements may be discovered. This will then require eliciting details of thosenewly identified Requirements.To fully examine and define the requirements a combination of complementaryelicitation techniques is typically used. A number of factors (the business domain, the corporate culture and environment, the skills of the analyst and the requirements deliverables that will be created) guide which techniques will be used.
Meeting Location: TBD
During these sessions, a facilitator will lead a discussion of each knowledge area, helping you understand the goal of specific business analysis activities, key tasks involved, relationships of various artifacts and deliverables. It's a great way to learn more about BA tasks, but it's especially geared to those studying for the certification exam. However, you will need to read the chapters before each week's session. The sessions are a great place to ask questions and dig deeper, however, it works best when everyoneis familiar with the material, so please come prepared. We know it's a lot to cover in 10 weeks, however, this Fast Track format has been most successful for us - and we've held sessions for about 3 years and a lot of Houston Chapter members have received their CBAP certification after taking this course.
We'll also cover tips for the application process and lots of tools and techniques to employ during the test. We have several CBAPs that will join our sessions to answer questions about the test and the certification process.
We'll send out more information to registrants the week before sessions start. If you would like to attend, but the location doesn't work - let us know. We are open to alternate locations, based on where the majority of attendees are coming from. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Entry Level Certificate in Business Analysis™.