BABOK to Business Analysts

BABOK - Business Analysis Body Of Knowledge


The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) is a repository of knowledge maintained by practicing business analysis professionals. It details what are currently deemed to be accepted practices within the profession. The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge contains business analysis areas of knowledge, the activities which make up business analysis, and the skills required to effectively perform business analysis.

BABOK is a valuable resource, providing detailed information for anyone involved in, or interested in, the business analysis profession. BABOK may be of value to:

This short guide will attempt to summarize the areas of business analysis knowledge which are maintained within BABOK.

Note; BABOK is not intended to give guidance upon the responsibility and role of a person working with the job title business analyst. Instead its function is to define and describe the actual discipline of business analysis and the methodologies and techniques used in its implementation.

BABOK Knowledge Areas

A knowledge area within the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge defines a group of tasks and techniques which are related. However, BABOK is not a definition of methodology. Whilst it does outline the knowledge, tasks and activities which a business analyst would need to know about, it does not teach or offer any perspective upon how to perform business analysis. It is a repository of knowledge, not a teaching aid.

More specifically, BABOK knowledge areas do not define business analysis methodology. However, they do provide information detailing what a business analyst would need to know in order to utilize a given methodology. Whilst the knowledge areas do seem to follow a progressive sequence, this should not be taken as an indication that it should be used as a step-by-step guide to performing the job of a business analyst. Below we will take a look at the actual knowledge areas which make up BABOK:

  1. Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring - This knowledge area contains information on how we determine exactly which activities we employ in order to perform a specific iteration of business analysis. Covered in this section is the selection of the business analysis technique to be employed, identification of stakeholders and the process which will be used to manage requirements as well as how assessment will be performed.
  2. Requirements Management and Communication - This knowledge area covers the fundamentals of how we manage any conflicts or problems which arise, and ensure that both the project team and the stakeholders remain in agreement when issues occur and solutions are put forth. This knowledge area also covers considerations for projects which are using a complex methodology, which may require formal signoff on scope changes, version tracking of requirements documents and timeline auditing.
  3. Enterprise Analysis - This BABOK knowledge area defines how we start with a business need, and clarify this definition, until we reach a stage where we can begin to scope out a proper solution. Feasibility studies, business cases and definition of scope are covered in this knowledge area.
  4. Elicitation - This knowledge are covers the way in which a business analyst needs to interface with stakeholders. How to find out exactly what their needs are and how to endure that we have understood these needs entirely.
  5. Requirements Analysis - This area of knowledge contains a description of how to refine and elaborate on a solution to ensure that the project team will be able to deploy a solution that will fill the needs of stakeholders exactly. This involves taking the stated requirements of the stakeholder, and analyzing them, to form an assessment as to whether the stated needs are valid for the business as a whole.
  6. Solution Assessment and Validation - In this knowledge area we switch to discussing the role of business analysis once the project team have a proposed solution on the table. It covers the assessment of a solution to determine if it suits the needs of the business, and to discover any shortcomings or omissions, specifying changes if needed. Additionally, this knowledge area covers how we assess the success of solutions which have been deployed, and to discern if they have fully met the requirements of the stakeholder.

  7. Underlying Competencies - This knowledge area discusses tertiary knowledge, methodologies and behavior which either support or affect the process of business analysis.

BABOK in Conclusion

BABOK makes a huge range of information and knowledge available not only to business analysts, but anyone who finds themselves (such as stakeholders) involved in the process of business analysis. Although BABOK cannot be considered to be anything akin to a textbook, it does contain a wealth of strategically valuable information.

© 2015 Stellar Force
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