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I teach a university continuing ed course in Business Analysis, using this as the primary text. Students take the course to prepare for the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) exam--or to get our school certificate in the subject matter, so they can show employers they can do this work. What work? Why, the work outlined in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge!
This book will tell you everything you need to know to be an expert Business Analyst. And then you will have to go elsewhere to learn how to do all those things.
Some students are disappointed that this book doesn't actually TEACH them how to do a Business Case, for example. It only tells them what their contribution to a Business Case should be, and it tells them what the general elements of a business case are (and identifies techniques useful in developing those elements). Likewise for all the other pieces of a Business Analyst's work.
In addition, some students struggle with the model depictions of the work (a diagram showing how one piece relates to another). For some, this is a whole new language. Once you understand what is in the diagram, it makes a great chapter (or section) summary. But it isn't intuitive, unless you have the background necessary to understand the diagram.
But if you want to prepare for the IIBA exam, or complete a certificate course in this area, you must come to terms with the BABOK. Accept no substitute. Just don't expect that this book alone will make you an expert Business Analyst in all the areas you must master. It won't. But it will tell you what it is that you need to learn, in a systematic and complete way.
The BABOK was the required text for a certification course that doubled as a exam prep class which was a mistake.
The BABOK is NOT meant to be a textbook so instructors please stop trying to use it as one. It adopts a format with each topic to include: purpose, description, input, elements, techniques, stakeholders, output and then forces EVERY topic to adhere to that format which often felt forced, clunky and out of place. It does not explain HOW to do anything just that it may or may not need to be done. For example under requirements for re-use a Configuration Management Systems is needed but it doesn't tell you general information that would need to be included or how to set one up or even what it is. I understand that every business, process and project will be different so they want to keep the perspective broad but there are key components of each collaboration that are not addressed which is a disservice to BA's trying improve their skills or BA departments/organizations trying to set standards. There are NO examples in this book (not even of a basic requirement), no sample project so you can see how it all fits together or give a concept context which are only two reasons why this makes for a horrible textbook. There were obviously multiple contributors/writers for the book (some of whom were my instructors) so it reads a little hodge podge at times. There is no flow.
The BABOK is also NOT a resource guide. It's too wordy, vague and inefficient and there's no direct way to any topic. It will take you longer to find your topic then to just look it up on the internet. Once you find your topic the information is sparse (which is what you would expect from a resource guide) but definitions are filled with industry "speak" (lots of big words but says nothing).Read more ›
The Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge covers the whole breadth of business analysis from project start-up to post-implementation reviews. I think it's great for everyone, whether at entry level or experienced senior level.
It splits the discipline into six key knowledge areas: * Business analysis planning and monitoring * Elicitation * Requirements management and communication * Enterprise analysis * Requirements analysis * Solution assessment and validation
What's especially good is that it puts such a strong focus on planning and managing what we have to do, as well as going through the basics of eliciting, documenting and analysing, communicating, assessing, and validating.
Alongside these 6 knowledge areas, it also has a whole section on underlying compentencies (the 'soft' skills we need as business analysts), and another detailing 34 techniques we typically use.
For those that have already seen/used version 1.6, there are some key differences. The layout, tone, and diagrams are more consistent; the techniques are in their own separate section (rather than spread through the knowledge areas); the tasks that encroached slightly on the project/line management disciplines have been removed; and the enterprise analysis knowledge area has become more focused on what I would call 'problem analysis'.
A great reference that I keep on my desk all the time -- and I'm really looking forward to the next publication which will focus more fully on the Strategic aspects of what was covered under enterprise analysis in version 1.6.
Having worked as a Business Analyst for the past 15 years, I found this book to be a great reference book for experienced Business Analysts. It is well written, clearly organised. I use it as a reference when I run out of BA ideas on projects which lack structure. It always shows me a way forward. There is nothing new or ground breaking in it but it is a nice resource to have at hand. Very comprehensive for the waterfall model. It is missing the agile approach but I think that will come later.
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I am Chief Business Analyst and EVP at IIBA, with responsibility for IIBA's strategy, standards development, chapters, the IIBA Community Network, and enhancing educational opportunities for IIBA members. I was one of the charter members of IIBA and served on the IIBA Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009.
I have over a decade's experience as a business analyst and project manager across several industry sectors, including regulated professions, utilities, automobile manufacturing, courier services, and mortgage banking. During this time I have performed just about every task a business analyst could be expected to do, from developing corporate and product strategies to being paged by end-users looking for technical support.
I'm a CBAP, PMP, and OMG Certified Expert in BPM (at the Business Advanced and Technical Intermediate levels). I have taught project management and requirements analysis at Humber College, have a B.A. degree in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto, and am a graduate of the Second City's improvisational comedy program.