The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK Guide®) defines standards for the practice of business analysis. It describes six business analysis knowledge areas and a set of core concepts, along with underlying competencies, techniques, and perspectives on how to approach business analysis work.
In order to use the BABOK Guide®, it’s helpful to understand how it is organized. Unlike a textbook, where topics are organized in a sequential format, the BABOK is organized as a reference – more like a Wiki or an encyclopedia. Analysts who want to explore a particular topic can turn directly to that topic without having to read the preceding content. References to supporting content are readily available if the reader wants to explore a related topic. The B2T BABOK Guide® Infographic is designed to provide a visual overview of the topics in the BABOK Guide®.
Version 3.0 of the BABOK Guide introduced the Core Concepts Model. These six interdependent concepts affect a BA’s work at any phase of a change. Notice their placement on the Infographic:
- Context surrounds everything
- Change and Stakeholders span the page to show their involvement throughout a change
- Need, Solution, and Value illustrate the progression of business analysis work from inception of an idea to the realization of value
Each Knowledge Area within the BABOK Guide® comes into play at various times during the lifecycle of a change. The Knowledge Areas also produce specific outputs. Analysts can reference the Infographic to understand which outputs are typically produced during particular phases of a change, and which Knowledge Areas to reference for more detail on those outputs.
The Knowledge Areas leverage behavioral characteristics that Business Analysts should possess. While all come into play throughout our work, certain Knowledge Areas rely more heavily on particular behavioral characteristics. The Infographic provides a guide to the underlying characteristics that will be most important for the tasks within a given Knowledge Area.
“Perspective” is defined as “a mental view or prospect…the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed.” At the top of the Infographic, analysts are reminded that business analysis work must be viewed in the proper perspective. Certain types of projects or methodologies alter the way analysis work is viewed – think of them as “lenses” through which a change is viewed.
Last but not least, the foundation upon which the Infographic rests is the BABOK Guide’s® Requirements Classification Schema. Requirements are a “usable representation of a need”; as such, they are a cornerstone of business analysis work.
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