BABOK V3 First Impressions – It’s worth the read

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On April 15, 2015, the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) officially issued the long awaited Business Analysis Book of Knowledge version 3 (BABOK V3); I attended the IIBA webinar and downloaded my membership copy of V3. Upon first glance, there were several things that made me smile to various degrees. In less than 700 words, here are the six items that caught my eye:

  • Emphasis of the Business Analyst (BA) being a Change Agent (V3, Chapter 1.2) – this is addressed upfront in the Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM). BAs transform the business by improving its processes via small incremental changes or by a dramatic redesign depending on the degree of needed benefits. In addition, BAs elicit software requirements to facilitate those process improvements through automation.
  • Recognition of Business Design (V3, Chapter 7)– this is all about modeling how the business actually accomplishes work products and services through diagrams, text, tables, and metrics.
  • Single viewpoint models (V3, Chapter 7.4.4) – this is all about keeping models simple and understandable. BAs use multiple models to represent different facets of the business: processes, decisions, data, etc. However, the model is better understood with a single focus; combining models makes them confusing - linking models is a better approach.
  • Inclusion of requirements verification (V3, Chapter 7.2.2) – this is all about defining the product or service correctly vs defining the correct product or service. The business analyst needs to ensure the analysis follows best practices prior to asking the stakeholders to confirm (validate) the requirements for correctness. [1]
  • Expansion of Financial Analysis (V3, Chapter 10.2) – vital BA skill to ensure business success as opposed to just a project success. Several years ago an experienced analyst and mentor advised me that less than 20% of US companies actually reconciled that the project benefits were realized. Instead, the companies just declare project success and move on to their next endeavor. The elevation of this topic to a Technique citing several cost benefit analysis methods is long overdue; after all, as business analysts we are more concerned with business success than with project success. My only disappointment is that the cost benefit methods included Internal Rate of Return and omitted Modified Internal Rate of Return (MIRR). MIRR is a better method since it allows the analyst to state a realistic reinvestment interest rate; IRR overstates reinvestments by using the breakeven interest rate [2].
  • Addition of Perspectives (V3, Chapter 11) – this is all about the aspects of certain projects such as Agile, Business Intelligence, Information Technology, Business Architecture, and especially Business Process Management (BPM). However, I would prefer BPM be included in the Elicitation and Collaboration chapter instead of the Perspective chapter since most endeavors involve either incremental process improvement or dramatic redesign.

Wishes for the next version

There are always going to be suggestions for improvements; it is the quality way – continuous improvement. However in the words of Voltaire, “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, if we wait for perfection, we would have never seen a V3. My thanks to all the IIBA volunteers that worked on the new version. Below are two items I would like to see in a future version:

  • Managing Resistance Techniques – include change resistance techniques (e.g., Kotter and Emery methods for proactively managing resistance and resistance corrective action respectively) [3],[4]. Change failures are more often caused by social and/or cultural resistance than by technical problems.
  • Process and Software Testing – include various testing methodologies (planned and exploratory) in the Perspective chapter since most BAs I know are involved in testing.

Summary

My purpose in writing this brief article is to give some quick insight into the BABOK V3 which, by the way, is near twice the page volume when compared to V2. Obviously, V3 requires a perusal rather than a quick scan. In the future, I am sure to reference V3 several times and gain further insight in different contexts. It is worth the read.


Author: Mr. Monteleone holds a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in computing science from Texas A&M University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®), a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by the Scrum Alliance. He holds an Advanced Master’s Certificate in Project Management (GWCPM®) and a Business Analyst Certification (GWCBA®) from George Washington University School of Business. Mark is also a member of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) International and the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).

Mark is the President of Monteleone Consulting, LLC and author of the book, The 20 Minute Business Analyst: a collection of short articles, humorous stories, and quick reference cards for the busy analyst. He can be contacted via – www.baquickref.com.


References

  1. Verifying Requirement Documentation, Mark Monteleone (2012). WWW.BATIMES.COM
  2. Internal Rate of Return IRR and Modified IRR Explained, Business Encyclopedia, ISBN 978-1-929500-10-9.
  3. Leading Change, John P. Kotter (1996)
  4. Resistance as a Resource, Dale H. Emery, Cutter IT Journal Vol. 14 No. 10, October 2001
Posted in: IIBA & BABOK
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COMMENTS

khadijahasim posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 2:54 AM
How can I get access to this BABOK V3 ? What is the process
mmonteleone posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 1:00 PM
You can the join the IIBA (iiba.org) for a free copy with membership or access amazon.com to purchase a copy.
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