Business analysis continues to evolve rapidly across markets, and professionals need to keep pace with the changes to ensure that they are striking the right chords in stride.
At the same time, companies are facing increased talent gaps that can lead to strain in analytics programs and strategies, meaning that leaders should be focusing on the progressive training of existing employees to avoid errors, inaccuracies and deficiencies.
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge is among the most common guides to business analysis out there, and the International Institute [sws_blockquote align=”” alignment=”alignright” cite=”” quotestyles=”style01″]BABOK 3 is the latest iteration of the IIBA’s BA guide. [/sws_blockquote]of Business Analysis, which governs the framework, has made updates to it over the years. Currently, BABOK 3 is the latest iteration of the framework and guidelines for business analysts, and includes several important updates that will need to be understood among all professionals in this arena.
Training and certifications will be slightly impacted by the updates involved between the switch from BABOK version 2 to 3, but leading providers of these courses have already made changes to ensure a smooth transition for business analysis professionals. The first step is to understand the transformations necessitated by the recent update, and this can be better understood through the evaluation of substantive changes made to the guidelines.
The IIBA first pointed out that Business Analysis Core Concept Model and Requirements and Design have been added as new entrants into the guidelines. For the former, the aim was to standardize the language used to discuss business analysis across companies and industries, while the latter was meant to clearly characterize the differences between requirements and design when approaching analytics projects.
Additionally, the IIBA changed the version 2.0 name of Enterprise Analysis to Strategy Analysis for the third iteration of BABOK, which essentially places the emphasis on current and future states of business analysis. Change strategies and evaluating the prospective best practices of techniques and design definitions were also more heavily focused upon in BABOK 3 than in the second version.
The process of solution assessment and validation was also adjusted to be simply solution validation, and involved several new competencies throughout. [sws_blockquote align=”” alignment=”alignright” cite=”” quotestyles=”style01″]Real-world situations are a focus in these courses. [/sws_blockquote]This includes the removal of ethics and implementation of personal accountability and adaptability, as well as new conceptual and visual thinking requirements.
Furthermore, several techniques were adjusted within the latest update, including the following listed on the IIBA’s guide:
- Dictionary and Glossary
- Risk Analysis
- Use Cases
- Backlog Management
- User Stories
As an important note here, an entirely new section, called Perspectives, was also added to the guidelines, and involves a heavier emphases on intelligence, IT, architecture, process oversight and the incorporation of agile into the analysis framework. Agile has been one of the hottest trends throughout the IT community in the past few years, and continues to sprout up in new areas of the intelligence arena such as the IIBA’s guide.
There are more adjustments, additions and omissions in the BABOK 3 update, but those mentioned above represent the general themes involved throughout the IIBA’s latest release.
Business analysts must heed the call of the IIBA in its latest BABOK update.
Changes to training
The biggest adjustments to keep in mind here revolve around the types of training and techniques therein to field the new best practice framework released by the IIBA. Here is a quick list of adjustments that must be made to the underlying educational Noble Courses for business analysis:
- Courses fully incorporate BABOK v3’s changes in categorizing, naming and describing the six core Knowledge Areas.
- All definitions in courses have been updated to reflect the BABOK v3 definitions.
- Courses now incorporate the BABOK v3’s Business Analysis Core Concept Model.
- Courses incorporate the BABOK’s revisions to Business Analysis terminology, including both new and changed terms.
- Courses now reflect the BABOK v3’s view that Business Analysis does not stop at requirements and include aspects of solution design, with a focus on ‘asking why.’
- Courses reflect the greater integration of agile BA practices into BABOK v3.
- Courses reflect the new BABOK v3’s references to Business Analysis Information, acknowledging that BA artifacts go beyond pure ‘requirements.’
Now, it is worth noting that BABOK-focused business analysis training is not necessarily the only type of coursework that professionals in this arena should be embracing. Rather, there will need to be an emphasis placed on comprehensive education that helps analysts to not only field the important changes made by the IIBA in stride, but also helps to maintain a strong handle on the basics and fundamentals of the profession.
ultimateITcourses, a Microsoft Partner with Gold Learning stature that has been around for 25 years, offers some of Canada’s greatest business analysis courses. As a note, the IIBA endorses ultimateITcourses as an education provider, further illustrating the firm’s prowess in teaching analysts how to navigate fundamental aspects of the profession and all changes that are released over time.
For coursework, ultimateITcourses offers BA00, which is Business Analyst Boot Camp, BA01 for a crash course, BA02 to educate professionals in gathering and documenting user requirements with use cases and more. In fact, the courses go all the way up to BA11, which involves Strategic Enterprise Analysis for BA. All of these courses are offered on a relatively regular basis, and have been adjusted to reflect the new best practices established and released by IIBA to BABOK version 3.
Now, in terms of strategic advantages enjoyed when leveraging ultimateITcourses’ business analysis training portfolio, the main differentiator is the focus on real-world situations to keep the training programs on the ball. Lower development costs for applications, stronger quality, quicker response times to necessary adjustments and optimal product and service releases can all be enjoyed through these courses.
ultimateITcourses places an emphasis on enriching and no-fluff actionable training programs to not only align with the requirements of IIBA, but also to help professionals gain the most substantive knowledge at the lowest possible price point. With actionable and timely training courses delivered by proven and reliable providers of the educational platforms, business analysts will be better positioned to hit the right stride with these types of adjustments and others.
More updates are likely to arise in the coming years, and maintaining pace with the progression of guidance will be critical for all businesses and their analysts.