What is BABoK? 4 Ideas From a Business Analyst

by Lora McCoy | February 16, 2021

Almost a quarter of a century ago, I found myself thrust into the world of business analysis.

For many years, I wandered along the path and figured things out as I went. As I moved from company to company - and industry to industry - I began engaging in almost every functional area an organization can have.

I found consistencies and learned many new things.

babok business analystThen one year, I found an organization called IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis). They had this amazing collection of knowledge, best practices, and theory called the BABoK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge).

Immediately upon finding the certification and BABoK, I joined the organization and began my journey for certification.

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4 Perspectives on BABoK & How It Will Improve Your Business:

  1. What is BABoK?
  2. What's the Goal of BABoK?
  3. What Does BABoK Do?
  4. 5 Lessons I Learned from BABoK

#1 - What is BABoK?

babok bookThe BABoK is a core set of theories and practices that a Business Analyst in any industry, working with any technology (or lack thereof), anywhere in the world can use to be successful.

While I was considered an expert at what I do already, going through the BABoK and leveraging the resources of IIBA, I learned and grew even more.

While the BABoK is free in a digital version when joining the IBA, it can also be purchased through Amazon.

Many see the BABoK as a very structured, linear approach to doing business analysis. However, if you look at it with an open mind set, you see that it does not apply solid structure.

Nor does it expect an individual to follow a waterfall methodology (although it can support that).

#2 - The Goal of BABoK

babok tools and techniquesIt encourages adaptive behavior in the world of change and suggests that every change is unique and requires an approach, techniques and skills that are most aligned for that specific change’s success.

The approach and techniques found within can be used in any methodology and in any organization, if that organization is open minded and willing to consider the “Goldilocks” mentality (not too fast, not too slow, but just right).

The knowledge of BABoK in the hands of a skilled practitioner can significantly reduce the cost of change. Even more importantly, it can greatly increase the adoption, sustainability, and long-term success of that change.

#3 - What Does BABoK Do?

business technology analystIt ensures that the right solution is implemented at the right time for the right reasons. A skilled practitioner leveraging BABoK can ensure not just short-term success but long-term strategic goal achievement.

It supports the ability to implement rapid value while maintaining a solid view and consistent consideration of the long-term goals and strategic system successes that the organization is capable of.

#4 - Five Lessons That I Have Learned from BABoK

While I had over a decade of experience when I found BABoK, I learned so many invaluable things from it, including:

  1. I gained confidence because it validated much of what I believed instinctively
  2. It gave me a framework with which I could structure the chaos
  3. Heavy structure leads to business decline
  4. Uncontrolled agility leads to potential chaos and quote "failing fast”
  5. Applying the BABoK with adaptability and thoughtfulness will allow one to succeed quickly

No other book takes the world of change from the perspective of individuals all over the world in a collective, volunteer, highly collaborative approach.

It then presents it in a way that is applicable in every organization I have ever had the honor and pleasure to enable a better tomorrow in.

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