Structure of the BABOK® Guide 
February 23, 2020

Structure of the BABOK® Guide 

By Lau

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

– Confucius
It doesn't matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop - Confucius Click To Tweet

Why is it important to know the BABOK Guide structure? In the previous two articles, we have seen what is business analysis and who is a business analyst. Both basic pieces of knowledge to aline ourselves with the concepts. Now that we are getting deeper into the book we need to know how the writers organised the information. This will allow us to create a visual map in our head that will help us to understand what will come after. So, let’s go to find out how its structure is.

Structure of the BABOK® Guide

The core content of the BABOK® Guide is organised into six knowledge areas. These areas are:

  1. Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring. These are the tasks to organise and coordinate the Business Analyst’s and stakeholders’ efforts.
  2. Requirements Life Cycle Management. Describes the tasks performed to manage and maintain requirements and design information from beginning to end.
  3. Solution Evaluation. Describes the tasks that business analysts perform to assess the performance of and value delivered by a solution and to recommend improvements to ensure the full realisation of the value.
  4. Elicitation and Collaboration. Describes the tasks to perform elicitation activities. It also describes the collaboration with stakeholders throughout the business analysis activities. 
  5. Requirements Analysis and Design Definition. Describes the tasks that business analysts perform to specify and model requirements and designs, validate information, identify solutions that meet business needs and estimate the potential value that could be realised for each solution option. 
  6. Strategy Analysis. Describes the tasks of identifying a business need of strategic or tactical importance, enables the enterprise to address that need and align the resulting strategy for the change with higher- and lower-level strategies. 

Knowledge areas are a collection of logically related tasks. These tasks describe specific activities that accomplish the purpose of their associated knowledge area.

Each task in the BABOK® Guide is presented in the following format: 

  • Purpose. Short description of the reason for a business analyst to perform the task, and the value created through performing the task.
  • Description. This section explains in greater detail the task purpose.
  • Inputs. This section lists the inputs for the task. Inputs are information consumed or transformed to produce an output and represent the information necessary for a task to begin. 
  • Elements. The Elements section describes the key concepts that are needed to understand how to perform the task. 
  • Guidelines/Tools. The Guidelines and Tools section lists resources that are required to transform the input into an output. A guideline provides instructions or descriptions on why or how to undertake a task. A tool is something used to undertake a task. Guidelines and tools can include outputs of other tasks.
  • Techniques. This section lists the techniques that can be used to perform the business analysis task.
  • Stakeholders. The Stakeholder section is composed of a generic list of stakeholders who are likely to participate in performing that task or who will be affected by it. 
  • Outputs.  This section describes the results produced by performing the task. 

There are more chapters that are meant to help guide business analysts to better perform business analysis tasks.

  • Key Concepts. This chapter includes the definition of the terms used in the BABOK® Guide. This will allow us to unify concepts in order to interpret the new knowledge more precisely.
  • Underlying Competencies. These provide a description of the behaviors, characteristics, knowledge, and personal qualities that support the effective practice of business analysis.
  • Techniques. These provide a means to perform business analysis tasks. The techniques described in the BABOK® Guide are intended to cover the most common and widespread techniques practiced within the business analysis community. 
  • Perspectives. Perspectives are used within business analysis to provide focus to tasks and techniques specific to the context of the initiative. Most initiatives are likely to engage one or more perspectives. The perspectives included in the BABOK® Guide are: 
    • Agile
    • Business Intelligence
    • Information Technology
    • Business Architecture
    • Business Process Management

To sum up, we have learned that the BABOK® Guide is being structured by knowledge areas that are a collection of tasks and each of these tasks follows a structure themselves. Also, there are four more chapters that are seen as a complement to the book: Key Concepts, Underlined Competencies, Techniques, and Perspectives.

RYou might also like to read about The Business Analysis Core Concept Model.

Don’t forget to download this FREE Digital Book: The Master Strategy for BA Beginners where you will learn how to get your first BA job by following 3 strategic steps.

See you soon. 😉