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By Eleanor Bennett


3 min read

In our latest guide helping business analysts improve their knowledge of vital tools and resources we are covering BABOK also known as the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, why is this such a popular resource for business analysts and where can you get a copy?

When was BABOK first introduced?

The first edition of the BABOK Guide was first published by The IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) in January 2005 as a complete guide to the profession of business analysis with Version 1.4 published later that same year in October.

What is the latest version of BABOK?

The latest version of BABOK is version 3.0 which was published on April 15th 2015. Aside from the first two editions of 1.xx, Babok guides have been released at intervals ranging between three and six years meaning it can be somewhat difficult to predict when the next edition will be released.

Why is BABOK so highly regarded among Business Analysts?

To explain why BABOK is so popular among business analysts and those in overlapping roles we’ve asked Elizabeth Harrin, Director of RebelsGuideToPM, to share her thoughts on the subject below;

“BABOK is the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, which I think of as the main reference guide for business analysts. It’s not just for business analysts though, as a project manager I’ve found it a useful reference for understanding the requirements management lifecycle, solutions analysis and requirements design.”

“BABOK is the standard for business analysis, and a global reference guide. It’s packed with practical techniques and the visual study guide is also a great reference.”

“BABOK covers six knowledge areas: Business analysis planning and monitoring, elicitation and collaboration, requirements life cycle management, strategy analysis, requirements analysis and design definition and solution evaluation.”

“Beyond that, it assists business analysts and other professionals responsible for business analytics within their organisation to understand what the business needs and how to best address that.”

“It also covers stakeholder engagement and the attributes that you might consider ‘soft skills’ as well as techniques like process modelling to help understand what impact a project will have on the teams affected by the change.”

BABOK is available from the IIBA and members get a free PDF copy, which is a perk of membership. You can learn a lot of the techniques simply by reading the book and then directly putting them into practice, if on-the-job learning is the way in which you prefer to learn.

In addition to this, Jake Smith, Managing Director of Absolute Reg recommended BABOK as an essential read for any business analysis practitioner in his review below;

“I strongly believe that every business analysis practitioner must read the BABOK Guide as its whole. I would consider this the best manual of business analysis practises.”

“This is not to say that it has everything you want to know as a business analyst (BA), however, the guide is an excellent benchmark for what business analysis is and gives a solid idea of the general skillset a business analyst should have.”

“Prior to reading BABOK, my judgment of business analysis was formed only by my individual experience as a BA and the expectations of the company that I worked for. Reading the BABOK Guide was absolutely an eye-opener in improving my understanding of business analysis.”

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