Business Analysis Skills Basics
Part 1 explored why, as a project manager, business analysis skills are important and why you might want to expand your business analysis knowledge and credentials. Part 2 explores the basics of business analysis, giving you a look at the knowledge areas of business analysis, highlighting the commonalities with a number of knowledge areas of project management.
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, or BABOK, is the Business Analysis Standard of the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA). The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, or PMBOK Guide, is the Project Management Standard of the Project Management Institute (PMI). The BABOK has 6 Knowledge Areas, whereas the PMBOK contains 10 Knowledge Areas. Here is a high level review of the BABOK Knowledge Areas, plus brief discussion of commonalities with Knowledge Areas of the PMBOK Guide.
10 Knowledge Areas
For reference purposes, here are the 10 Knowledge Areas of the PMBOK Guide:
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Time Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Human Resource Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Project Stakeholder Management
Back to business analysis!
The BABOK Guide contains 6 Knowledge Areas as follows. The discussion includes remarks about overlap with the PMBOK Knowledge Areas.
- Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring is about how business analysts plan the business analysis tasks and activities. This area includes stakeholder analysis; management of issues, risks and requirements; requirements monitoring and reporting; and change management. PMBOK commonalities include parts of the Knowledge Areas for Perform Integrated Change Control of Project Integration Management; several areas of Project Scope Management; parts of Project Quality Management; and parts of Project Communications, Risk, and Stakeholder Management.
- Elicitation is about how business analysts work with stakeholders to help them understand their requirements within the scope of a project, including eliciting requirements; brainstorming; document analysis; various requirements research techniques; and prototyping. PMBOK commonalities include much of Project Scope Management and parts of Project Stakeholder Management.
- Requirements Management and Communication is about how business analysts manage agreement on project scope between the project team and stakeholders. This area includes requirements communication; conflict resolution; baselining and tracking requirements; and gain approvals. PMBOK commonalities include much of Project Scope Management and parts of Project Communications and Stakeholder Management.
- Enterprise Analysis is about how business analysts define business needs and identify potential solutions alternatives. This area includes business architecture, capability gap analysis, feasibility studies, scoping, and business case development. PMBOK commonalities include primarily Project Scope and Stakeholder Management.
- Requirements Analysis is about how business analysts work across the team and stakeholders towards defining a solution that meets the agreed requirements. This area includes analysis and documentation; stakeholder requirements; various techniques for modeling of the business domain; and requirements verification and validation. PMBOK commonalities include parts of Project Scope Management as well as Project Communications and Stakeholder Management.
- Solution Assessment and Validation is about how business analysts perform assessments to help stakeholders select the best solution and define success metrics. This area includes analysis of alternatives, quality assurance, and reviews at project close. PMBOK commonalities include parts of Project Integration Management as well as Project Scope, Risk, and Stakeholder Management.
While there are clear commonalities between the BABOK and PMBOK Knowledge Areas, each has its own uniqueness when explored in depth. An orientation to project management versus business analysis is a clear distinction. For example, it is the project manager’s job to ensure that the scope is well defined. It might be a business analyst who is delegated that responsibility as part of the team. Or, it could be a small enough project where the project manager defines the scope and even gathers the detailed requirements. In such a situation, you could say that the project manager is playing multiple roles.
Given these commonalities, it is not surprising that business analysis training, including business analysis certification exam prep, often qualifies for Professional Development units (PDUs) to maintain Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Part 3, the last of this series of articles, explores the relationship between business analysis and project management – and most important what that means to you, and examines why you, as a project manager, might want to consider business analysis certification.