Project Management

A Glimpse at PMI’s Upcoming Business Analysis Standard

From the Building the Foundation: The BOK on BA Blog
by , , ,
A new collaborative blog featuring the contributions from the core team members of PMI's Foundational Standard in Business Analysis. This blog will provide the community with insight into PMI's development of the standard to generate professional discussions about the content in advance of the scheduled reviews.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Laura Paton
Joy Beatty
Cheryl Lee
Sue Burk

Recent Posts

PMI's Newest BA Standard and the PMI-PBA Credential

An Update On PMI's Consensus Based BA Standard: The Final Phase

The Link Between Business Analysis and Project Management Processes

Party Like a Business Analysis Rock Star!

PMI’s Business Analysis Standard – What You Have to Gain


I thought it would be fun this week to share further insight with the community around PMI’s business analysis standard. Many people have asked me how the project is progressing, what the end product will look like, and when the community might be able to be part of bringing this work to life. I thought it was a great time to provide you an update in these areas.

A Bit of History

In November of 2015, PMI announced plans to move forward with building a business analysis standard.  The decision to do so was based on the success of Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide and the tremendous amount of positive feedback PMI received about the guide. In late January 2016, PMI conducted a kickoff to begin the development work.  Today a mere six months later, there is much to share with the community!

Value Proposition

As I discussed in my May post, this new standard has a lot of strong value propositions, including…

  • Providing a common business analysis vocabulary for all portfolio, program, and project teams,
  • Focusing broadly on defining business analysis for all roles who share responsibility for performing business analysis activities,  and
  • Defining and explaining business analysis so it is understood by and relevant to all teams, regardless of the lifecycle chosen to develop and deliver the end product.   


Sue Burk discusses the “commonality of business analysis thinking” in her June post and explains why this broad viewpoint is so important today when speaking about business analysis.  

A Status and a Look Forward

I am pleased to share that we are ahead of schedule!  Tasked with setting vision and scope and developing the initial draft content, we are wrapping up the first round of writing. We are reviewing the draft internally and plan to share with an initial team of subject matter experts (SMEs) in late September. If you are interested in taking part in this initial review process and meet the stated eligibility requirements, consider applying for a role on the SME Review Team.  The application window opens today 7/14/2016 via PMI’s Volunteer Relationship Management System (VRMS).  The requirements to participate in the SME review process are posted there.

Once subject matter experts share their insights and guidance, we will begin incorporating suggested modifications to the content. This work will continue throughout quarter four of 2016.

Starting the year off with much momentum, the project progresses to the public exposure phase in Q1 2017. During the public exposure draft process, the public will obtain full access to the content revised and enhanced by the guidance provided by the SME review team.  The public exposure draft process is your opportunity to shape the development of this standard to ensure business analysis work is defined:

  • commonly,
  • globally,   
  • broadly, and
  • for any life cycle selected.

More information about the public exposure phase will be forthcoming as the project progresses.

What to Expect in 2017

You can expect that the business analysis standard will be of high quality and will be a highly valued product in the industry.  PMI will continue to bring much needed attention to this important work.  The thousands of talented professionals, who work in the business analysis field, will shape this standard into a pragmatic and usable description of business analysis that future product teams can leverage and learn from for many years.  

It is an exciting time for the core development team as we look forward to giving you the opportunity to further build upon what we started. Are you looking forward to having a glimpse of PMI’s business analysis standard? If so, please tell us what areas of business analysis you are most interested in checking out?

Posted by Laura Paton on: July 14, 2016 04:09 PM | Permalink

Comments (14)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Thanks for the update, Laura. I'm curious, what does the IIBA think of our new focus on BA standard?

Hi Stephane I really don't know these days. It was shared on one of the public forums a while back the history about PMI offering to collaborate with IIBA early on before development of PMI's Business Analysis Practice Guide began. The offer was extended by PMI but IIBA declined the offer so it really is about looking forward to help the community.

When I saw the title of this article I had the same question as Stephane Parent. In fact it is just not only IIBA, International Requirements Engineering Board, and BCS of UK are also recognized world-wide for the BA and RE specifications and standards. They have cross-recognized the syllabi and certification requirements. They have been around for decades and there must be "compelling reasons" for PMI to define BA or RE de novo ignoring or setting aside their standards.

I would be keen on knowing the "compelling reasons" for a parallel specification of BA or RE. Anyway I would be studying the specification to see what is great about PMI version of BA and RE. I hope there will be reconciliation of multiple standards and collaboration of the institutions for the sake of practitioners and their customers.

I have just joined PMI to be able to add this comment. I hope this opens new opportunities for heightened professional engagement.

Best wishes, to all including members of IIBA, IREB and BCS.

I was there (virtually) when the PMI went to the IIBA and offered to work together in all related to business analysis. There was a lot of debate and the IIBA rejected the offer. On the other side, all related to requirements (IREB for example), while requirements is a component of business analysis obviously, is not business analysis by itself. I have exchanged comments with IREB representatives in other they have to change the references to business analysis in their web site and they did that. I have a PH.D in software engineering earned at Cargnegie Mellon SEI, and what is clear is that requirements engineering is a key component, but business analysis scope is boarder. I know (because I was part of some PMI standards group) that well known people who worked with the IIBA in creating IIBA´s standard is working with the PMI. Barbara Carkenord has returned to the IIBA but perhaps she continue working with the PMI. The problem with the new BABOK (I was part of the group of authors and I have discussed that) is that is impossible to understand and in my understanding it was one step backward. I hope the same situation was not with the PMI standard.

Hai Dr Sergio:

Glad to find you here.... So, you are one of the "compelling reasons".... I agree with you on RE being part of broader BA and BABOK is getting complex and verbose.

While on this, I want to know from you why there are no references (to the extent I know) citing TQM Quality Improvement Methods and Tools (of Juran and Deming) which comprehensively cover business requirements from business point of view though the term "business" was not used so explicitly. That is possibly because of Industrial Engineering orientation of TQM.

Good luck with your new initiative on BA through PMI.... where is Dr Julian in all this?


Hi Putcha. My pleasure to exchange comments with you here and continue improving myself with this exchange. I will say what I know (and sorry if I did not understand your point). First, I´d like to say that I was one of the people that tried to put all related to business analysis beyond software or IT fronteer. So, I fully agree with you on using TQM methods adapted to requirements work. In fact, I use it if some of those fits in the initiative I am involved. What I undestood about to include TQM and other type of things (for example I am using a selling method mamed Solution Selling from years ago with great results to perform elicitation activities - all the process) is that a BOK (any BOK, PMBOK-BABOK-SWEBOK-EABOK, etc) is about "good practices". "Good practices" means there is a general agreement that the aplication of that can enhance the chances of success. So, those is the list of things that the BOK has to contain. I mean, is about to put there a subset of knowledge, tools and techniques which have a general agreement about their application. When I was part of the groups of authors in some of the BOKs I named above that was the criteria. Is because of that is really important that people be part of the public revision. But in the case of this new PMI´s initiative I really do not know what will be the orientation. Besides that I have put my application in the PMI site that is published by Laura.

Very good... Yes, you got it right....I would like to see integration of good methods and tools which are relevant to the focus of the domain or specialization.

I will have to first study your contributions with Laura and others to say anything more.

My focus is on using a combination of TQM and modified / refined UML for requirements specification without IT bias. Many PPTs and PDFs on my slideshare relate to this focus. I will cite specifics when it is appropriate.

Best wishes,


Thanks for the information. Looking forward in the new BOK.

Multiplication of similar certification weaken the certification globally, hope IIBA will give it a second look.

First of all, congratulations to the core team on their progress! To be ahead of schedule on such a large project says a lot about the team.

I zeroed in on Sergio’s comment about “good practices”. In my opinion that’s what this is all about. I see my involvement in this effort as ensuring that the Business Analysis Foundational Standard can be used by the countless Business Analysts who don’t act as management consultants, but who keep companies running by moving the countless projects through to delivery. They are looking for a practical framework within which to structure their work and, as Sergio says, enhance the chances of success.

Most of them are not concerned with any overlap or differences between standards organizations and their BOKs. What many of them do have in common is that their project management practices are aligned to PMI standards, and the ability to align their BA practice to their Project Management practice will be of tremendous value. I believe that it is the Business Analyst herself - and not the standards organization - who will determine the value of these various BOKs and the certification that is most appropriate for herself, personally and professionally.

I am looking forward to a standard that provides all Business Analysts in every corner of the organization a modern and thorough but practical set of standards.

Thanks Elizabeth! We can't wait to share with the community. I agree with your assessment that the PM/BA alignment will be of great value. It's also exciting to know that this work brings the roles and the community of PMs and BAs working closer together.

I agree with Sergio and Elizabeth.
So the parts I'm most interested in is the connection between PMs and BAs, and the part about product / project lifecycle interconnections. I hope such part will be in the standard, because that is the cause of many discussions - not only on but also in many of the companies, I have seen.
Other parts are (of course) the broader perspective of BA than RE only, what's my original area. When I studied the Practice Guide, I discovered, that I'm now more into BA than RE when I look at the past 10 to 15 years - without recognizing crossing any boarder. So for me it's very interesting to compare my experience of extending RE methods to "earlier phases" and adding some knowledge about business administration to my toolbox with the overall BA picture the standard will paint.

Rolf - we have a lot of collaboration ideas to share in this new standard! Also, like the Practice Guide, the role of business analysis is beyond RE. I think you will be pleased.

IIBA just expanded their certification levels at with their latest edition of BABOK. So I'm curious about whether PMI plans to change its BA certification too.

In 2017, PMI will be publishing The Standard for Business Analysis after which its probable that the question bank will need to be supplemented to address the new content this standard will provide. Doing so is routine for PMI as items are typically added annually via SME item writing meetings. Since PMI has an evolving business plan for the Business Analysis product line we'll have to see what they have planned for the future.

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.


"A statesman is an easy man, he tells his lies by rote. A journalist invents his lies and rams them down your throat. So stay at home and drink your beer and let the neighbors vote!"

- W.B. Yeats