Project Management

Building the Foundation: The BOK on BA

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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.

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Laura Paton
Joy Beatty
Cheryl Lee
Sue Burk

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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

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

Wondering How PMI’s New BA Standard Will Enhance the Value of the

PMI-PBA Credential? by Laura Paton

In my last blog, I shared with you that The PMI Guide to Business Analysis (Includes The Standard for Business Analysis) will be published later this year. Many business analysis professionals are eager to have a full consensus based business analysis standard they can use when preparing for PMI’s Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® certification.

A common question I am asked these days is ‘How will the PMI-PBA exam change once this new standard is released?’. The quick answer is that PBA exam questions are always evolving to ensure the exam is relevant and reflective of the latest practices. Next year will be no different, as PMI will embark on another exam writing initiative; and a team of business analysis professionals will come together to write and refresh exam questions.  The reference list will be revised to include PMI’s newest standard as a resource that certification prospects can use to prepare themselves for the PBA exam. Don’t expect a specified ‘cut over’ date to be announced, because the PBA is an ‘experienced based’ exam and not based on any one source. That is all I will say on this subject, because the point of this blog is to highlight the value the PBA certification has in the market along with PMI’s newest business analysis standard.

Here is my take on the value proposition for the PBA upon the release of PMI’s newest business analysis standard:

PMI’s newest business analysis standard provides ‘equal’ guidance for performing business analysis regardless of the project life cycle chosen. This means, that in preparing for the exam your experience performing business analysis on agile projects and waterfall projects will be equally important!

How is this different? Well, PBA credential holders will be business analysis professionals who demonstrate a firm understanding about business analysis regardless of the delivery method being used to deliver the solution.

What does this look like? PBA credential holders will demonstrate knowledge and experience in the following ways:

  • Performing business analysis on projects regardless of delivery method used
  • Demonstrating experience with a variety of business analysis techniques  
  • Understanding how to ‘adapt’ business analysis performance to adjust to the methodology their organization or team chooses to use
  • Fully aware of how business analysis supports portfolio, program, and project management
  • Cognizant of a wealth of skills and competencies that can be mastered to help them perform better business analysis
  • Knowledgeable about a host of terms and the ability to understand the business analysis language regardless of delivery method. The vocabulary of a PBA consists of terms used by those who work on waterfall projects as well as those who perform business analysis on projects using agile.

What I am trying to demonstrate with this list, is that a PBA is a business analysis professional that has advanced, relevant, and dynamic skills that are applicable to organizations and project teams regardless of whether the individual is working on waterfall projects, transitioning from waterfall to agile, delivering following a hybrid approach, or has switched back and forth between delivery methods over the course of their career! PBAs may have experience on IT projects, but PBAs can also be professionals who have performed business analysis on BI projects, construction projects, process improvement initiatives, or a host of other initiatives where business analysis is performed.

As someone who has personally hired ‘a lot’ of business analysts over my years – I am going to look for the credential holder who can demonstrate a breadth of skills and understanding aligned to the most current trends in the industry. Let’s face it, if we only understand business analysis in the waterfall world today, we just aren’t going to have the skills organizations are looking for in the 21st century!

I am excited about  PMI’s newest business analysis standard and what the PBA is accomplishing for our profession. I believe PBA’s will demonstrate a breadth of experience and knowledge to their employers. Organizations require business analysis professionals that possess current and relevant experience and that demonstrate the ability to adapt their skills to projects of varying size, complexity, and delivery methods. I believed PMI has nailed it by getting ahead of the curve and credentialing professionals who can demonstrate the adaptability and flexibility in business analysis that organizations require. What are your thoughts?

Note: PMI’s Professional in Business Analysis Certification hit the market in 2014. Today there are over 1,500 PBA credential holders residing in over 80 countries and the certification is maintaining double-digit growth each year.

Posted by Laura Paton on: August 09, 2017 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (56)

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

A Team Status: PMI's Guide to Business Analysis (Includes The Standard for Business Analysis

By Laura Paton

Believe it or not, it’s been over 8 weeks since we updated this blog! We apologize for the gap in our communication, but the team has been busy on our final phase of development work. The public review process was amazing. We received a ton of comments, and like the SME review process, the feedback was insightful, engaging, and very supportive.

The development team reviewed each comment and compared and contrasted the opposing viewpoints. We researched, analyzed, collaborated, and made final changes to the draft. One thing is for sure—PMI’s business analysis standard and guide is a true end-product achieved through the collective experience of business analysis professionals from around the world.

The PMI Guide to Business Analysis (Includes The Standard for Business Analysis) is undergoing final editing and later this summer will be heading for layout and publication. You will find the development team reaching out to PMI chapters and engaging in a number of venues to promote the soon to be launch of this “game changing” business analysis standard.

In case you missed our prior blogs where we highlighted the value proposition or if you saw them but have forgotten what makes this newest PMI standard so special, here are the top five value propositions that I enjoy sharing:

  • Provides a thorough exploration and description of business analysis that is applicable and usable for individuals and organizations regardless of the project life cycle in use.

Let’s face it—many teams are moving from predictive delivery models and are faced with understanding what business analysis looks like in an adaptive life cycle. Whether your team is using waterfall, agile or any delivery framework in between, this guide explains business analysis using language that supports your work.

  • Makes full use of the extensive PMI research conducted when developing PMI’s professional certification in business analysis (PMI-PBA®) and leveraged when developing PMI’s Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide. The end result is a standard based on common practices and community input, and one that is thoroughly aligned to other PMI business analysis products.
  • Utilizes a similar design as A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), which provides an opportunity to draw relationships and comparisons between project management processes and business analysis processes. A great way to explain how business analysis relates to project management!
  • Leverages the beloved Collaboration Points that were first showcased in PMI’s Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide. Collaboration points are concise snippets of advice focused on bringing awareness to various opportunities that business analysis professionals can leverage to work with other product roles and stakeholders for improved performance and success.
  • A robust glossary of over 500 business analysis terms and definitions that provide foundational context to understand the business analysis language, regardless of the delivery method used within your organization.

Our team is excited that the product launch is fast approaching (Q4). Keep following us for highlights and news. Lastly, thanks to everyone in the community who has contributed and made PMI’s full consensus based standard in business analysis possible.

Posted by Laura Paton on: July 11, 2017 02:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (38)
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