Defining the Business Analyst Role
If you’re prepping for this certification, you probably have a good idea of what a business analyst role is. You know what your responsibilities are in your organization and what’s expected of you when you work with customers, project managers, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders. The IIBA, in their free Certified Business Analysis Professional Handbook, which you can download from their web site (www.theiiba.org), clearly defines the business analyst role. Their definition characterizes a business analyst role, the duties of a business analyst, and the confines in which business analysts are to operate. A business analyst role is responsible for several things within an organization:
• Identifies the business needs of the organization’s clients and stakeholders
• Helps determine solutions to business problems
• Completes requirements development
• Completes requirements management
• Serves as a communications hub among business clients, project stakeholders, and the defined solutions team
As a business analyst your work is all about requirements. According to the IIBA, you work with customers, stakeholders, and clients to elicit, analyze, validate, and document business, organizational, and operational standards. The CBAP examination focuses on these activities, processes, and the outcomes of business analysis processes. In this book I’ll cover all of the business analysis processes in detail, and you’ll complete practice exams, create flashcards, and learn the IIBA approach to business analysis.
NOTE It’s important, I believe, to fully understand the IIBA definition of the role you serve, as this is what you’ll be tested on through their exam. Knowing their interpretation of what you do will increase your odds of passing their exam.
Your goal is to pass the CBAP examination—my goal is to help get you there. To get there, and this should be evident by now, you need to learn the IIBA terms, definitions, and approaches. Your organization may have a slightly different approach than what’s defined by the IIBA—and that’s fine—just not for your CBAP exam. For example, some things you currently and typically do in your project as a business analyst may not synch with what’s expected on the CBAP exam. On the exam, when you perform business analysis duties:
• You don’t predetermine solutions; solutions are driven by the requirements of the business.
• You are not performing financial analysis.
• You are not managing projects.
• You are performing quality assurance.
• You are completing organizational development.
• You are testing software and solutions.
• You are training, coaching, and mentoring your colleagues.
• You are documenting the development of business solutions.
This is not to say that you don’t perform these roles as part of your employment. It is to say, however, that the role of business analyst is distinctly different from these duties.