Certified Business Analysis Professional – also known as CBAP – is a professional certification that is awarded by the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) to business professionals around the world. It is given to professionals with extensive business analysis experience.
The designation of “Certified Business Analysis Professional” is granted to the candidates upon passing the exam. Introduced as recently as 2006, the certification program has gained great recognition. As of January 1, 2018, a total of 8,025 people holds the certification worldwide (Source: Wikipedia).
CBAP certificate holders have garnered years of experience in business analysis and core business practices. They are experts in identifying the business needs of an organization. They are focused on continuous improvement and plan the best business solutions for organizations that will bring in the maximum benefits.
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Is CBAP right for you?
This program is ideal for professionals who have extensive business knowledge along with years of experience in the practical business world. CBAP is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious business roles a professional could achieve.
It is believed that Business Analysts and System analysts are the best-suited candidates for the CBAP certification program, thanks to their area of expertise being the very foundation of the program.
There is a specific criterion a business professional must fulfill to sit for the CBAP exam. You will need a number of hours of work experience in various domains such as business analysis, as well as hours to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge Guide practices. You can check out prerequisites based on your degree and experience at the IIBA official website. If you do, you will also need 2 references, whether they’re from clients, employers or CBAP recipients themselves.
Business practitioners will have to sit for a three-and-a-half-hour situational analysis case-study exam based on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK). The exam contains 150 questions and can be given in both online and offline mode. You can either book the exam and study on your own for it, or you can take online courses that will sail you through your certification. While most professionals opt for CBAP training online as it helps them prepare in accordance with their busy schedule, self-study is not impossible. Hard work and dedication will get you through the certification.
Refer to the following books for self-study: A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge; CBAP / CCBA Certified Business Analysis Study Guide; CBAP® Certification and BABOK® Study Guide; CBAP Certified Business Analysis Professional All-in-One Exam Guide Joseph Phillips; and CBAP/CCBA Exam Prep Barbara A. Carkenord.
The 6 Knowledge Areas
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge Guide groups tasks together to create 6 different knowledge areas. Tasks that pertain to the same business expertise or area are grouped in the same knowledge area for convenience and better understanding. The concepts are updated from time to time to keep up with the latest changes. These form the core learning in CBAP training.
1. Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring
Deals with the preparation part of a process. The Business Analyst discerns what tasks and activities will be needed to perform the process to completion with utmost efficiency and least wastage. This is congruent with the continuous improvement approach Lean Six Sigma is a proponent of. It also sets the foundation for other knowledge areas. Additionally, it focuses on identifying stakeholders as well as defining their roles in relation to the organization’s operations and purposes.
2. Elicitation & Collaboration
Describes tasks pertaining to collaboration and communication. It delves into more depth around elicitation and emphasizes going beyond just the functional requirements.
It makes the connection between “collaboration” and “elicitation”, focussing on the engagement through a two-way communication process. Thus, ensuring that business professionals truly understand the needs and the requirements of their organizations.
3. Requirements Lifecycle Management
Emphasizes that requirements are dynamic and they have a life cycle of their own. This Knowledge Area describes the tasks that are performed to manage and maintain requirements. The focus falls on the creation, changes, prioritization, traceability, and various governance processes.
4. Strategy Analysis
It was previously called Enterprise Analysis and is focused on the up-front work every Business Analyst had to conduct at the start of a project. The update not only changes the name, but it also widens the scope as well.
Now it focuses on understanding the current state, defining the future state, and developing a change strategy in order to achieve the desired result. The emphasis is on the fact that analysis skills are crucial in helping a business decide where to invest their money.
5. Requirements Analysis & Design Definition
Deals with organizing requirements. With the updates, Business Analysts are included in the design, positively impacting the service design, workflow, user interface among others.
To perform the role of the analyst, you need to understand your customer better. This knowledge area delves into the context in which they (customers) may use the solution, how they may use it, why they may use it. All of these questions form the “design”.
6. Solution Evaluation
Focusses on the tasks to assess the performance and value of a given solution. It should be noted that this Knowledge Area emphasizes the need for identification and subsequent removal of impediments in order to optimize the value of the solution.
Knowledge and Practice
Online Courses offer hours of instructional videos for professionals to study and obtain greater insights into. Business Analysts are the lifeline of projects and this certification is aimed at arming them with the best possible tools and knowledge.
Your training will entail interactive sessions that are eternally archived so you can always come back to them to revise. It will help you become a result-oriented business analyst and open the doors for the future. Lastly, it helps you achieve the recognition in your firm and among your peers that helps your career forward.