BABoK V3 vocabulary

Overwhelmed by BABoK V3 Vocabulary. Read on?

BABoK V3 vocabulary has a love and hate relationship with me. I love it as it more encompassing. I hate it as I need to learn a new vocabulary.

As we all know, BABoK V3 is a significant revision to BABoK V2. Along with the significantly revised content, it also came with significantly different vocabulary from V2.  BABoK V3 vocabulary will take a little time to sink-in into the day to day BA practices. I have observed the change to the vocabulary helped us in 2 ways:

# 1 BABoK V3 terms are more inclusive

BABoK V3 encourages using the word which is more inclusive than the previous terminology. Let’s understand this with an example. BABoK V3 uses the term “Business analysis information” instead of replaces the old term “Requirements” when trying to describe information associated with the business analysis.

The advantage of a new term is that, though “Requirements” are extremely vital and major business analysis information, there are other types of information which is of interest to the business analysis process. For example, this can be business analysis plan, traceability matrix, problem tracker etc. which are also needed for business analysis.
So it is indeed better to use a broader term like BA information when we would like to express all the informational needs for business analysis.

#2 BABoK V3 uses terms which are more engaging and active.

Let’s take 2 words to compare: Collaborate vs. Communicate. Which one should we pick? Most of us have used the word communicate far too long. However, when we compare these 2 words, we should prefer to use the term “Collaborate” than ‘Communicate”. Communicate as a verb is usually less involved. Whereas collaborate indicates a more involved approach where all stakeholders actively participate in the project or initiative to make it a success.

#3 BABoK V3 vocabulary can be quite different from commonplace usage.

Although the V3 terminology is better, sometimes it is hard to comprehend the same quickly from a practical perspective. Hence, I decided to spend some time and come up with series of articles that will help all business analysts understand BABoK V3 terms quickly.

Similarly, when BABoK uses the word business analysis, it actually means business requirements analysis. This missing “requirements” word has caused significant confusion among software and business communities.

BABoK® V3 uses the term approach instead of plan. An approach is a high-level plan. Whenever you encounter the term approach, remember what BABoK is asking you to make or refer Plan.

What we called plan driven in BABoK V2 is now called predictive approach. You must have heard the term planned of an approach is the waterfall approach, now it’s called predictive approach. Then comes the word change-driven approach which was the old term and now it’s called adaptive approach.

The terms we used as structure in BABoK v2 is now called architecture. This is one word which you have to keep it in mind because now you will no longer hear the term requirement structure but you will hear the term requirements architecture and sometimes it may be little difficult or non-intuitive to use. Requirement structure has been used for quite a long time and but now BABoK calls it as requirements architecture. Organization structure is now called organization architecture.

Similarly what we called enterprise analysis in v2 now is called strategy analysis.

Please remember that because requirement analysis is not same as business analysis because business analysis should comprise of strategy analysis plus requirement analysis. Whereas these approaches could be more pertinent to requirement analysis than strategy analysis.

BABoK also uses a very strong word called governance which simply means requirements change management. The term organizational process assets mean policies, processes, standards, guidelines, and templates provided by your organization.

Then the role named, regulator. Many people think that regulators are outside the organization. No, the regulator could actually mean the person who is responsible for regulatory compliance and typically called the legal function in many organizations.

BABoK V3 vocabulary uses the generic term process model to indicate an activity model or flow chart. Flowcharts when depict activity become process models but they could indicate logic which is not activities.

I would love to add other terms which BABoK v3 vocabulary uses against terms in BABoK V2 or commonplace usage of terms.

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About me

I am a practicing business analyst, trainer, author and blogger.
I have helped more than 400 business analysts to achieve their dream careers by getting them certified in international BA certifications.
I have authored 10+ books on business analysis and 200+ blogs.
I am a certified business analyst from IIBA Canada and IREB Germany.

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