Applying BABoK to our personal lives

5 min read
8/30/18 12:00 AM


I have been studying and teaching BABoK quite a few years now. Mostly we try to apply the concepts in BABoK to our professional lives. I was indeed surprised to find that many aspects of BABoK do apply to our personal lives as well. Here is an attempt to find aspects in BABoK which can be applied in our personal lives as well.

1.   Planning and monitoring

Planning and monitoring the progress of our key objectives in our life is quite important not only in our professional lives but also in our personal lives.

We can learn the basics of planning and monitoring including aspects such as stakeholder engagement, creating task plans and managing risk from BABoK for our personal lives as well.

2.   Stakeholder engagement

A wise man said, By engaging right stakeholders at the right time and right way, one can make a huge difference to one’s project, career, and life.”

Stakeholder engagement is as important in personal life as in professional life. Our ability to manage our key stakeholders in our personal life (spouse, children, parents, in-laws, friends) is crucial to our success as a person and as a professional.

We need to learn how to identify our stakeholder expectations and manage them throughout our lives.


Stakeholder engagement Stakeholder engagement


3.   Managing risk

Our personal lives are full of risks and one must take measures to ensure one does not expose oneself to unwarranted risks. I have seen many exemplary professionals who not only ruined their stellar career but sometimes even lost their lives because they did not consider risks associated.

A college senior of mine killed himself, his wife and seriously injured his children as he tried to save a few minutes of travel time. Another senior ruined his exemplary professional career due to unacceptable behavior in the workplace with a lady colleague.


4.   Elicitation

Many often we do not try to understand the real needs of our relatives and friends. If we dig dipper, we would be able to understand their needs better and be able to find suitable solutions. Often, we don’t find all needs and we come up with a solution which causes dissatisfaction to close family members.

5.   Creative thinking

We need to think creatively in order to come up with new ideas, approaches, alternatives to problems in our personal lives as well.


A sofa that converts into a bed at night. A sofa that converts into a bed at night.


6.   Decision making

When a set of alternatives are available, we need to make decisions by choosing the most appropriate solution based on analysis of relevant information, comparison and contrast with other options available etc.

7.   Learning

We may have to work in new domains where they do not have prior experience. During this situation, we must be open to quickly learn new and different types of information and modify their existing knowledge to adapt themselves to a rapidly changing and evolving environment.

8.   Problem-solving

Problems are part of our lives. We need to learn problem-solving techniques such as root cause analysis to ensure solutions we find eliminate root cause and they don’t recur in our lives.


Chopping onions without tears! Chopping onions without tears!


9.   Personal accountability

We are responsible to manage our lives. This requires effective planning of our work to achieve our goals by completing tasks on time and meeting the expectations of our key stakeholders.

10.       Trustworthiness

Being trustworthy is essential in our personal lives. Honesty, empathy, and ability help us earn trust.

11.       Organization and time management

We handle multitudes of tasks and information which must be organized. Prioritizing tasks and deadlines will help us to manage our time effectively.

Organization and time management


12.       Adaptability

It is our ability to adjust ourselves to suit the needs of the rapidly changing environment and also deal with a variety of situations.

13.       Active Listening

Active listening helps us understand the essence of communication. Active listening requires us to give the speaker complete attention and also interpreting and responding appropriately to what he is trying to communicate.

14.       Interaction Skills

Our ability to relate, cooperate and communicate with different stakeholders in our personal lives makes our lives more meaningful and enjoyable.

15.       Facilitation

Facilitation is the skill of moderating discussions and interactions within a group and enabling stakeholders to participate actively, make decisions, solve problems, exchange ideas etc. Facilitation is an important skill in family decision making as well.

Leading is about learning to be a facilitator

16.       Leadership and Influencing

Leadership and Influencing skills involve motivating people to work together, inspiring them to transform vision into reality, reducing resistance to changes, building consensus etc. We as parents are natural leaders for our kids till they move out of our homes. Our appropriate behaviors shape our children as well.

17.       Teamwork

A family is a team. It is essential for us to build a great team in the family first. Resolving conflicts in a family in a fair and transparent manner is essential to the family harmony.

18.       Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

In life, we constantly negotiate but a better life, better salary, more attention. Learning to find win-win solutions for conflicts is essential to a happy family life as well.

19.       Tools and Technology

We use a variety of software applications for our personal activities. This enhances communication and collaboration and increases our overall productivity.

20.       Checklists

Checklists can indeed be very We use a variety of software applications for our personal activities. This enhances communication and collaboration and increases our overall productivity.


Grocery list A simple Grocery List can save you thousands of hours in your life!


I would love to hear from my BA friends if they found other interesting facets of BABoK which can be helpful to become a better person.

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