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PMI PBA vs IIBA CBAP: Which is Better?

This is a question that arises in many professionals mind. CBAP has been in existence for more than a decade now. But PMI as an institution is much older and commands considerable respect in the project management world. 

The good news is now the world recognizes the value of business analysis. A newer player will surely expand the market and demand for business analysis. PMI has finally come up with a new certification to satisfy the hunger of the project business analysis community. Of late, business analysis has been a very valuable skill to learn for the project management community as well due to the need for the PM to perform BA roles also.

The certification space for the BA community has been dominated by IIBA with its certifications, CCBA (basic level) and CBAP (Advanced level). PMI has recently come up with a BA certification, PMI-PBA for business analysts. And all of us are aware of the market share of PMI for its most popular certification for Project management stream viz PMP. This gives rise to the dilemma for the BA community on which certification to go for in the current scenario.

Here is a small comparison of PMI-PBA and IIBA Certification:

  • PMI PBA has come to market early in 2015 and is yet to gain familiarity with the market. Whereas IIBA has already got the early mover advantage and has been very popular in corporate and as well as among professionals. However, the rate of growth of PMI PBA has been impressive. By mid of 2018, there are about 2850 PMI PBA certified individuals.
  • However, PMI has got a huge following from the corporates and individuals for various project management related certifications (there are more than 600,000 PMP certified professionals worldwide). PMI PBA has relaxed the eligibility criteria by considering 2000 hours of Project management experience in the applicant’s career.

Rest of the points seems to be more or less similar, please see the exact apple to apple comparison below.

CBAP Recommended -

  • Pure play BA/enterprise level BA and planning to stay in the same path
  • Part of BA Center of Excellence/BA Competency team
  • If your organization has IIBA certifications as part of the competency framework

PMI PBA Recommended –

  • Business analysts with a project or program management background/experience
  • Business analysts with PMP certification
  • PMP certified professional /Project manager with BA responsibility
  • If your organization has a partnership with PMI
  • If your organization has PMI certifications as part of the competency framework

PMI-PBA is for business analysts who work on projects and programs and have project management experience in their career, whereas, in contrast, IIBA looks at Business Analysis in a much broader perspective and covers activities that exceed project and program and applies to the entire organizational involvement/initiative.

Sources of Information for this article - www.IIBA.org and www.PMI.org

Suggested readings on CBAP

How to prepare for CBAP certification - A step by step approach

Be a certified BA


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