The horribly wrong advice for your CBAP Certification Exam

3 min read
2/21/19 12:00 AM

How often have you been advised, “Start reading BABoK for your CBAP examination”?

This is a piece of very seemingly logical advice provided by most CBAP training organizations and trainers. Here is the preparation approach suggested by a very well-known training organization.

CBAP & CCBA Certification preparation

Sounds very logical.

CBAP is anyway based on BABoK. What can be wrong with the “Read BABoK first” approach?

Here is a simple test for you to decide if it makes sense for you to start reading BABoK on the first go. This test is for folks who are yet to read BABoK. On a piece of paper, write down what you understand from the following terms:

  1. Predictive approach vs. Adaptive approach
  2. Requirements viewpoint
  3. Requirements architecture
  4. Enterprise architecture vs. organization architecture
  5. Context
  6. Differentiate between enterprise and organization
  7. Difference between enterprise and business
  8. Business analysis information
  10. Business model canvas

Now check your understanding with the meaning provided from BABoK.

Vocabulary  Explanations
 Predictive approach vs. Adaptive approach An approach where planning and baselines are established early in the life cycle of the initiative in order to maximize control and minimize risk.
An approach where the solution evolves based on a cycle of learning and discovery, with feedback loops which encourage making decisions as late as possible.
Requirements viewpoint A set of conventions that define how requirements will be represented, how these representations will be organized, and how they will be related.
Requirements architecture The requirements of an initiative and the interrelationships between these requirements.
Enterprise architecture vs. Organization architecture Enterprise architecture is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization.
The term organizational architecture refers to the structure and form by which a business operates.
Context The circumstances that influence, are influenced by and provide an understanding of the change.
Differentiate between enterprise and organization Enterprise is a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky.
An organization is an autonomous group of people under the management of a single individual or board, that works towards common goals and objectives.
Difference between enterprise and business Enterprise is a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky.
Business is work relating to the production, buying, and selling of goods or services.
Business analysis information Any kind of information at any level of detail that is used as an input to business analysis work, or as an output of business analysis work.
Views An opinion, belief, or idea, or a way of thinking about something
Business model canvas A business model canvas is comprised of nine building blocks that describe how an organization intends to deliver value.

How many did you get right? More than 50%?

I am quite confident most professionals will score less than 50%.

How come business analysts with reasonable experience find it difficult even to understand BABoK terminology?

There are 2 approaches to write a guide book – Be technically correct and complex or Be generally correct and simple. BABoK takes the first approach and makes it quite hard to read for a first-timer. I had a very interesting experience with one BA, he told me the night he does not get sleep, he reads BABoK.

2nd aspects that make understanding BABoK without any faculty guidance is the sheer size of BABoK. It contains more than 200,000 words and close to 500 pages of dense documentation.

Now, what should one do?

We strongly recommend reading a study guide based on BABoK and seeking expert help before reading BABoK.

One must read BABoK, but a bit later, not in the beginning.

Suggested Reading-

 Important Techniques for CBAP Certification Examination



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