As odd as it may sound, all six of the knowledge areas described on page 4 of the BABOK third edition start with a similar tone. There is an ever so slight divergence in Strategy Analysis but it is so slight that it is barely enough to mention. Just for those of you that might be curious, the Strategy Analysis knowledge area text description starts with "describes the business analysis work that must be performed", while the five others start with "describes the tasks that business analysts perform".
Any seasoned business analyst will tell you that a requirement that contains the word “must” can be considered in a different category than the requirements that do not contain it. I know that I’m going down a bit of a weird path at the start of this narrative but I think it makes a little more sense when I get to the pastry bit.
The point here is that tasks and work are the cornerstones of BABOK knowledge area descriptions. So if you ever struggle with deciding what you can do on a particular day, picking up the BABOK could help define that for you. Even the most experienced business analyst can benefit from a refresher and the knowledge areas can be a great source of inspiration.
Say that you have a complicated requirements package on a even more complicated project. You may have the nagging feeling in the back of your head that you are missing something. A method that I've used on occasion is to go down to the break room, warm up a pastry in the microwave, get a fresh cup of copy and browse the BABOK. Perhaps you are thinking that you could do more in the area of strategic analysis. Looking over the BABOK might give you insights that help identify what was troubling you or it can help you feel confident that you covered that area pretty well!
© 2016 Dwayne Wright