Press Releases

BABOK V3 is in development and based on my twitter interaction with Kevin, the final version of the BABOK won’t be released until end of 2014.


Let me rephrase, the BABOK V3’s final version won’t be out for the most part in 2014. This date is also not final, and there maybe more delays since majority of the folks working on BABOK either as authors or reviewers are volunteers and may cause a further delay in the final release (hey! life happens).

There is one key conclusion here:

BABOK V3 exam won’t be administered in 2014. IIBA hasn’t announced the dates of the new exam yet, but in all likelihood it won’t be immediately after the release of V3. Additionally, you will have six months after the launch of final version to take an exam for an earlier version of the BABOK. So, you can take the BABOK V2 exam until June 2015. That’s a lot of time at hand. So, if you’ve been stalling your exam prep citing BABOK V3, this must shed some light.

However, beyond the V3’s there are 13 more reasons that I would like to highlight.

Talking of 2014, and the new year, roughly 45% of us make at least one New Year resolution and interesting only 46% of them keep their resolution through the year.

The reason I am writing this post in March is to let the novelty of the New Year to wear off a little bit and give all of us a dose of reality.

Now, if you happen to be  among the 46% of them or the flip 54% of them, this post is for you.

1. It’s the new year – Sorta

Since we are March, there is no better time to make what I call the real New Year resolutions. This is when you can decide the resolutions that really matter to your personal and professional life. If one of your resolution is to advance professionally in the realm of business analysis, there is no better way to get certified. Here is a key takeaway for this:

Getting the 4 letters don’t matter as much as the journey of self-reflective learning journey that you go through!

BABOK V3 is no longer an excuse for this year. In my opening thoughts, I have highlighted the importance or lack thereof of BABOK V3. Here is a key take away:

BABOK V3 is not a factor for your prep in 2014, not until at least June 2015.

2. More material to cover 

As you maybe aware that BABOK V3 is a more expanded version of the business analysis framework. With a few new concepts and perspectives. However, keep in mind there WILL definitely be more content to cover in V3 than in V2. Here is the crux:

BABOK V3 will have more content than V2

3. Avoid the sunk cost 

You bought 4 study guides, 3 exam simulators, invested in an expensive prep course, instead of buying the Macbook or iPad Air or upgrading the dog shed that was falling apart. Now, how can you let go of this investment? You must avoid the sunk cost associated with your V2’s prep journey by making sure you can take the exam in 2014. Like my mom always used to remind us that, “Money doesn’t grow on a tree” … so, unless you have a backyard with a plant that yields the green $ bills, avoid sunk cost by taking the exam in 2014. Here is the crux:

Avoid the waste of time and money spent so far in V2’s prep

Time is precious, don’t squander it and money doesn’t grow on trees!

4. You are becoming a PM

If you are one of those BAs who gets pushed into (voluntary or involuntary) a PM role as a career advancement move, you will miss being a BA. And, please don’t leave the profession without truly understanding the what business analysis really is and mastering the BABOK – the most definitive global framework of practicing business analysis tasks. Here is the crux:

Understanding the BA framework of tasks, will make you a better PM.

Or like I always say to my PM friends:

One minute of effective business analysis now, will save two minutes of project management later.

5. PMP is more appealing 

A direct consequence of # 5, you may have already started preparing for PMP, and think that you should get that out of the way first. And, yes having a PMP along with CBAP is a good combination especially for dual roles. However, based on what I’ve heard CBAP is more difficult that PMP. So, tackling a relatively more difficult exam with V2 is more wise that starting the prep from scratch for V3. Here is the crux:

Even though PMP is easier than CBAP, tackle the harder exam first.

6. Leverage your IIBA membership 

One of the reasons you may have become an IIBA member is to get the discount on the certification exam, and after being overwhelmed with the information in the BABOK the plan to take the exam may not have panned out. If you have no intention to renew your IIBA membership, then this is year for you to get this discount. Here is the crux:

Leverage your IIBA membership before it expires to get the special discount for the exam

7. This is your final straw 

Completing your certification in 2014 is the most realistic goal you can set yourself. With the exam being available until at least mid-June 2015, you really can fall back if life or work comes your way. This is the final straw, your last chance to get certified for V2.  Here is the crux:

This is your last chance to set and achieve a realistic goal to get certified in 2014.

8. It is insured 

Although we haven’t yet made the formal announcement yet, we will be insuring all the CBAP-CCBA prep courses and material for BABOK V2 in 2014. If you enroll for yourself in a course or get ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit’ in 2014, your investment will be insured. This means that for whatever reason if you are unable to take the exam after attending our prep course, you will get a complimentary V3 prep course. So, the crux is:

BABOK V2 exam prep is now insured for the first time!

9. Free refresher course for V3

This is the second biggest news that we are announcing now. If you get certified in 2014, you can also get a complimentary refresher course. So, you don’t have to miss out on the delta between the two versions. This will help you get a perspective on the changes in V3.  So, here is crux:

V2 certification now comes with complimentary V3 refresher course.

10. PMI is coming out with a new BA certification

Oh yes! There are signs that PMI is going to come up with a new BA certification. My good friend Kent McDonald was not too happy about it, and yes, I get his sense of indignation. However, I feel that this can actually be a good thing for IIBA and the BA community. I should probably share my thoughts on this in a separate blog post. In a nutshell, I feel that being certified as a CBAP or getting your CCBA, you will be able to have more insightful conversations with your project manager. So, here is the crux:

Getting your CBAP/CCBA will prep you to converse meaningfully with someone certified by PMI in the same realm.

11. You love being a BA

In spite of all the challenges and difficulties our profession poses, if you still love it, then this is your year to get certified. Getting certified will help you truly appreciate what you are doing. Remember the euphoria you get when you understand the inner workings of things and hidden history around the attractions you visit? That’s it! So, here is the crux:

Do it for the love of the profession!

12. Qualify for the next interview or get an edge 

Now we are seeing more and more BA job posting that require a CCBA or CBAP as an entry criteria. I have also seen this for requirements managers, directors, and other management positions. So, why not make 2014 the year to get this edge? This can only get better, right? So, here is the crux:

More and more jobs are now asking for CBAP-CCBA, and this will only go up in 2014.

13. Unprecedented support and material is now available

I took my CBAP in 2011 after taking a snake oil prep course and there were no useful study guides available that time. This frustration, lack of quality content, and many requests from the BA community, made us create our online prep courses and the ultimate study guide, engaging the best professionals and BA practitioners from around the globe. So, here is the crux:

2014 is the year where you have the best in class tools available to study!

14. You read this

Let’s admit this: You made a choice to read this. You may have been either curious to find out or really find that WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for getting certified in 2014. You have exercised a thought process, you took action. You are a motivated kind, so why not take the leap! So, here is the crux:

You read this, now it’s the time to act!

Which of the reasons above resonates the most with you?

Is there any other reason you can think of?

Please use the comment space below to leave your comments.

Thumbnail image for Top 10 of 2013 – The Best of 2013

Top 10 of 2013 – The Best of 2013

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo

When I started TheBACoach podcast in June of 2011, my only hope was to get 10 regular monthly listeners. To my utter surprise, I didn’t expect a colossal vacuum to exist in this space. Fast forward two and half years, we are averaging about 3,000 monthly downloads of the podcast.

We also reached a major milestone this year when we crossed 100,000 downloads … with an average length of 40 minutes that’s =

4,000,000 minutes of listening time!

The feeling is awesome when I get emails and tweets from total strangers that it has helped them to become better analysts. This is probably one of the best gifts I could give back to the BA community and I am completely humbled by the response. No harm in building good karma I guess.

In this post, I wanted to share what was popular in 2013 that you’ve read, shared and marked as useful information. I will be sharing top 5 blog posts and podcasts that were most read and listened to respectively in 2013.

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2013

The top 5 posts of 2013 are:

5 ->; How to Create a Go-To Set of BA Templates  

4 ->; Seven Audiobooks Every BA Must Listen to and How to Get One for FREE

3 ->; Five Ways to Make BABOK an Irresistible Read

2 ->; The 11th Powerful Lesson from Life of Pi

and the most popular article of 2013 is:

1 ->;10 Powerful Business Analyst Lessons from Life of Pi (Ranked #1 on


Top 5 Podcasts of 2013

5 ->; BABOK V3 and More – BOK Talk Kevin Brennan

This episode contained useful info about the BABOK V3 and when it is coming and such. Also, being a continuation of introduction to the BABOK episode (at number 3, below), this episode helped answer a few most commonly asked questions about BABOK.

4 ->; From Getting things done to Ready for Anything, AuthorCast with David Allen

It was a dream come true to interview David Allen. Interviewing him was a great experience. Having applied and revered his work, it was insightful to hear the story behind the book that inspired the most effective productivity system (GTD®) in the world.

3 ->; Using Project Patterns and More, BA Interviews with Jonathan Babcock

Jonathan always brings out unique perspectives to help the practitioners. His blog has helped numerous BAs around the globe. In this episode he shared some valuable tips on using project patterns, with practical tips on how to track and use them.

2- >; Conducting Effective Requirements Workshop, AuthorCast with Ellen Gottesdiener

Ellen was once again at her best behind the mic, bringing forward useful and practical advice to help BAs conduct effect requirements workshops. Her extensive experience in facilitation, and coaching added to the educational value of this podcast.

And the most listened to podcast of 2013 is … for the second time in a row!

1 – >; 10ish Things I wish I knew Before I became a BA, AuthorCast with Howard Podeswa

This is gotta be one of the best podcast episodes a BA can listen to. I have listened to this 3 to 4 times myself. As they say “Hindsight is always 20/20″, this episode can provide some very powerful lessons for every practicing and aspiring business analyst. If you haven’t yet, go right ahead and do so (like, right now. :)

Which among these and others were your favorite episodes in 2013?

Please use the comment space below to provide your input, feedback and comments.

Professional development is the lifeblood of any analysts career advancement. We encounter many opportunities to hone our craft through webinars, podcasts and training sessions.

What if you could get onto a time machine of professional development, where you will get the best of all the learning worlds in one place? 

What if you could network and rub shoulders with the industry thought leaders and get the advice that will help you with the next challenge at work?

An industry conference is one such platform and the go to conference for business analysts in North America is the Building Business Capability Conference.

As you maybe aware that we entered into a partnership with Rising Media to produce a few educational podcasts to the BA community. The focus of these podcasts will be to showcase the previews of the keynotes planned for BBC 2013.

If you have listened to how I interview our guests, you maybe aware of the information stretch that I ensure to make it an educational and usable podcast. :)

Roger’s Episode on Process Centric Approach

In Roger’s episode below we discuss his keynote on “Building business capability using processes”. We also discuss the world of process analysis and its importance to business analysis. One key takeaway from his podcast would be his suggestions and tips for how business analysts can become better at process analysis.

Here is the link with the show notes and links mentioned in the show:

Process centric approach to business capability

Marty’s High Octane Episode on Making Good Business Decisions Under Pressure

One of the gripping angles in Marty’s episode below is how he uses the metaphor of land mines to explore the traps of communication and leadership. His story of how he came up with the land mines series is fascinating. We all wish that we know ahead of time what pitfalls we may be involved with. In this episode, he shares some tips and pointers on how you can effectively navigate some of the land mines.

Here is the link with the show notes and links mentioned in the show:

Communication and Leadership Land mines – How to make good business decisions under pressure

Attend BBC at Discounted Price

Our partnership with the BBC also includes a 15% discount for the tickets to the conference. You have simply use the coupon code THEBACOACH to get this discount when you checkout from the link below.
We will be present at the conference and you can visit our stall. If you’ve been a long time listener of the podcast, it would be great to see you in person and hear about your feedback and comments.

So, please don’t pass this amazing learning opportunity.

See you at the conference!

Please use the comment space below if you have any questions or comments.

Aug-18-2013 Update:

Due to a recent notice from IIBA related to copyrights of the word ‘BABOK®’, we are changing the name of this game to be ‘BA Hangman’ instead of ‘BABOK Hangman’.


Early this year, we announced the 5 disruptive business analysis innovations that you need to lookout for in 2013. One of them was creation of the learning Games. We created history by launching a game in our online CBAP-CCBA prep courses. The course participants could play and learn the different business analysis terms. The response was very positive and encouraging.

Who wouldn’t love to play (and learn), instead of just learn?

So, what’s happening today?

Well, today we are creating history by launching the world’s first public BA game.

We are opening up the BA Hangman to be available to everyone. Thanks to the increasing revenues from “The Ultimate BABOK Kit“, we were able to support the development of the web version of the game. Hence, this game will be supported and sponsored by ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit‘.

The BA Hangman Game

Without further ado, here is the world’s first Business Analysis  game.


<<Undergoing design changes to reflect name change, please revisit again>>

Game Structure – What is at Stake?

The hangman game is your typical hangman game, but loaded with word puzzles from the words related to business analysis. The puzzles include words / terminology that is a:

  • Business analysis task(s) names
  • Input (s) of a task.
  • Output(s) of a task.
  • Elements of a task.
  • Stakeholders involved (generic / variations)
  • Techniques.
  • BA glossary.
  • Requirements attributes.
  • General BA terms.

There is also an area just below the on-screen keyboard, to indicate a category – just to get you thinking (only in “Easy” and “Medium” levels).

Game Levels – What is the Challenge?

We did ensure that this doesn’t happen. So, we consulted a gaming expert to help us design the levels of difficulty. There is some level of challenge for every level of business analyst.

If you are a newbie, your best bet would be to start with “Easy” level and if you are an experienced BA , you can start with “Medium” or “Hard” – the ‘bring in on’ level.

And hey, for the bragging rights, there is also a “Level” indicator that will stroke your ego as you solve the puzzles.

Please don’t forget to share the game by using the social sharing icons on the side. (<==)

Your Thoughts and Level Please

Please use the comment space below to share any of your thoughts, feedback or questions.

And, also the maximum level you were able to reach in the game. : )

When we were kids (I have two sisters) growing up in Bangalore – the garden city of India, our dad announced one fine morning: “We are getting a new TV today”. It was a Saturday and we couldn’t wait to return from school to find out what it was going to be like.

The marketing campaign of ONIDA (our soon to be TV) claimed it to be a TV that was “Owners pride and neighbors envy” – my dad seemed to be influenced by it.

The TVs back then were GIGANTIC and came wrapped in even bigger boxes. And ours was no exception; it came in a 5 ft tall & 2 ft wide box.

While most families just got rid of the TV box we decided to keep it and see if something creative could be done with it. I created an incision on one side of the box to resemble a TV screen with me hosting a talk show with my sister in our 10 Sq. ft studio.

I would sometimes go solo as a news anchor with local weather report or interview my sister on her favorite recipes or to ask her feelings about the English teacher that made her write a misspelt word a 1000 times.

Many years later, I had no idea that these skills would come in handy to create history in the world of business analysis. Since we launched the podcast and blog two years ago, we have produced 35 episodes with interviews of practitioners, authors and thought leaders from the community and helped advance hundreds of BA careers.

This is an important milestone for us and I would like share some very exciting news and professional development opportunities for you. If you missed the  last two years of advancement of business analysis, read on…

Season 1 Download

It continues to humble me when I receive emails and tweets about how the podcast helped them get a BA job or become better at their job.  I have received several emails over the past two years and the following two are just samples from them:

Hello Yamo, I want to thank you for your podcast and website. Today I was offered my first position as a BA, and I owe much of my success to you. I found your podcast when this position of Technology Business Analyst was presented me to a friend. To be honest I had never heard of the position but I found that through listening to multiple podcasts a day, many of the skills I have cultivated throughout my career directly translated to this position. I couldn’t be happier or more confident in my career path now and I expect I will continue to learn and advance in this position thanks to you and the amazing network you’ve created here. Thank you so much for what you do. ~ Sincerely, Billy

Hello Yamo,  Just want to drop by and let you know you’re doing an amazing job. Your passion really rubs off on me. ~ Justin

For the first time ever we are making the ENTIRE season 1 be available as one download. This means that you don’t have to individually download all the episodes of this season. We are planning to make this available as a digital product sometime in the future. For now, we are giving the podcasts package for free.

103 Tips, Tricks and Lessons in 1019 Minutes of Content Yours for Free

Please click on the link below to download the zip file containing all the season 1 episodes.

The Complete Season 1

Season 2 so Far

We have completed 10 episodes (as of writing this blog post), you can also download all the episodes of season 2 so far from the link below.

Season 2 so far download link

#1 Rated CBAP-CCBA Study Guide and Kit

Earlier this year we also launched our first stand-alone product to cater to the growing needs of the CBAP-CCBA prep aspirants. We took a while to prep for and launch this product to ensure that this was truly an innovative and unprecedented product in the marketplace.

We have created a “Wall of Kudos” for the direct customer feedback and reviews that we’ve received for the kit. The page below highlights this if you wish to see the overwhelming positive feedback.

Feedback and Kudos for The Ultimate BABOK Kit

BABOK Hangman is a Hit

Earlier this year, we announced the launch of ‘BABOK Hangman’ – the first word puzzle game based on BABOK. We had made this available to our students in our online e-learning environment. So far the students have loved the game and have played 100s of rounds of the game to guess the words from the BABOK.

Coming soon … BABOK Hangman for FREE on our website.

Keep a lookout for the free version of BABOK hangman that we will launch this summer. You will be able to access 500+ BABOK puzzles and go head-to-head with the BABOK puzzle engine.

Thanks again!

I would like to thank each of our listener, reader and follower for helping us advance the BA profession. Without your support and encouragement we wouldn’t be here.

If you wish to leave any comments and wishes or ask any questions, please use the comment space below.

Anniversary Special

To celebrate our anniversary, we will have a special sale for ‘The Ultimate BABOK Kit’. Starting from Jul-31 until Aug-10, the kit will be valued at 50% discount. Please click here for more details.

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