CBAP CCBA Application tips BABOK KA Task Mapping

CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 3 of 7 – Essential BABOK Skimming

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo5

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series CBAP Application Series

Here is a multiple-choice question for you:


While applying for CCBA or CBAP exam you should at a minimum read:

  1. Table of contents of BABOK.
  2. The entire BABOK at least once
  3. Knowledge area overviews
  4. Knowledge area and tasks overview

If you completed step 2 of the CCBA / CBAP Application tips series, you would have learnt that reading the BABOK is strongly advised in the CCBA or CBAP handbook.

In this post, I would like to highlight the need and importance of reading the BABOK during the CBAP or CCBA application process and point out specific sections in the BABOK that you must read.

Why During the Application Process?

There are three phases of studying the BABOK in my view, the application phase of your CCBA or CBAP exam, the preparation phase and the exam phase. The first phase is important for the following two key reasons:

  1. Get a Sense of the Structure – surveying the BABOK during the application of your CCBA or CBAP exam will help you in getting acquainted with the structure of the BABOK. This will in turn help you to quickly locate information that you would need when you are in a position to start mapping things out. This will also onset your imminent CCBA / CBAP Prep.
  1. Mull-Over-And-Map – It is sometimes nice to have this information simmering in your subconscious to help you map your work hours with the knowledge areas and various constituents tasks.

Minimum Areas to Focus On

So, which areas are an absolute must to skim and/or read through? Let us examine the following sections from the BABOK:

  1. First Page of Every Knowledge Area – at the beginning of each knowledge area, there is a good description of what each knowledge area entails. This is good material for you to get an overview of how it would relate to your work experience (Page Numbers: 17, 53, 63, 81, 99 and 121 for the BABOK V2.o).
  2. ITO Diagram of Every Task – at the beginning of each KA there is an ITO (Inputs / Tasks / Outputs) diagram that gives a snapshot of ALL the inputs for all tasks of that KA (the left most box); and ALL the outputs for all tasks of that KA (the rightmost box). (Page Numbers: 17, 54, 63, 81, 99 and 121 for the BABOK V2.o).
  3. Inputs of a Task – you could use the inputs box in the ITO diagram for the most part. If you need more clarity you can optionally skim through the “Inputs” section of the tasks.
  4. Outputs of a Task – again the outputs box in the ITO diagram should suffice. However, since outputs are integral in your CCBA / CBAP Application process you may want to read more details in the “Outputs” section of each task.

Map Your Project Deliverables to Outputs

It is extremely valuable to approach the CCBA / CBAP application process with an attitude of self-reflection on your work experience and also your career path. For instance, as highlighted in step 1 of this series, you may begin to wonder “Is this all I have done?”. Create a list of all the deliverables that you have produced all along your experience. Use the KOD template mentioned below to map each deliverable to a KA.

The KOD Template

The KOD Template is a Knowledge Area, Outputs and Deliverables (or Work Products) template to help you map out the outputs of all KAs to the deliverables or work products that you would have produced. This also has a placeholder for listing out all the deliverables.

The KOT Template

Action Step:  

  • Take a photocopy of the first page of each KA and start the reflection process
  • Use the KOD document to list the deliverables and start mapping them to the relevant KAs

In summary, ensure that you read the minimum recommended areas of the BABOK, start the reflection process and use the KOD template to documenting your work experience at a high level.

Have you started the BABOK skimming process yet? What is stopping you? What are some of the challenges that you have faced / are facing while you did / are doing this?

Series Navigation<< CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 2 of 7 – Read The CBAP / CCBA HandbookCBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 4 of 7 – Understanding the Five Core Eligibility Requirements >>

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Article by

Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

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5 Responses to “CBAP / CCBA Application Series – Step 3 of 7 – Essential BABOK Skimming”

  1. Sudhi says:

    Hello Yamo,
    Really a great input for my CBAP Preparation :) I really loved the way you have outlined the read the most difficult area of ITO. I shall surely implement the same.

  2. […] Skim Through BABOK – essential skimming for application success. In this post I will walk through some important sections of the BABOK® that will help you with your application process. This is an important step in order to place your work experience in the right pockets of the application form. […]

  3. Syed says:

    Hi Yakub,

    I dont see the link to the KOD template you mentioned above. Could you please email me?


    • Syed says:

      Oh sorry, the reason its not working for me is because I don’t have a facebook login. Anyways, could you please email me the template? Thanks again.

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