BOK-Talk-Kevin-Brennan Introduction to the BABOK

TBAC 016 | BOK Talk – Kevin Brennan – BABOK® Introduction, History, and Myths

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo16

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BOK Talk” is finally here and there was no better way for me to start this series than to bring on Kevin Brennan from IIBA® as the first guest. He is currently the Chief Business Analyst and EVP at the IIBA®. He has played an important role in building a strong business analysis community worldwide. In his current role at the IIBA® he is:

Responsible for IIBA’s strategy and alignment of organizational change initiatives, advancing the BA profession through standards development and research, and development of the global community of practice through local chapters and social networks.

My earnest attempt in this series will be to increase the awareness about the BABOK®. The series will also bring forward all the flavors that the BOK is manifested across the worldwide business analysis practice.  In this first episode, Kevin discusses a brief history of the BABOK®, process involved in its creation, a few myths surrounding the BABOK® and also answers a few questions that were asked by the #baot community on twitter. This is part 1 of the two-part introductory discussion with Kevin.

Here is Kevin Brennan & the first decibel of a historic series of podcasts:

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Here is a Sneak Peek of The Episode:

  • Brief background about Kevin.
  • Discussion around BABOK® Ver 1.0, Ver 1.4, Ver 1.6 and Ver 2.0.
  • Thoughts on applying business analysis to different domains.
  • The big transition from Ver 1.6 to Ver 2.0.
  • Process involved in the creation of BABOK®.
  • Kevin’s advice on on how to make use of the BABOK®.
  • Discussion on ISO Standards that are used to develop the BABOK®.
  • Enterprise analysis and ongoing elicitation.
  • Myths surrounding the BABOK®.
  • A few questions raised by the community.

Insightful Quotes From This Episode:

“Developing the BABOK was one of the two major things IIBA was created to do.”

“The first significant release with a lot of content in most of the knowledge areas was ver 1.6  and that came out in July 2006.”

“With Ver 1.6 it was turned over to me entirely…”

“We found that applying business analysis to different domains is often largely a matter of identifying different techniques used in that domain.”

“I think we had 5k or more comments on the DRAFT of ver 2.”

“The big thing about ver 2.0 is that it has come a very long way from ver 1.6 .”

“We also make sure we engage a lot of practitioners in development and review process.”

“Final thing that we have to follow as a part of the ISO process is to put it out there for a 60 day comment period… where any person interested in business analysis can come in and  and comment on its content. We have to to address those comments and we have to review every comment and make a decision about it.”

“There is going to be a lot of reasons to become an IIBA member beyond the BABOK.”

“The primary purpose we developed the BABOK was to define the profession of business analysis.”

“…I know that its still a problem today and I dont want to downplay it, but it used to be worse than it is today…”

“People didn’t really know what a BA is, what business analysis is, what a BA job function is.”

“After a long debate we came to the amazing conclusion that it has something to do with ‘business’ and ‘analysis’.”

“Not every business analyst necessarily performs every task in the BABOK, but they all are necessary for the success of business analysis.”

“You don’t have to apply these tasks in big huge chunks they can also be very small iterative activities that take you less than half an hour to an hour.”

Items Mentioned in The Show:

Kevin Brennan in Brief:

Kevin Brennan, CBAP, PMP, is the IIBA ® ‘s Chief Business Analyst and EVP. He led the development of Version 2.0 of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge ® (BABOK ® Guide) and was also one of the authors of the CBAP exam. He is a frequent speaker on business analysis, project management, and software quality assurance topics at conferences. Kevin has over a decade of experience as a business analyst and project manager across several industry sectors, including regulated professions, utilities, automobile manufacturing, courier services, and mortgage banking. During this time he has performed just about every task a business analyst could be expected to do, from developing corporate and product strategies to being paged by end-users looking for technical support. Kevin has taught project management and requirements analysis at Humber College, and has a B.A. degree in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto. He is also a graduate of Second City’s improv comedy program.

If you have any comments or questions for this episode, please post them below.

Note: This episode was originally recorded in summer. He took up the additional role of “Chief Business Analyst” at the IIBA® after the podcast was recorded.

Enjoy the show and don’t forget to share this episode to your networks using the social sharing links.


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  • Published: November 5, 2011
  • Filed in: BOK Talk

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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