Your next certification: Professional Business Analyst

PMI has launched a new certification called “Professional Business Analyst” or PMI-PBA in order to enhance and standardize the role of a project-oriented business analyst (BA).

Since many PMs also do BA activities, there is a natural synergy. PMs should seriously consider getting this certification, as a way to improve their skills and get formal recognition.

With this new certification, PMI is attempting to standardize and improve the entire lifecycle from business-need identified to business-need addressed. Having both a PMP and a PBA, will provide you the tools to be successful with the entire cycle.

The Business Analysis field is quite broad. However, it can be divided into three broad areas: Project-oriented, Systems-oriented, and Process-oriented. The PMI-PBA focuses on the first.

While a PM is involved in just the project phase, a project-oriented BA is engaged before the project, during the project, and after the project. This type of BA identifies business needs, collects requirements, establishes a solution approach, justifies the project, supports the project, validates deliverables, coordinates training, and provides ongoing user support.

You may be aware that BA certifications already exists through the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), the entry-level CCBA, and the advanced-level CBAP.

Why another certification? Basically for two reasons: first, PMI wants to focus their certification on project-oriented business analysis with emphasis on two areas: requirements and change management. Secondly, the IIBA organization has not achieved the expected traction or exposure in the market.

PMI’s entry into this field will bring much attention. In the not too distant future, companies will begin to request or require BA certification.