Adaptive approach - An approach where the solution evolves based on a cycle of learning and discovery, with feedback loops which encourage making decisions as late as possible.
Agile extension to the BABOK® guide - A standard on the practice of business analysis in an agile context. The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide version 1 was published in 2013 by IIBA®, in partnership with the Agile Alliance.
Architecture - The design, structure, and behaviour of the current and future states of a structure in terms of its components, and the interaction between those components. See also business architecture, enterprise architecture, and requirements architecture.
Assumption - An influencing factor that is believed to be true but has not been confirmed to be accurate, or that could be true now but may not be in the future.
Behavioural business rule - A business rule that places an obligation (or prohibition) on conduct, action, practice, or procedure; a business rule whose purpose is to shape (govern) day-to-day business activity. Also known as operative rule.
Benchmarking - A comparison of a decision, process, service, or system's cost, time, quality, or other metrics to those of leading peers to identify opportunities for improvement.
Body of knowledge - The aggregated knowledge and generally accepted practices on a topic.
Business (business world) - An economic system where any commercial, industrial, or professional activity is performed for profit.
Business analysis - The practice of enabling change in the context of an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.
Business analysis approach - The set of processes, rules, guidelines, heuristics, and activities that are used to perform business analysis in a specific context.
Business analysis communication plan - A description of the types of communication the business analyst will perform during business analysis, the recipients of those communications, and the form and frequency of those communications.
Business analysis effort - The scope of activities a business analyst is engaged in during the life cycle of an initiative.
Business analysis information - Any kind of information at any level of detail that is used as an input to business analysis work, or as an output of business analysis work.
Business analysis package - A document, presentation, or other collection of text, matrices, diagrams and models, representing business analysis information.
Business analysis plan - A description of the planned activities the business analyst will execute in order to perform the business analysis work involved in a specific initiative. See also requirements management plan.
Business analyst - Any person who performs business analysis, no matter their job title or organizational role. For more information, see Who is a Business Analyst? (p. 2).
Business architecture - The design, structure, and behaviour of the current and future states of an enterprise to provide a common understanding of the organization. It is used to align the enterprise’s strategic objectives and tactical demands.
Business case - A justification for a course of action based on the benefits to be realized by using the proposed solution, as compared to the cost, effort, and other considerations to acquire and live with that solution.
Business decision - A decision that can be made based on strategy, executive judgment, consensus, and business rules, and that is generally made in response to events or at defined points in a business process.
Business goal - A state or condition that an organization is seeking to establish and maintain, usually expressed qualitatively rather than quantitatively.
Business need - A problem or opportunity of strategic or tactical importance to be addressed.
Business objective - An objective, measurable result to indicate that a business goal has been achieved.
Business policy - A non-practicable directive that controls and influences the actions of an enterprise.
Business problem - An issue of strategic or tactical importance preventing an enterprise or organization from achieving its goals.
Business process - An end-to-end set of activities which collectively responds to an event, and transforms information, materials, and other resources into outputs that deliver value directly to the customers of the process. It may be internal to an organization, or it may span several organizations.
Change control - Controlling changes to requirements and designs so that the impact of requested changes is understood and agreed-to before the changes are made.
Change management - Planned activities, tools, and techniques to address the human side of change during a change initiative, primarily addressing the needs of the people who will be most affected by the change.
Change strategy - A plan to move from the current state to the future state to achieve the desired business objectives.
Change team - A cross-functional group of individuals who are mandated to implement a change. This group may be comprised of product owners, business analysts, developers, project managers, implementation subject matter experts (SMEs), or any other individual with the relevant set of skills and competencies required to implement the change.
Collaboration - The act of two or more people working together towards a common goal.
Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) - A prepackaged solution available in the marketplace which address all or most of the common needs of a large group of buyers of those solutions. A commercial off-the-shelf solution may require some configuration to meet the specific needs of the enterprise.
competitive analysis - A structured assessment which captures the key characteristics of an industry to predict the long-term profitability prospects and to determine the practices of the most significant competitors.
Component - A uniquely identifiable element of a larger whole that fulfills a clear function.
Concept model - An analysis model that develops the meaning of core concepts for a problem domain, defines their collective structure, and specifies the appropriate vocabulary needed to communicate about it consistently.
Constraint (business analysis) - An influencing factor that cannot be changed, and that places a limit or restriction on a possible solution or solution option.
Context - The circumstances that influence, are influenced by, and provide understanding of the change.
Core concept (business analysis) - One of six ideas that are fundamental to the practice of business analysis: Change, Need, Solution, Context, Stakeholder, and Value.
Cost-benefit analysis - An analysis which compares and quantifies the financial and non-financial costs of making a change or implementing a solution compared to the benefits gained.
Create, read, update, and delete matrix (CRUD matrix) - A two-dimensional matrix showing which user roles have permission to access specific information entities, and to create new records in those entities, view the data in existing records, update or modify the data in existing records, or delete existing records. The same type of matrix can be used to show which processes, instead of users, have the create, read, update and delete rights.
CRUD matrix - See create, read, update, and delete matrix.
Customer - A stakeholder who uses or may use products or services produced by the enterprise and may have contractual or moral rights that the enterprise is obliged to meet.
Decision analysis - An approach to decision making that examines and models the possible consequences of different decisions, and assists in making an optimal decision under conditions of uncertainty.
Decomposition - A technique that subdivides a problem into its component parts in order to facilitate analysis and understanding of those components.
Defect - A deficiency in a product or service that reduces its quality or varies from a desired attribute, state, or functionality.
Definitional business rule - A rule that indicates something is necessarily true (or untrue); a rule that is intended as a definitional criterion for concepts, knowledge, or information. Also known as a structural rule.
Deliverable - Any unique and verifiable work product or service that a party has agreed to deliver.
Design - A usable representation of a solution. For more information see Key Terms (p. 14) and Requirements and Designs (p. 19).
Dynamic systems development method (DSDM) - A project delivery framework which focuses on fixing cost, quality, and time at the beginning while contingency is managed by varying the features to be delivered.
Elicitation - Iterative derivation and extraction of information from stakeholders or other sources.
End user - A stakeholder who directly interacts with the solution.
Enterprise - A system of one or more organizations and the solutions they use to pursue a shared set of common goals.
Enterprise - A system of one or more organizations and the solutions they use to pursue a shared set of common goals.
Enterprise architecture - A description of the business processes, information technology, people, operations, information, and projects of an enterprise and the relationships between them.
Enterprise readiness assessment - An assessment that describes the enterprise is prepared to accept the change associated with a solution and is able to use it effectively.
Entity-relationship diagram - A graphical representation of the entities relevant to a chosen problem domain and the relationships between them.
Estimate - A quantitative assessment of a planned outcome, resource requirements, and schedule where uncertainties and unknowns are systematically factored into the assessment.
Evaluation - The systematic and objective assessment of a solution to determine its status and efficacy in meeting objectives over time, and to identify ways to improve the solution to better meet objectives. See also indicator; metric, monitoring.
Evolutionary prototype - A prototype that is continuously modified and updated in response to feedback from stakeholders.
Experiment - Elicitation performed in a controlled manner to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.
External interface - An interaction that is outside the proposed solution. It can be another hardware system, software system, or a human interaction with which the proposed solution will interact.
Facilitation - The art of leading and encouraging people through systematic efforts toward agreed-upon objectives in a manner that enhances involvement, collaboration, productivity, and synergy.
Feasibility study - An evaluation of proposed alternatives to determine if they are technically, organizationally, and economically possible within the constraints of the enterprise, and whether they will deliver the desired benefits to the enterprise.
Feature - A distinguishing characteristic of a solution that implements a cohesive set of requirements and which delivers value for a set of stakeholders.
Fishbone diagram - A diagramming technique used in root cause analysis to identify underlying causes of an observed problem, and the relationships that exist between those causes. Also known as an Ishikawa or cause-andeffect diagram.
Focus group - A group formed to to elicit ideas and attitudes about a specific product, service, or opportunity in an interactive group environment. The participants share their impressions, preferences, and needs, guided by a moderator.
Force field analysis - A graphical method for depicting the forces that support and oppose a change. Involves identifying the forces, depicting them on opposite sides of a line (supporting and opposing forces) and then estimating the strength of each set of forces.
Functional requirement - A capability that a solution must have in terms of the behaviour and information the solution will manage.
Gap analysis - A comparison of the current state and desired future state of an enterprise in order to identify differences that need to be addressed.
Governance process (change) - A process by which appropriate decision makers use relevant information to make decisions regarding a change or solution, including the means for obtaining approvals and priorities.
Lessons learned process - A process improvement technique used to learn about and improve on a process or project. A lessons learned session involves a special meeting in which the team explores what worked, what didn't work, what could be learned from the just-completed iteration, and how to adapt processes and techniques before continuing or starting anew.
Life cycle - A series of changes an item or object undergoes from inception to retirement
Matrix - A textual form of modelling used to represent information that can be categorized, cross-referenced, and represented in a table format.
Metadata - A description of data to help understand how to use that data, either in terms of the structure and specification of the data, or the description of a specific instance of an object.
Methodology - A body of methods, techniques, procedures, working concepts, and rules used to solve a problem.
Metric - A quantifiable level of an indicator measured at a specified point in time.
Mission statement - A formal declaration of values and goals that expresses the core purpose of the enterprise.
Model - A representation and simplification of reality developed to convey information to a specific audience to support analysis, communication, and understanding.
Monitoring - Collecting data on a continuous basis from a solution in order to determine how well a solution is implemented compared to expected results. See also metric; indicator.
Non-functional requirement - A type of requirement that describes the performance or quality attributes a solution must meet. Non-functional requirements are usually measurable and act as constraints on the design of a solution as a whole.
Organizational unit - Any recognized association of people within an organization or enterprise.
Peer review - A formal or informal review of a work product to identify errors or opportunities for improvement. See also inspection.
Plan - A detailed scheme for doing or achieving something usually comprising a set of events, dependencies, expected sequence, schedule, results or outcomes, materials and resources needed, and how stakeholders need to be involved.
Product vision statement - A brief statement or paragraph that describes the goals of the solution and how it supports the strategy of the organization or enterprise.
Project - A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
Project manager - A stakeholder who is responsible for managing the work required to deliver a solution that meets a business need, and for ensuring that the project's objectives are met while balancing the project constraints, including scope, budget, schedule, resources, quality, and risk.
Project scope - The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.
Proof of concept - A model created to validate the design of a solution without modelling the appearance, materials used in the creation of work, or processes and workflows ultimately used by the stakeholders.
Prototype - A partial or simulated approximation of the solution for the purpose of eliciting or verifying requirements with stakeholders.
Quality - The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills needs.
Quality assurance - A set of activities performed to ensure that a process will deliver products that meet an appropriate level of quality.
Quality attributes - A set of measures used to judge the overall quality of a system. See also non-functional requirements.
Questionnaire - A set of defined questions, with a choice of answers, used to collect information from respondents.
RACI matrix - See responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed matrix.
Regulator - A stakeholder from outside the organization who is responsible for the definition and enforcement of standards.
Repository - A real or virtual facility where all information on a specific topic is stored and is available for retrieval.
Request for information (RFI) - A formal elicitation method intended to collect information regarding a vendor's capabilities or any other information relevant to a potential upcoming procurement.
Request for proposal (RFP) - A requirements document issued when an organization is seeking a formal proposal from vendors. An RFP typically requires that the proposals be submitted following a specific process and using sealed bids which will be evaluated against a formal evaluation methodology.
Requirements artifact - A business analysis artifact containing information about requirements such as a diagram, matrix, document or model.
Requirements attribute - A characteristic or property of a requirement used to assist with requirements management.
Requirements defect - A problem or error in a requirement. Defects may occur because a requirement is poor quality (see requirements verification) or because it does not describe a need that, if met, would provide value to stakeholders (see requirements validation)
Requirements management - Planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling any or all of the work associated with requirements elicitation and collaboration, requirements analysis and design, and requirements life cycle management.
Requirements management plan - A subset of the business analysis plan for a specific change initiative, describing specific tools, activities, and roles and responsibilities that will be used on the initiative to manage the requirements. See business analysis plan.
Requirements management tool - Special-purpose software that provides support for any combination of the following capabilities: elicitation and collaboration, requirements modelling and/or specification, requirements traceability, versioning and baselining, attribute definition for tracking and monitoring, document generation, and requirements change control.
Requirements model - An abstract (usually graphical) representation of some aspect of the current or future state.
Requirements package - A specialized form of a business analysis package primarily concerned with requirements. A requirements package may represent a baseline of a collection of requirements.
Requirements traceability - The ability for tracking the relationships between sets of requirements and designs from the original stakeholder need to the actual implemented solution. Traceability supports change control by ensuring that the source of a requirement or design can be identified and other related requirements and designs potentially affected by a change are known.
Requirements validation - Work done to evaluate requirements to ensure they support the delivery of the expected benefits and are within the solution scope.
Requirements verification - Work done to evaluate requirements to ensure they are defined correctly and are at an acceptable level of quality. It ensures the requirements are sufficiently defined and structured so that the solution development team can use them in the design, development, and implementation of the solution.
Requirements workshop - A structured meeting in which a carefully selected group of stakeholders collaborate to define and/or refine requirements under the guidance of a skilled neutral facilitator.
Residual risk - The risk remains after an action has been taken or plans have been put in place to deal with the original risk.
Responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed matrix (RACI matrix) - A tool used to identify the responsibilities of roles or team members and the activities or deliverables in which they will participate, by being responsible (doing the work), accountable (approving the results), consulted (providing input) or informed of the completed item after it has been completed.
Solution component - A sub-part of a solution that can be people, infrastructure, hardware, software, equipment, facilities, and process assets or any combination of these sub-parts.
Solution life cycle - The stages through which a solution progresses from inception to retirement.
Solution option - One possible way to satisfy one or more needs in a context.
Solution requirement - A capability or quality of a solution that meets the stakeholder requirements. Solution requirements can be divided into two sub-categories: functional requirements and non-functional requirements or quality of service requirements.
Solution scope - The set of capabilities a solution must deliver in order to meet the business need.
Sponsor - A stakeholder who is responsible for initiating the effort to define a business need and develop a solution that meets that need. They authorize the work to be performed and control the budget and scope for the initiative.
Stakeholder - A group or individual with a relationship to the change, the need, or the solution.
Stakeholder analysis - Identifying and analyzing the stakeholders who may be impacted by the change and assess their impact, participation, and needs throughout the business analysis activities.
Stakeholder list - A catalogue of the stakeholders affected by a change, business need, or proposed solution, and a description of their attributes and characteristics related to their involvement in the initiative.
Stakeholder requirement - A description of the needs of a particular stakeholder or class of stakeholders that must be met in order to achieve the business requirements. They may serve as a bridge between business requirements and the various categories of solution requirements.
State diagram - An analysis model showing the life cycle of a data entity or class.
Stated requirement - A requirement articulated by a stakeholder that has not been analyzed, verified, or validated. Stated requirements frequently reflect the desires of a stakeholder rather than the actual need.
Supplier - A stakeholder outside the boundary of a given organization or organizational unit who provides products or services to the organization and may have contractual or moral rights and obligations that must be considered.
Survey - Collecting and measuring the opinions or experiences of a group of people through a series of questions.
Swot analysis - See strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis.
System - A set of interdependent components that interact in various ways to produce a set of desired outcomes.
Task (business analysis) - A discrete piece of work that may be performed formally or informally as part of business analysis.
Technique - A manner, method, or style for conducting a business analysis task or for shaping its output.
Temporal event - An event based on time that can trigger the initiation of a process, evaluation of business rules, or some other response.
Tester - An individual responsible for determining how to verify that the solution meets the requirements defined by the business analyst, and conducting the verification process.
Throw-away prototype - A prototype used to quickly uncover and clarify requirements or designs using simple tools, sometimes just paper and pencil. It is intended to be discarded when the final system has been developed.
Time-box - An agreed-upon period of time in which an activity is conducted or a defined deliverable is intended to be produced.
Transition requirement - A requirement that describes the capabilities the solution must have and the conditions the solution must meet to facilitate transition from the current state to the future state, but which are not needed once the change is complete. They are differentiated from other requirements types because they are of a temporary nature.
User acceptance test (uat) - Assessing whether the delivered solution meets the needs of the stakeholder group that will be using the solution. The assessment is validated against identified acceptance criteria.
Value stream mapping (vsm) - A complete, fact-based, time-series representation of the stream of activities required to deliver a product or service.
Verification (business analysis) - The process of determining that a deliverable or artifact meets an acceptable standard of quality. See also requirements verification.
Verified requirement - A requirement that has been reviewed and is determined to be defined correctly, adheres to standards or guidelines, and is at an acceptable level of detail.
Vertical prototype - A prototype that is used to drill down into a proposed solution to uncover requirement and design considerations through multiple layers of a solution that are not easily understood or that are not discernible on the surface. It may include interaction between several solution components.
Viewpoint - A set of conventions that define how requirements will be represented, how these representations will be organized, and how they will be related.
Walkthrough - A review in which participants step through an artifact or set of artifacts with the intention of validating the requirements or designs, and to identify requirements or design errors, inconsistencies, omissions, inaccuracies, or conflicts.
Work breakdown structure (wbs) - A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed to accomplish objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project.