Achieve Business Analysis Certification: A Concise Guide


pmwj49-Aug2016-Holderman-BOOKBook Title:   Achieve Business Analysis Certification: A Concise Guide to PMI-PBA®, CBAP®, and CPRE Exam Success
Author: Klaus Nielsen, PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, CPRE-FL
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing
List Price:   $69.95
Format: Softcover
Publication Date:   2016    
ISBN: 978-1-60427-111-9
Reviewer: Sandy Schmidt, PMP
Review Date: July 2016



In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on business analysis certification. The three major business analysis certification exams are:

  • PMI-PBA® , offered by the Project Management Institute
  • CBAP®, offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis
  • CPRE, offered by the International Requirements Engineering Board

More and more organizations are seeing advantages to have certified business analysts, and more and more individuals are seeking out these certifications.Preparatory classes and “boot camps” can be expensive, so many individuals prefer to prepare for these exams on their own. Also, by self-studying, they can work at their own pace and according to their own schedule. This book can certainly help in that effort!

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is broken down into six parts.

Part 1 consists of an overview of the business analysis certifications, some study tips and how to pass the PMI-PBA® exam (much of which also applies to the CBAP® and CPRE exams), an explanation of the organizational need for business analysts, and pre-test knowledge assessments for the PMI-PBA®, CBAP®, and CPRE certifications.

Part 2 contains chapters covering the following domains: Needs Assessment Domain, Planning Domain, Analysis Domain, Traceability and Monitoring Domain, and Evaluation Domain. For each domain, there is a list of terms to know, an introduction to the domain, an explanation of each area within the domain, a chapter summary, and five test questions and answers relating to the domain.

Part 3 contains the PMI-PBA® knowledge skills, tools, and techniques; professional ethics and conduct standards; the relationship between the PMI-PBA® and PMBOK® Guide; Agile methodologies and the Agile Manifesto, and CBAP® and CPRE knowledge areas and alignment.

Part 4 contains an overview of the CBAP® exam and the BABOK® Guide, and how they align with the PMI-PBA®. Again, for those studying for the CBAP®, I highly recommend obtaining a copy of the BABOK® prior to studying for that exam, as well as some supplementary study material specific to the CBAP®. Also contained in Part 4 is an introduction to the CPRE, as well as a table of how the areas of the CPRE align with the PMI-PBA®.

Part 5 is a sample PMI-PBA® practice exam.

Part 6 contains glossary and acronyms, as well as a bibliography.


There was more extensive treatment of material needed to pass the PMI-PBA® exam than the CBAP® and CPRE exams. As someone who has obtained the CBAP® certification, I would recommend that in addition to IIBA’s BABOK® (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge), an individual also study some CBAP® specific material as well as this guide.


To read entire Book Review, click here



About the Reviewer

Sandy Schmidt, PMP

Texas, USA


Sandy Schmidt
is a member of the PMI Dallas, PMI Fort Worth, and IIBA Fort Worth Chapters. She has served as Secretary and Vice President of Education on the IIBA Fort Worth Board of Directors. She is currently a Principal Systems Analyst at Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services in Irving, TX, where she has worked since 2012. She has over 20 years of Information Technology experience in Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, Project Manager, and Consultant roles. Her experience spans the property and casualty insurance, transportation, taxation, financial services, and vehicle telematics industries. She always enjoys new opportunities, people, and challenges.

She is originally from Detroit, Michigan, but moved to Southern California as a teenager and graduated from high school there. She earned her BS in Management from Pepperdine University and an MBA in Information Systems from California State University at Los Angeles. She relocated to Dallas/Fort Worth with a former employer. She has been a PMP since 2002, a CBAP since 2011, a CSM since 2012, a PMI-PBA since 2015, and obtained her CSPO certification earlier this year. She is also a SAFe Agilist and a CPCU (Certified Property and Casualty Underwriter). When not learning new things herself, she enjoys coaching, teaching, and mentoring others.

Sandy can be contacted at [email protected] Editor’s note:

This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

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