Bodies of Knowledge: There is more than just the BABOK


According to Wikipedia, a Body of Knowledge is a term used to represent the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant professional association.

The following are Bodies of Knowledge that may be of interest to Business Analysts:

Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)

Formally known as "A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge" the BABOK® Guide is a summary of the knowledge within the BA profession, reflecting current generally accepted practices, as collected and distributed by the IIBA .  The current version of the BABOK Guide is version 3.0, and there is "Agile Extension to the BABOK" that the IIBA produced as well.

The BABOK was organized and structured in a particular way in order to comply with ISO standards for bodies that provide a professional certification. As such, it is the core reference for both the CCBA and CBAP Certification exams.

The IIBA used to make a complete copy of the BABOK Guide v2 accessible via Google Books, but it appears that copy has removed.

In addition to BABOK 3.0, the IIBA was reportedly also working on an Enterprise Business Analysis extension to the BABOK at one time, however the current status of that efford is unclear. The Enterprise Extension was supposed to build on the content of the BABOK® Guide to discuss business analysis outside the context of the project or individual change initiative.  Topics that were to be covered in the extension included:


MITRE's System Engineering Guide

Formerly known as the Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge (EABOK), MITRE has expanded the content and now offers this Systems Engineering Guide in it's place. The work for this has been substantially funded by US government agencies. MITRE introduces the document with this statement.

Systems engineering is a team sport. Although we created the SEG as a reference for MITRE systems engineers, most of the best practices and lessons we've learned are applicable to all members of a government acquisition program team, whatever their particular role or specialty. We recommend that you begin with the first two sections, which provide context for the guide. The Evolution of Systems Engineering gives a working definition of the classical discipline and its extension into a future that includes the engineering of systems of systems and enterprises. The Essence of MITRE Systems Engineering describes the distinctive attributes of MITRE systems engineering as shaped by our sponsors' expectations and defined by our interpretation of quality systems engineering.

The main body of the guide is divided into three sections:

Enterprise Engineering

The Enterprise Engineering section explains how to take a comprehensive view of systems engineering activities at different scales of the customer enterprise, offers techniques for engineering information-intensive enterprises that balance local and global needs, and covers how to provide systems engineering support to governance activities.

SE Life-Cycle Building Blocks

The SE Life-Cycle Building Blocks section addresses the fundamentals of setting up engineering systems regardless of the specific life-cycle methodology used by the supporting sponsor or customer.

Acquisition Systems Engineering

The Acquisition Systems Engineering section focuses on how MITRE systems engineering fits into and supports government acquisition programs.

MITRE makes the Systems Engineering Guide freely available as both a wiki and as download documents (in EPUB, Kindle, and PDF format) here.


Usability Body of Knowledge (Usability BOK)

The Usability Professionals' Association (UPA) has initiated a long-term project to collate a comprehensive Body of Knowledge (BoK) for the usability profession, which will provide an authoritative source of reference and define the scope of the profession.

Preliminary work has started: intended audiences and subject areas have been agreed, a format for documenting usability methods has been defined, and work has started on documenting the more common methods.

The Usability Body of Knowledge project is dedicated to creating a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of the usability profession. Such a collection of knowledge for the usability profession will necessarily be broad and inclusive in scope, because the profession is inherently multidisciplinary and draws on a wide range of other practices. They recognize that the Usability BoK should be derived from published literature, conference proceedings, and the experiences of practitioners accumulated over many years. It is not possible or desirable to duplicate all of the existing resources. Rather, the outcome will be a guide that contains core material supplemented by pointers to existing resources, and continues to evolve as the practice of usability evolves.

Defining such a guide is an important step in the development of a Usability profession because it represents a broad consensus regarding the profession itself and the range of knowledge, skills, and methods that should be mastered by practitioners in the field.

The guide to the Usability Body of Knowledge will:

The Usability BOK can be freely accessed at this link.

Guide to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBOK)

The Guide to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge is overseen by three steward organizations, which are the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE-CS), and the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC).

The SEBoK provides a compendium of the key knowledge sources and references of systems engineering, organized and explained to assist a wide variety of users. It is a living document, accepting community input continuously, and regularly refreshed and updated.

About Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means to enable the realization of successful systems. Separate articles in Part 1 provide an overview of systems engineering, place it in historical context, and discuss its economic value.

Systems engineering has roots in systems science. Major sections (called knowledge areas (KAs)) in Part 2 discuss Systems Fundamentals, Systems Thinking, Representing Systems with Models, and the Systems Approach Applied to Engineered Systems.

About the SEBoK

The SEBoK is organized into 7 parts, with a Glossary of Terms and a list of Primary References.

The other parts include:

The SEBOK is freely accessible and can be freely accessed via this web page.


Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK)

The Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) was established by the IEEE with the following five objectives:

The HTML version of the SWEBOK used to be freely accessible to all, but the IEEE has apparently decided to make it a members-only option, so it's no longer available to non-IEEE members.


Guide to the Business Process Management Common Body of Knowledge (BPM CBOK)


The Guide to the Business Process Management Common Body of Knowledge (BPM CBOK) is specified by ABPMP International and serves as the primary reference for the CBPP certification.

The Guide to the BPM CBOK® provides a basic reference document for all practitioners. The primary purpose of this guide is to identify and provide an overview of the Knowledge Areas that are generally recognized and accepted as good practice. The Guide provides a general overview of each Knowledge Area and provides a list of common activities and tasks associated with each Knowledge Area. It also provides links and references to other sources of information which are part of the broader BPM Common Body of Knowledge.

The BOK is not available for free except to ABPMP members. However, you can pruchase a copy from Amazon if you aren't a member. You can see an overview here.


Guide to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (G2SEBoK)

The G2SEBoK is a comprehensive resource for understanding the extent of the practice of Systems Engineering.  Accomplished systems engineers will use it to find just in time performance support and to access in-depth information in particular discipline areas.  Those new to the practice of systems engineering will use it to expand their knowledge and increase their effectiveness in implementing systems engineering.  Project managers will use it to find answers to questions about interacting with systems engineers as well as engineering their organization (system) of engineers and managers.  This guide is both comprehensive and simple to use.

The G2SEBoK is used to be freely available in wiki form but has either been discontinued or placed behind membership wall.


Agile Body of Knowledge

This effort seems to have come to an end and the BOK web page formerly accessible at is no longer available.


If you know of any Bodies of Knowledge that are plausibly related to business analysis, please let me know so that I can add them to this page.