Agile Business Analysis: Why you should start taking note of the Agile Extension to the BABOK Guide


The Agile Extension to the BABOK Guide has been around for a number of years but has been a little in the background of most Business Analysts minds. This is changing right now. Why?

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®) has announced an IIBA® certification for Agile Business Analysis Practitioners which is predominantly based on the Agile Extension version 2 to the BABOK® Guide version 3 and recommends that people have 2 – 5 years of practical Business Analysis experience within an Agile environment before attempting the certification exam. This certification is called: The IIBA® Agile Analysis Certification. So it is not an entry level certification into Agile Business Analysis but rather a certification for more experienced Agile professionals.

But hey, don’t be discouraged if you are still new to the Agile space, because the Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide is a very valuable and useful perspective on how the Business Analyst fits into the Agile world.

There has certainly a question of many people’s minds which was: What is the role of the Business Analyst on an Agile Project? This series of blog posts (this is the first one!) and educational videos (also the first one!) will clarify the answer to this question.

So let’s start at the very beginning and understand the purpose of the Agile Extension first:


The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide version 3 is the leading guide for describing the benefits, activities, tasks, skills, and practices required for effective business analysis with an agile mindset, which has a constant focus on delivering business value.

It also describes how techniques and concepts commonly used in agile approaches can be applied to business analysis practices. The Agile Extension version 2 provides practitioners, teams, and organizations a base of knowledge to enable effective agile business analysis in order to generate successful business outcomes that add real business and customer value.

The primary purpose of the Agile Extension version 2 is to describe the link between business analysis practices applied with an agile mindset, defined here as agile business analysis. The BABOK® Guide version 3 reflects the evolution of the business analysis discipline and its most common practices, and this Agile Extension demonstrates the evolution of agile business analysis practices and common techniques.


The Agile Extension introduces a multi-level, rolling planning model to help practitioners, teams, and organizations manage business analysis work, so they can quickly leverage learning and discover what provides the most actual value. This rolling wave planning model is presented using three horizons, which provide context and scope for lower levels. The three horizons are:

  • the Strategy Horizon,
  • the Initiative Horizon, and
  • the Delivery Horizon

There are a wide variety of techniques, processes, and tools that can be applied to agile business analysis. There is no single approach that should be applied to every context, and part of the skill of the agile business analysis practitioner is to select the most effective techniques for the specific context; the Agile Extension does provide some advice for practitioners on the applicability of different techniques to different contexts.


Agile business analysis is the practice of business analysis in an agile context with an agile mindset. Agile business analysis can provide a competitive advantage in fast-paced and complex environments and has moved beyond software development initiatives to any business domain. Organizations have adopted agile practices at all levels of planning and in many diverse business areas.

To get properly educated about Agile Business Analysis, enrol for our IIBA® Agile BA Practitioner Course online.