Top Business Analysis Books of 2020
Updated: Sep 27
Must read books, if you want to rapidly grow your business analysis career!
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One of the practices that helped me rapidly grow my career from a Business Analyst to a Manager, Global IT Business Analysis in only five years was reading many books both new and old. Over the years, I have found that my formula for being an effective and successful business analysis practitioner involved striking a good balance between staying on top of new trends, techniques and reference material and revisiting older materials. In fact, I make it a practice to revisit some of my favorite books (which I'll share with you below) every 2-3 years. Each time I revisit one of these books, I always walk away with a better understanding of an old technique or concept or think of a new way to adapt that technique. You see, each time I have read one of these books, I was at a different stage and place in my career, likely at a different company and in a different context than the last time I read it. Revisiting old techniques or material, allowed me to think about how to adapt old techniques to work in my new context. As a result, some of my favorite business analysis books for 2020 are classics that I've read multiple times. I highly encourage any new or experienced business analysis professional to check out these books and share your favorite elements in the comments below.
The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) version 3 remains one of the most important business analysis books for business analysis professionals. Published by the Institute of International Business Analysis (IIBA), the BABOK is based on research and feedback collected from practitioners in the field across industries. One of the best aspects of the BABOK is that it includes over 50 techniques that business analysts can use to perform various tasks. For each technique included, the BABOK provides a description on how to perform it, the strengths and weaknesses and relevant considerations.
From Analyst to Leader is a must-read for any business analysis practitioner seeking to grow their career and advance into a strategic leadership role. Despite being written in 2008, this book provides a ton of valuable insights about the business analyst role that are relevant and applicable today. One of the most valuable chapters in this book describes in detail how to develop and establish a business analysis centre of excellence (BACoE) including great info on scope, maturity and organizational positioning considerations. I highly recommend that anyone looking to move into a business analysis management role read this book.
UML for the IT Business Analyst is an excellent resource for business analysts working on technical efforts such as software or system development projects. The book focuses on objected oriented analysis, which is an approach to system development that seeks to specify requirements using techniques and models that support object oriented development and programming. The book covers in depth elicitation and modelling techniques that are system focused and that align with Unified Modelling Language (UML) standard. This book offers a great object oriented methodology and a ton of resources including templates and job aids
The PMI Guide to Business Analysis is the Project Management Institute's business analysis best practice. This book is incredibly detailed and is structured similar to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in that it outlines a series of business analysis tasks that ought to be performed, describes the inputs, techniques that can be used to accomplish the task and the output. This book also overlays business analysis tasks with the five project process groups outlined in the PMBOK. A very useful read to understand when business analysis tasks can be performed on a project.