Closer Look: The Solution Assessment and Validation Knowledge Area

 As you know, preparing for the IIBA’s CBAP® or CCBA™certification exam can be a lot of work! One recommended thing you should know backwards and forwards before sitting your exam is the six knowledge areas and their associated tasks. Here’s another knowledge area for you to get to know better…

In the BABOK® Guide, the Solution Assessment and Validation knowledge area focuses on ensuring that a solution can be successfully implemented within your organization to meet the business need or needs driving your project.  This means that you, must have knowledge of your business environment and be able to assess how your project’s proposed solution affects that business environment. Communicating solution requirements and implementation-specific information to your stakeholders is also your responsibility. This knowledge area impacts the business analysts and the project management team on any project.  After all, if we can’t produce the desired end result of our project, we have not been successful!

This knowledge area is also where you will develop your project’s transition requirements.  Remember that the business requirements are developed by tasks in the Enterprise Analysis knowledge area, and your stakeholder and solution requirements are built by tasks found in the Requirements Analysis knowledge area.  Transition requirements describe the solution capabilities required to transition from the current organizational state to the future state. Transition requirements are no longer needed once the transition to the new solution is complete.

The tasks in this knowledge area follow the solution from early in the project life cycle where the solution begins to take form to the end of the life cycle where the project itself ends and the solution is deployed. This solution-focused knowledge area generates several key business analysis deliverables. They include the:

  • Proposed solution assessment
  • Organizational readiness assessment
  • Allocated stakeholder and solution requirements
  • Transition requirements
  • Solution performance assessment
  • Solution validation assessment

There are many commonly used solution assessment and validation techniques that can be applied for each knowledge area task.  Solution assessment and validation work is multifaceted and applies a wide range of techniques for validating the solution and its components relative to the business case and allocating the stakeholder and solution requirements to the solution components and releases.

The Solution Assessment and Validation knowledge area also addresses monitoring and reporting on the performance of the assessment and validation activities across the project life cycle. It also has a task specifically focused on assessing the solution performance after the solution is operational and out there being used. The project team is responsible for assessing the effectiveness of the techniques being used to assess and validate their project’s resulting solution.   

Remember to keep an eye on the solution early on in your projects. Happy solution assessment and validation!

Susan Weese

If you are considering sitting the CBAP or CCBA certification exams for business analysts, check out our new study guide that can help you prepare to pass the test, the CBAP / CCBA: Certified Business Analysis Study Guide by Susan Weese and Terri Wagner!  It’s a great place to learn more about each of the 6 knowledge areas and everything else you need to know to successfully pass the certification exam.

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