Salesforce Certified Business Analyst Exam Guide

Hot off the press, I passed the Salesforce Certified Business Analyst Exam this morning!

The first thing that I’ll say is that the exam was a good one, and a must-have for anyone working on project-based work. If you’ve worked in Agile environments, you’re ahead of the game. If you understand diagramming and diagram selection, you’re good to go. Interestingly enough, I did horrible on the User Acceptance section…if I had to Monday Morning QB those questions, I likely answered them from the perspective of an Architect as opposed to Business Analyst. The Trailmix for the exam is very well put together. I went through the Trailheads to get a better sense of the specifics of terminology and “Salesforce-iness” specific to the topic and they were a massive help.


My Exam Experience

I’m horrible about remembering specifics, but a few skills you’ll want to have before taking the exam:
  • Agile
    • User Stories
      • Understanding the parts of a user story (Who, What, Why)
      • Understanding how to go from requirement to user story.
      • Understanding how to determine ambiguity in acceptance criteria
    • Methodologies
      • Scrum
      • Agile
      • Kanban
      • The differences and selection criteria for one over the others
  • Diagram types and when to use specific diagrams
    • SIPOC
    • Capability Maps
    • Process Mapping/Universal Diagram Notation
    • Journey Maps
  • Journey Mapping
  • Communication skills, relationship building, etc.
  • Requirements Elicitation
    • Virtual Whiteboarding
  • User Acceptance scenarios
    • Sandbox usage
  • User Experience topics
    • Workshopping
    • Storyboarding
    • Workshop facilitation
    • Research techniques
  • ALM
    • Version Control (if you understand the reasoning for using a tool like Sharepoint, you’ll be OK)
    • Change Sets

Getting Started and How to Prepare:

A Few Other Things to be Aware Of:

  1. Every question was a single answer, as opposed to multiple options as an answer…the multiple correct answers, or “pick 2/pick 3” questions are commonly found in other exams…not a single one in this exam!
  2. There were only 3 choices as opposed to 4, also commonly found in other exams!
  3. There was an interesting mix of Trailhead-esque responses and very-nuanced-so-you-better-read-it-thrice responses.
  4. I feel like some of the User Acceptance questions were ambiguous, and I’m kicking myself for not providing that feedback during the exam.


Overall, the exam is well worth the time, regardless of your experience level. I am a firm believer that the skills I gained as a Business Analyst absolutely made me a better Developer and I draw on them daily as an Architect! Diagramming, documentation, building relationships (especially developing empathy), workshop facilitation (these skills apply to everyday meetings as well), Agile methodologies and their implementations are all skills every developer and architect should have a deep understanding of…I mention that because most, if not all, of my content is geared towards that crowd.
Exam Overview:
Customer Discovery: 17%
  • Determine business strategies, goals, initiatives, and challenges to define the scope of business analysis.
  • Discover how a customer is leveraging and benefiting from Salesforce products to establish the current state.
  • Understand and explain Business Analyst roles and responsibilities in different phases of the implementation lifecycle.
  • Apply the implementation lifecycle for planning business analysis activities.
  • Analyze the customer’s Salesforce environment to identify opportunities and constraints.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Salesforce capabilities and its potential to recommend solutions to the business.
Collaboration with Stakeholders: 24%
  • Plan discovery activities based on the target stakeholders to perform a thorough analysis of business needs.
  • Identify key stakeholders and develop relationships with them as a trusted advisor to act as a liaison between business and technical teams.
  • Given a scenario, choose the most effective technique for eliciting business needs from stakeholders.
  • Explain how to move from current state analysis to an agreed future state design.
  • Understand how Salesforce features and best practices impact solution options and business processes.
  • Given a scenario, manage competing priorities to obtain sign-off from stakeholders. 
Business Process Mapping: 16%
  • Demonstrate how to define the scope of a complex business process and break it down into manageable steps.
  • Apply understanding of hierarchical process mapping to engage stakeholders at different levels of an organization.
  • Analyze and document a business process to elicit requirements and identify resources to visualize a future state.
  • Apply governance on agreed future state processes to control scope. 
Requirements: 17%
  • Distinguish between requirements vs. user stories to engage business and technical stakeholders.
  • Verify and prioritize existing requirements and identify new requirements to develop the future state.
  • Document requirements in a version controlled repository to manage scope.
User Stories: 18%
  • Understand the components of a user story to perform thorough analysis.
  • Contrast the difference between acceptance criteria vs. definition of done.
  • Document user stories in a version controlled repository to manage scope.
User Acceptance: 8%
  • Define and prepare the User Acceptance Test plan to confirm the solution meets the business requirements.
  • Guide UAT and manage the results to determine whether the solution meets the requirements.
  • Given a scenario, make a go/no-go release decision when new business or technical issues arise.

Chris Mattison

Hi, I'm Chris: husband, father, fitness fanatic, geek, and coffee addict with close to 20 years of IT experience. I am a Salesforce Technical Architect on the #journeyToCTA.

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