Yesterday, I sustained the exam to attain the PMI-ACP (PMI Agile Certified Practitioner) certification and fortunately I obtained it.
Compared to the PMP (PMI Project Management Professional) exam, it’s obviously easier, because the scope of the agile “discipline” of project management is smaller that the traditional one.
Well, first of all you should start from the official PMI certification page: PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACPsm) in order to gather all the information regarding the certification, the exam and the requirements in terms of knowledge you should acquire.
You must answers to 120 questions (20 of them are not judged because they are experimental and treated as a survey).
When the exam starts, you have 3 hours to complete it (that is a long time, in my opinion).
I would start this post with some personal suggestions:
- make the exam simulation in order to practice with the buttons and the way you can review the questions marked
- even if you encounter questions that you are not sure about, choose the same an answer and mark it in order to review when finished. This because if you even run out of time, you will have 25% of probabilty to have choosen the right answer
- before you start the exam, drink a coffé or a glass of water, eat a snak (fruit is better!) and, why not, go to the rest room. These, in order to have all the three hours available without interruptions and energy enough to avoid the concentration goes down
The questions were mainly relating to : scrum, xp, lean.
SCRUM, played a primary role: most of the questions I encountered were about roles, meetings, information radiators and rules of SCRUM.
Some questions were about XP: the roles, the practices (TDD, refactoring, pair programming, etc).
Some other regarded lean: lean portfolio management, the value stream mapping technique, the lean principles.
Then, I found some questions about story points: what they are, how they are used and represented. Hence, the planning poker game was cited as well.
Some other questions regarded the velocity and how it is used.
Some questions were arranged as exercises where you were asked to calculate the number of iterations with a well defined velocity or again how many stories the team should commited to having a predefined average velocity (remember the done rule and the fact that you can consider a story actully done, only if it satisfies all the prerequisites).
What was stressed in more that one question, is the importance of self-organization and the team empowerment and the role of the agile project manager (SCRUM Master) to behave as a facilator, coach and servant leader.
I found some questions regarding the risk burndown chart and the risk audit practice, things cited into the book of Michele Sliger (see the book list below).
Finally, it was stressed a bit the importance of the release planning ceremony (even if, actually, in SCRUM this is not a mandatory ceremony), meeting used to develop the product and release visions and the product roadmap.
This is the list of books I suggest (some of them are suggested by the PMI for this certification):
- Managing Agile Projects, Sanjiv Augustine, Prentice Hall PTR
- Official Scrum Guide, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, Scrum.org
- Agile Project Management with Scrum, Ken Schwaber, Microsoft Press
- Agile Estimating and Planning, Mike Cohn, Prentice Hall
- Agile retrospective – making good teams great, Esther Derby, Diana Larsen
- The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility, Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick, Addison-Wesley
- The Art of Agile Software Development, James Shore, O’Reilly
- Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game 2nd Edition, Alistair Cockburn, Addison Wesley
- Coaching Agile Teams, Lyssa Adkins, Addison Wesley
- Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterpise Agility, Alan Shalloway, James R. Trott, Guy Beaver, Net Objective Lean Agile series
Ooh, I was forgetting: it could not be missing a question about the agile manifesto (one of the values in my case)!
This was my experience with the PMI-ACP Agile certification and, what about yours?