Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
The Washboard Anti-Pattern

PMI Agile Cert to be called “Agile Certified Practitioner”

Agile Certified Practitioner 0 It turns out the original suggestion of “Agile Project Practitioner” (PMI-APP) was too close to “App.” as in an Application or phone app to easily trademark (in this case service mark). So the name will now be “Agile Certified Practitioner” ACP as in Fred Blogs, PMP, ACP.

The timeline for people wanting to apply will be:
•    May 23rd    - Launch of application to Public
•    Mid July    - Pilot Participants can schedule exams at Prometric test centres
•    September 15    - Pilot Program Testing begins
•    November 30    - Pilot Program Testing Concludes
•    January 1    - First set of individuals that passed the exam are notified.

I am getting lots of questions about the content of the exam, so I thought I would present a couple of ways of interpreting it. In my last post on this subject I showed the box model for reconciling the Domains with the Knowledge & Skills (KS), and Tools & Techniques (TT).

Agile Certified Practitioner 6

Here is a version with the KS and TT’s listed:

Agile Certified Practitioner 1
(click on any of the images above or on the continuation page to see a bigger version)

Another way to visualize it is to examine the fields covered:
We can start off with the field of Project Management
  Agile Certified Practitioner 2

Mostly contained within this Project Management field is the PMI’s world view of project management that I am calling  PMBOK v4 GuideTM content.
Agile Certified Practitioner 3

This PMBOK v4 Guide content is not a pure subset of project management however, since things like the Code of Ethics, while good properties for a PM, are not strictly project management. Likewise there are many project management techniques, like the Theory of Constraints, that are not full embraced by the PMBOK Guide.
Agile Certified Practitioner 4
When we add Agile and Lean principles to the mix we see a big overlap.
Agile Certified Practitioner 5
Agile and Lean are just as concerned with Quality and Estimation as the PMBOK Guide, but their approach towards it is often quite different.

The last major body of knowledge is Leadership.
Agile Certified Practitioner 7
Leadership covers topics like Visioning, Ethics, EI, Situational Leadership and Servant Leadership. Many of the concepts Agile projects employ.  It is the combination of these fields Project Management, Agile, and Leadership that forms the basis for the Agile Certified Practitioner exam. Shown by the dotted red oval below.
Agile Certified Practitioner 8
In this model we can map all of the Knowledge and Skills (KS) and Tools and Techniques (TT) that will make up the exam, but the picture gets crowded pretty soon, so this is a partial view.
    Agile Certified Practitioner 9

Anyway, hopefully the box model and the Venn diagram provide useful ways of understanding the content. The official PMI announcements about the timeline come out on Monday May 16. As always, I welcome your questions and comments.




How do I do this course and exam?



Mike Griffiths

Hi Joe,

Check out the ACP Handbook
It explains the application process, eligability, etc.

Best regards

Martin Amandusson

Hi Mike,

Thanks for some very interesting posts on the ACP certification! Here's a reflection: With the increased adoption of agile content in PMBOK rev. 5, I'm guessing that this will have an impact on the PMP certification as well. Will there be a considerable overlap between the PMP exam and ACP exam in the future?

Mike Griffiths

Hi Martin,

Yes, we have some more agile content going in the PMBOK v5 Guide, but if the chapter I have been working on (chapter 6) is any indication, then the PMBOK v5 Guide will look the same with some references to agile rather than fully embracing agile.

So I think it will be a while yet before the PMBOK is fully agile and the PMP exam, that tests knowledge on the PMBOK Guide (amongst other things) , will look like the ACP. I think instead of there being two almost mutually exclusive tests from the PMI, we will see a small overlap of common ideas and terminology.

It would be great if in 5 or 10 years time that agile is so ingrained in mainstream project management that there is no need for separate PMP and ACP exams, but that’s a long way off yet. Plus many people would argue that agile is not suitable for all types of project management, but I am only experienced in IT project management so not best judge.

Thanks for your question.

Fabrice Aimetti

Hello Mike,

Your post is interesting. I've translated it into french :
La Certification Agile du PMI s'appelera "Agile Certified Practitioner"



Dear Mike,
I have been following you for quite while in reference to Agile Development and waiting sincerly for your guide in PMP-ACP.I am PMP and would like to go for PMI-ACP pilot one.I know that there is not single guide which i can refer.It is not possible to refer 10 books.Should i go for CSM first then go for PMI-Agile.

Can you guide me how to take this forward.

awaiting for your reply.

Mike Griffiths

Hi Premal,

If you have been reading here for a while then a lot of the content covered in the exam should be familiar to you. If I had to recommend just a couple of books I would suggest: Agile Project Management by Jim Highsmith and The Software Project Manager's Bridge to Agility by Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick.

You could do a CSM first, but that is only Scrum focused, the ACP is not Scrum focused and draws from other agile methods too. Buying books should not be a barrier, since all of what you will need to on the web if you research the topics listed in the certification outline. Obviously that would take some time and the study guide will focus on just what you need, but it is an option.

Best of luck with your preparation and don’t worry too much about it, with some reading and experience you will be fine.

Best regards

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