April 2, 2015

PMI-ACP and All the Hype

Written by Leslie Lowman

When people see my ­­business card or email signature, they sometimes question the letters beside my name: what do they mean,should they try to get them too, etc.  One set of those letters seems to jump out a bit more as a question than others – the PMI-ACP.  I think it’s because they see “PMI” and wonder what it’s about.  I’ve even had some people ask if it’s misspelled.  So, to clear the air, I’ll explain it…

The PMI-ACP is an Agile certification that is administered by PMI which signifies that you understand, and have experience in, implementing Agile methods.  There is a combination of an exam and the project experience you have in Agile projects to acquire the certification.

If you are still a bit confused, the Project Management Institute is considered to be the go-to source for all things project related.  As such, they are seen as the foremost authority on the processes that are used to deliver projects.  Over the last 5 years or so, as Agile has become increasingly the favored way to deliver projects, the PMI has added Agile to their Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) and added the PMI-ACP certification.

So far this doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, right?  Well, let’s see why it is…

As I mentioned, in the world of project management, the PMI is seen as the ‘governing body’ when it comes to ways to deliver projects.  Anyone that works on any project knows there are rules that PMI has set forth on managing projects.  Since the influx of projects using Agile processes, more and more project managers need to be apprised of the rules that change or the various ways that PMI has suggested instilling the Agile processes.

With the increase in Agile projects, there is a growing need for required guidance for these projects.  Companies are looking to their project managers and team members to gain the knowledge and expertise to ensure successful projects.

By having Agile experience and taking the exam, you too can acquire your PMI-ACP so that you can show your fellow project managers and team members that you have the experience and knowledge to help lead Agile projects effectively and successfully!

In order to acquire your PMI-ACP, you first should acquire the required experience in Agile projects.  PMI’s required number of hours is 1500 on Agile projects.  This can be done using any of the Agile methods and on multiple projects.

In addition to the project experience, you will need 21 hours of Agile education, which you can gain in numerous ways, including the PMI-ACP Exam Prep.

After you have worked on Agile projects, then you will need to take the PMI-ACP exam.  Now, most people get a little squeamish when talking about taking an exam, but I’m here to tell you not to worry!  There are many ways to study for the exam so that you can breeze through it, but the easiest being to take a class that will prep you for the exam.  Check out the PMI-ACP Exam Prep offered by CC Pace—it will give you an extra boost in your knowledge, your 21 hours of education, and some practice of taking an exam!

The PMI-ACP is seen differently by different people; some see it as just a set of letters while others see it as a way of exhibiting their knowledge of Agile processes, as accepted by PMI.  Either way, it is something that will most definitely show your team you accept the Agile mindset and are embracing the shift that project management has taken to follow the Agile processes!

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