Things You Need To Know About PMI-ACP® Certification

by Akeen Khan

All over the globe, there is a high demand for competent project managers in different industries. It is a promising career for many, not only because it is financially rewarding, but it is also fulfilling from a personal standpoint. There is a need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to stand out amongst other project managers. Aside from academic background, you will also need to have valid certifications, which will prove employers that you have what it takes to help their business and project succeed. 

What It Is?

This certification has been developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI)® for the purpose of being able to screen people who are practicing agile approaches in their work. It is meant to show the employers that the individual has the ability to demonstrate agile practices in the job. In addition, PMI-ACP® is also meant to provide a framework for the development of the profession. This certification is an important part of the career development goals of interested professionals in the field as it makes them more competent than other people who do not have the certification.

Benefits of Obtaining Certification

There are many reasons why people aim to be recognized as PMI-ACP, including the following:

  • Coverage: Like other Agile certifications, PMI-ACP is not limited to a single method. Rather, it covers a broad range of agile methods (Scrum, Kanban, XP, FDD, Crystal, DSDM, etc.)Higher Compensation: It is a given fact that people with better skills earn more than those with average skills. In the same way, if you have more certifications, including PMI-ACP, you also have the right to demand a higher salary. Therefore, if you want to be more financially stable in your career, obtaining such certification may prove to be necessary.
  • Professional Growth: In most instances, PMI-ACP is not just all about the possible monetary increase from your work. The certification program will help you to learn more about various Agile methods, and you do not need to be worried about the obsolescence of what you now. Through their certification maintenance program, you can stay updated in spite of the changes introduced in your line of work.
  • Job Opportunities: Having this certification will also make you a more bankable employee. In fact, employers may even be chasing you because you are highly qualified in the field of project management and other related fields. It can open up opportunities for your career advancement. Given the benefits that have been mentioned above, there is no wonder why many people are interested in having PMI-ACP certification. In fact, as of November 2014, there are 6,987 Certified Agile Practitioners, which is expected to further increase in the future with the increase in demand as well for their knowledge and skills.

In fact, as of November 2014, there are 6,987 Certified Agile Practitioners, which is expected to further increase in the future with the increase in demand as well for their knowledge and skills.

How to Obtain PMI-ACP

Given the many benefits of PMI-ACP, there is no wonder why a lot of people are interested in obtaining such. Prior to taking it, however, it is important to be first aware of the different eligibility requirements. In terms of education, you just need to have a secondary or associate degree. You will also need to have at least 2,000 hours of general work experience in different projects, which should have been completed in the most recent 5 years. More so, you should also have 1,500 hours of work experience specific in agile projects, which should have been obtained in the past 3 years. You also need to have 21 hours of training in agile practices. A fee of $435 for members of PMI and $495 for non-members will be required. Once you have all of the specified requirements, you are finally eligible to take the PMI-ACP test.

What to Expect From the Test

The exam for PMI-ACP will consist of 100 questions that will be scored and 20 that will be unscored. The exam is divided into two parts in equal percentage: Agile Tools and Techniques and Agile Knowledge and Skills. For the first part, Agile Tools and Techniques, the areas covered include the following: communications, planning, monitoring, and adapting, skill negotiation, agile analysis and design, agile estimation, product quality, soft value-based prioritization, risk management, metrics, and value stream analysis.

Agile Knowledge and Skills, on the other hand, will be divided into three levels. Level 1 will have 33% of the questions, and some of the areas covered will include active listening, brainstorming techniques, knowledge sharing, problem-solving strategies, and team motivation. Level 2, meanwhile, will have 12% of the questions and will cover areas like a business case development, process analysis techniques, and value-based analysis. Lastly, Level 3 will have 5% of the total examination questions and covers areas like agile contracting methods, organizational compliance, and vendor management.

How It Can Help Professionals

Through PMI-ACP, professionals will be able to learn how to effectively complete their jobs in an agile environment. There are basically five domains that can be influenced by this certification, allowing them to be more competent in what they do. With PMI-ACP, the following are some of the tasks that can be anticipated by certified practitioners:

  • Value-driven delivery
  • Boosting team performance practices
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Problem detection and resolution
  • Adaptive planning
  • Continuous improvement.

If you are interested in taking the PMI-ACP examination, it is paramount to demonstrate preparedness. You should review key terms and concepts, keeping in mind that the exams have been developed by people who are experts in the field of Agile practices.

About the Author

photoAleem Khan, M.S, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM is an Agile consultant and trainer. He brings nearly two decades of experience in leading high performance teams, managing Lean/Agile change to increase performance and deliver business results. He has helped a large number of students prepare for the PMI-ACP Exam with live classes, exam simulator and Flashcards.


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