Preparation for PMI's Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP®) exam (2 day Course) - with optional 1-day additional workshop


Skip to optional 1-day additional workshop.


Background

If your organisation is using agile practices in projects, or is considering adopting agile approaches to project management, the PMI-ACP® certification may be right for you. The PMI-ACP® encompasses knowledge of agile principles, practices and tools and techniques across agile methodologies. It is intended for individuals who want to

  • Demonstrate to employers their level of professionalism in agile practices, tools and techniques
  • Increase their professional versatility in agile techniques
  • Hold a certification that is more credible than existing entry-level, training or exam-only based offerings

See the Project Management Institute website's Agile Certified Practitioner page for eligibility requirements.


The ACP exam covers the following

Content - % of Exam

Agile Tools and Techniques - 50%

Agile Knowledge and Skills (3 levels)
50% made up from:

  • Level 1 (18 knowledge/skills) - 33%
  • Level 2 (12 knowledge/skills) - 12%
  • Level 3 (13 knowledge/skills) - 5%

There are 6 'domain areas' used by the PMI to help logically group the above Tools & Techniques and Knowledge & Skills for training purposes.
These are:

  1. Value-driven delivery
  2. Stakeholder engagement
  3. Boosting team performance practices
  4. Adaptive planning
  5. Problem detection and resolution
  6. Continuous improvement

This course provides an introduction to Agile and then covers, by domain area, all the tools and techniques and all the knowledge and skills required to pass the exam, including extensive sets of sample questions.
The two day course enables participants to apply for 14 PDUs with an additional 7 available for the add-on 1-day workshop.


Who Should Attend

This course is intended for anyone who wishes to undertake the PMI's exam leading to the ACP certificate. This includes Project Managers, Programme Managers, Senior/Middle Management, Line/functional Managers, Development Managers, Quality Managers and Team Leaders. The PMI-ACP is not limited to project managers - individuals with experience working on agile project teams can apply as you don't need experience managing projects.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the key agile values and principles
  • Outline the key elements of the various agile methodologies such as Scrum and XP
  • Apply all the tools and techniques required for the ACP exam including those associated with:
    • Communications
    • Planning, monitoring and adapting
    • Agile estimation
    • Agile analysis and design
    • Product Quality
    • Soft skills negotiation
    • Value-based prioritisation
    • Risk Management
    • Metrics
    • Value Stream analysis
  • Use all the 43 knowledge and skills required for the ACP exam including those associated with the differing levels of importance:
    • Level 1: e.g. coaching and mentoring within teams, incremental delivery, project and quality standards for agile projects, stakeholder management, value-based decomposition and prioritisation, etc.
    • Level 2: e.g. building high performance teams, facilitation methods, process analysis techniques, agile frameworks and terminology, etc.
    • Level 3: e.g. agile contracting methods, principles of systems thinking, agile games, etc.

Topics Covered

(Note: sample exam questions are provided at the end of each module and a full sample paper is provided for participants to practice after the course)


Introduction to Agile

  • Agile Manifesto, values and principles
  • Agile Methods: Scrum, XP, FDD, DSDM, Crystal, Kanban
  • Variations in Agile Methods

The ACP domain areas:

1.Value-driven delivery
End of Value-driven delivery
Topics Tools / Technique Knowledge / Skill (Level)
Assessing Value
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Net present value (NPV)
  • Internal rate of return (IRR)
n/a
Planning Value
  • Chartering
  • Value stream mapping
  • Customer-valued prioritisation
  • Relative prioritisation/ranking
  • Product roadmap
  • Risk-adjusted backlog
  • Prioritisation (Level 1)
  • Agile contracting methods (Level 3)
Delivering Value
  • Task/Kanban boards
  • WIP limits
  • Incremental delivery (Level 1)
Confirming Value
  • Customer-valued prioritisation
  • Feedback thru prototypes simulations & demo (Level 1)
Tracking and Reporting Value
  • Earned value management
  • Cumulative flow diagrams (CFDs)
  • Risk burn down graphs
  • Task/Kanban boards
n/a

2.Stakeholder engagement
End of Stakeholder engagement
Topics Tools / Technique Knowledge / Skill (Level)
Aligning stakeholders' understanding
  • Wireframes
  • Personas
  • User stories / backlogs
  • Story maps
  • Incorporated stakeholder values (Level 1)
  • Stakeholder management (Level 1)
  • Vendor management (Level 3)
Communicating with stakeholders
  • Information radiators
  • Burn down / up charts
  • Velocity
  • Agile modelling
  • Communications management (Level 1)
Using critical soft skills
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Active listening (Level 1)
  • Facilitation methods (Level 2)
  • Distributed teams (Level 2)
  • Participatory decision models (Level 2)
  • Globalisation, culture and team diversity (Level 3)
Leading Effectively
  • Servant Leadership
  • Leadership tools and techniques (Level 3)

3.Boosting team performance practices
End of Boosting team performance practices
Topics Tools / Technique Knowledge / Skill (Level)
Understanding team performance
  • Adaptive leadership
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Buikding empowered teams (Level 1)
  • Building high-performance teams (Level 2)
  • Team motivation (Level 1)
Team practices to improve performance
  • Daily stand-ups
  • Co-located teams
  • Team Space
  • Agile tooling
  • Coaching and mentoring (Level 1)
  • Brainstorming techniques (Level 1)
  • Distributed teams (Level 2)

4.Adaptive planning
End of Adaptive planning
Topics Tools / Technique Knowledge / Skill (Level)
Planning concepts
  • Timeboxing
  • Progressive elaboration
  • Process tailoring
  • Minimal marketable feature (MMF)
  • Value-based analysis (Level 2)
  • Value-based decomposition and prioritisation (Level 1)
  • Agile games (Level 3)
Estimation
  • Wideband Delphi & planning poker
  • Ideal time
  • Relative sizing / story points
  • Afinity estimating
  • Time, budget and cost estimation (Level 1)
  • Agile project accounting principles (Level 3)
Agile plans
  • Iteration and release planning
  • Agile charters (Level 2)
  • Business case development (Level 2)

5.Problem Detection & Resolution
End of Detection & Resolution
Topics Tools / Technique Knowledge / Skill (Level)
Problem detection
  • Cycle Time
  • Project and Quality Standards (Level 1)
  • Failure modes and alternatives (Level 3)
  • Variance and trend analysis (Level 3)
  • Control limits (Level 3)
Problem resolution
  • Continuous Integration
  • Risk-based spike
  • Frequent verification and validation
  • Test-driven development / test-first development
  • Acceptance test-driven development
  • Problem solving (Level 1)

6.Continuous improvement
End of Continuous improvement
Topics Tools / Technique Knowledge / Skill (Level)
Continuous improvement practices
  • Retrospectives
  • Process tailoring
  • Knowledge sharing (Level 1)
  • Principles of systems thinking (Level 3)
  • Process analysis (Level 2)
  • Applying new Agile practices (Level 3)
  • PMI's code of ethics (Level 2)
  • Continuous improvement process (Level 2)
  • Self-assessment (Level 2)

Pitfalls and Lessons Learnt

This module will discuss some of the risks and common pitfalls experienced in practice by Agile teams and how these can be avoided.


Summary and next steps


Exam coaching and tips

Sample exam - provided to participants to practice after the course with 3 hour time limit.



Additional Workshop (1-day) on Practical Agile and Scrum

Practical Agile and Scrum Add-On (1 day) - For those who have completed the PMI-ACP Exam Preparation (2 day) course, this 1 day Add-On uses a 'workshop mode' to cover more practical exercises and training not covered in the PMI-ACP syllabus. Team Members and ScrumMasters aiming to implement agile in their organisations will get to try out agile practices in a hands-on format, helping prepare for immediate practical application of agile and lean concepts.


Background

This course will provide those looking to work on Scrum teams with the competencies and skills required to effectively combine the processes, people and technologies for a successful Agile/Scrum delivery. Exercises are used to get hands on experience with the practices presented. It focuses on the Scrum method but references practices from other agile methods such as eXtreme Programming (XP) and also from Lean Software Development and Kanban. It also introduces ways to apply Agile practices successfully and ensure a sustainable transition, so that Agile becomes the standard approach for projects.


Who Should Attend

This course is intended for those who have completed the PMI-ACP Exam Preparation (2 day) course and who want more practical exercises and techniques to effectively implement Agile in their organizations.


Topics Covered

Team Exercises will include:

  • Developing effective user stories
  • Estimating user stories using story points and planning poker
  • Release planning
  • Facilitating a daily standup
  • Facilitating a retrospective

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