I am happy to report that my Project Management Institute – Agile Certified Practioner (PMI-ACP) certification has been achieved.
I applied for and attained my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification was attained last February and now my PMI-ACP this November. It required a combination of:
- Bootcamp (Project Management Academy
- Griffith’s PMI-ACP Exam Prep Book
- PMI’s, “Agile Certified Exam Outline”
- 10 Practice Exams repeatedly scoring 85%
- Personally made flash cards
- (2) brain dumps per day memorizing the Manifesto and 12 Agile and 12 XP Principles
- 6 weeks of study on a calendarized schedule, 6 hrs per day. (weekends off)
These are both noteworthy achievements for me ever since I left the U.S. Marine Corps in 2009. When I left the USMC I didn’t know what I didn’t know, even as an officer, even as someone who threw money at websites like Monster Jobs to prepare my CV for me. I can credit much of my success to Linked-In.
Patterns of Success
I was encouraged by family and friends to go after the PMI-ACP exam following my success with the PMP. I was unsure at first until I learned more about what the purpose and place of AGILE in project management really meant. Waterfall vs iteration/elaboration in a dynamic environment with perhaps no specific known outcome. Capital projects vs knowledge based projects.
Agile had more tools and was light on documentation whereas waterfall techniques in traditional waterfall had large change/edit overhead processes and tools where changes could severely impact the cost and duration of a project and were discouraged. With Agile, the mindset was welcoming changes early on and also using Test Drive Development to fail early to begin the refinement process. I learned quite a bit. I added many new tools to my approach toward project management which went beyond comprehensives work breakdown structures to models that could select the best stories from the backlog prioritized on early return of value to the customer, early and often. Good stuff.
The Project Management Academy had excellent instructors but I must emphasize on technique which I’m sure is time-honored but worth mentioning again here.
Following your boot camp, it’s a good idea to register for your PMI exam directly after the conclusion of the bootcamp. This puts you on a timetable and helps you stay accountable with yourself and plan a study plan.