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Changes To PMI's Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Cert

By , Mary Kyle - Source: Toms IT Pro

If agile methodologies and extreme programming arouse your interest, check out the Project Management Institute's Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification. PMI recently updated the PMI-ACP exam and is offering a discount for a limited time.

Project management credentials from the Project Management Institute (PMI) are some of the most prestigious and well-known certifications in the project management community. PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) has often been referred to as the "holy grail" for IT professionals seeking the best-of-the-best when it comes to project management certification. In keeping with its reputation of excellence, PMI offers multiple well-known and respected project management-related credentials, including the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP).

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The PMI-ACP is not only well-respected, it's also one of PMI's most popular certifications. PMI reports that the PMI-ACP is currently its fastest growing credential, which speaks not only to its popularity but reputation as well. Not an organization to rest on its laurels, PMI is always seeking to improve its certification portfolio and individual credentials. With an eye on meeting the needs of the changing IT landscape, PMI announced that it's revising the PMI-ACP certification exam.

The PMI-ACP covers multiple agile methodologies, including: Lean, Kanban, test-driven development (TDD), Scrum and extreme programming (XP), which makes the credential attractive to agile practitioners regardless of an organization's chosen agile methodology. The change in the PMI-ACP exam comes as a direct response to a Role Delineation Study (RDS). In the study, more than 1,000 global agile practitioners were surveyed to validate the description of what it means to be an agile practitioner and whether or not the current domains and tasks accurately reflect the nature of agile methods of doing business. Both certified and non-certified agile practitioners participated in the RDS.

Most notable among the proposed changes is the addition of an entirely new practice domain -- Domain 1: Agile Principles and Mindset. PMI describes this new domain as "explore, embrace, and apply agile principles and mindset within the context of the project team and organization." Nine tasks, or practice areas, are covered in the new domain, including:

  • Modeling agile principles and values to develop a shared mindset across the team;
  • Ensure a common understanding of agile values and principles, and a common knowledge of agile practices and terminology;
  • Support change through education and influencing processes, behaviors and people;
  • Practice visualization;
  • Contribute to safe and trustful team environments;
  • Enhance creativity; encourage experimentation with new ideas, processes, and techniques;
  • Encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration;
  • Encourage leadership;
  • Practice servant leadership.

The new domain will account for 16 percent of the exam. Other PMI-ACP domains include: Value-Driven Delivery, Stakeholder Engagement, Team Performance, Adaptive Planning, Problem Detection and Resolution, and Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People).

The pilot for the new exam began on July 15, 2015 and continues through October 15, 2015. For those who are adventurous and willing to take the exam early, PMI is offering a 20 percent discount to all PMI-ACP test takers before August 16, 2015. The normal exam fee is $435 USD for members and $495 for non-members, so this is a nice savings. After August 16, regular exam fee rates apply. The pilot phase ends on October 15, 2015.

For more information on PMI-ACP exam changes, be sure to check out the Exam Content Outline on PMI's website.