Friday, May 4, 2012

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) Certificate

This post is for Project Management Institute (PMI)’s Agile Certified Practitioner(PMI-ACP) Certificate. Exam for this certificate is meant to test skills of agile practitioners. Pre-requisite for appearing in the exam includes having prior experience in general project management (2000+ hours) and agile specific project management (1500+ hours). Folks having prior PMP® or PgMP® automatically satisfy general project management experience and hence need not elaborate the experience while filling the form. Also pre-requisite requires having 21 contract hours earned in agile practice, which could include imparting or participating in agile training [Certified Scrum Master (CSM®), In-house agile training, Coaching Client, etc.]

My experience of the exam includes following tips
1. This exam tests knowledge on tools, techniques, processes, artifacts, etc. of those practicing agile. It includes knowledge on Scrum, XP, Kanban & Lean including each of the terminologies, ceremonies/meetings, roles, etc. associated with them

2. Its important to be familiar with agile specific principles and keywords including
  • Agile Manifesto
  • Agile Twelve Principles
  • Adaptive Leadership, 
  • Affinity Estimating,
  • Agile Scaling Model
  • Agile Leadership
  • Agile Triangle
  • Agile Earned Value Management (EVM)
  • Definition of Done
  • Burn Down Charts
  • Burn Up Charts
  • Chartering in Agile
  • Collaboration
  • Collocated or Distributed Teams
  • Conflict Types or Levels of Conflict
  • Continuous Integration
  • Cumulative Flow Diagrams
  • Customer Valued Prioritization
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Empirical Process Control
  • Escaped Defects
  • Exploratory Testing
  • Extreme Programming (XP) including roles, principles, TDD, CI, Pair Programming, etc.
  • Fractional Assignments
  • Information Radiator
  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  • INVEST Model
  • Iteration and Release Planning
  • Lean including process, value, five why's, etc.
  • Kanban including process, principles, task boards, etc.
  • Kano Model
  • Osmotic Communication (Open space or collocation advantage) 
  • Pareto Principle
  • Payback Period
  • Relative Sizing 
  • Refactoring
  • Retrospections
  • Risk Burn Down Charts
  • Risk Exposure
  • Scrum Ceremonies/Meetings (Release Planning, Sprint/Iteration Planning, Daily Scrum Meetings, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospection)
  • Servant Leadership
  • Signal Card
  • Story points (how to calculate them) 
  • Use Cases
  • Technical Debt 
  • Triangulation
  • User Stories
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Velocity
3. I have been practicing Agile for 6 years and have digested most of the recommended reference books by PMI for this certification. Having said that when I tried answering the sample questions, was not getting more than 60%. That's when I realized that there are some gaps between practical and standard defined under PMI. After doing some googling, found AgileExams having some good set of questions and brought package of $49 for 9 months. 

4. Have to confess that going through this certification process was definitely beneficial for me as there are lot of things that I learned, which helped me improve upon certain processes that I follow. For example, how to control daily scrum meetings to not exceed more then 15 minutes, how earned value (Cost, Schedule) should be calculated for agile projects, getting familiar with keywords like osmotic communication, triangulation, servant leader, mapping agile values to my current projects, etc. 

5. I spent ~10 hours practicing the exams (short & long) and scheduled the exam in a prometric center, which luckily for me turned out to be less than a mile from my home and was having an opening slot within a day.

6. Allocated exam time is 3 Hours and consists of 120 questions. When I started the exam, I did answer the first question and then instead of 'marking' (middle button), pressed 'review' button (right bottom). It opened the review screen and I missed a beat, phew!!! :). I then went back to the exam screen and being little more attentive this time. After answering initial 2 -3 questions, found my rhythm & confidence and finished the exam within 40 minutes, marking ~10 questions. Took a break for using the restroom and finished reviewing the marked questions in next 5 minutes. I then spent some 1-2 minutes answering survey question about the prometric center and then it came on my screen something like " Congratulations on passing the PMI-ACP® examination"


  1. Hi Sridhar,

    I am anxiously awaiting your study notes on the PMI-ACP. What book(s) do you recommend to learn and prepare for this exam?

  2. Do you have ebooks for PMI ACP

  3. Besides the ones recommended in the PMI-ACP handbook, my recommended eBooks, White Papers and Articles would be

    1. Scrum Guide -
    2. Scrum and XP from the Trenches -
    3. Kanban and Scrum - making the most of both -
    4. Comparing Kanban To Scrum -
    5. Kanban vs Scrum -
    6. Agile Development Methodologies -
    7. Comparison of Agile Methodologies -

    I will be adding more to this list

  4. Congrats Sridhar. Can you please provide your recommendations on on coaching clients to get contact hours?

  5. Hello Sridhar:

    When are you planning to upload your notes ,it will be good starting point for all of us.


  6. Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add your RSS to my feed reader and it a few. take a look at it, hopefully I can add you and follow.

    PMP Certification Training

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience. Waiting for your notes on PMI-ACP. Hope you didn't forget the same :).

    Have a great day.

  8. Hi Sridhar

    If you are ok can u share your ACP notes



  9. Hi Sridhar

    Do you have the notes with you for the ACP exam



  10. Hi Sridhar

    Do you have the ACP notes


  11. Does any one have PMP-ACP Premium Edition's Ebook??
    I have handbook but not in Computer format if any one can help

    Kalpesh Patel

  12. Hi Sridhar,

    You said you will publish your notes on Agile Certified Practitioner exam in future post. Did you post those notes somewhere. I will really appreciate a copy of those notes. Excellent article.

  13. A project manager is the person answerable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities comprise creating clear and possible project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the constraints of the project management triangle, which are cost, time, scope, and quality.

  14. It is always inspirational and pleasure to read your blogs Sridhar.

    I am very impressed with your skill and ability to share your knowledge.

  15. The design will change and maybe become something that you didn't expect. But you need a place to start from – designs don’t just emerge from code.
    pmi-acp exam

  16. I really appreciated this post. Actually, you have shared lots of information that can help those people who wanted to be certified. pmp examination

  17. Wonderful article!As a project manager, I use Scrum in my projects. The Guide to Scrum Body of Knowledge by SCRUMstudy provided a complete reference for the Scrum project I am working with. It is a very good book and extremely readable. I really liked sections on risk and quality. The tools mentioned in the processes were very helpful. I highly recommend this book if you are planning to implement Scrum in your organization. You can go through the first chapter available on

  18. Hello Sri,
    Having trouble with filling the application where we need to give the experience details. Is there something specific that they are looking for that needs to be shown? Or any form of Agile experience helps.

  19. To manage the risk successfully one should have scum in their projects .With high competition, companies have to develop products fast and innovatively always adding value and greater customer satisfaction. In Scrum, it is important to learn agile through one of the Agile Training Providers and practice its basic principles which collectively and naturally help in effective management of risk. As a project manager i follow SBOK guide of

  20. More and more companies are trying to get nimble to enable them to respond to change with agility. Over the years, there has been a clear shift in momentum about the ways how companies manage projects. So, the project manager should be a PMP certified, who can better handle the planning, execution, and closing of any project. To get yourself prepared for PMP Certification, is the best source.

  21. Great blog Sridhar and thanks for the resources mentioned by you. I am taking
    free practice tests from various sites to help me prepare better for the exam.

  22. Useful information, Sridhar. Thanks a lot. Is your PMI ACP notes on blog,now ?

  23. Yeah its a good article. According to you what we project managers do is communicating. And a lot of this communication is done during project meetings. It can sometimes feel like you are running from one meeting to another and that your time is often wasted. Meetings don’t start on time, the issues aren’t dealt with, there is no agenda, there is no focus, nobody assigns any follow ups or tasks and of course then they also don’t end on time. An efficient project manager is required for the good management of a project. I think a project manager should PMP certified. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP classes in my company.

  24. certifications will definitely increase the salary significantly. For project management professionals, I would suggest them to attend any genuine agile scrum certification courses (eg. Scrum Master Certification). If not anything, at least it will give a boost to your career and salary.

  25. Nice collection i like it and helpful for me.Agile Certification

  26. I have a very popular free study guide at and I just added a 300 question, high-quality, practice exam to complement the study guide including some free sample PMI-ACP practice questions.

  27. Hi Sridhar

    Yow are awesome! To maintain such outstanding blog requires a lot of time! Heads up! for sharing the knowledge... Have you published the your notes on PMP-ACP exam ... I am planning to appear in the exam

  28. Hi Sridhar,

    Is it worth buying RMC Fastrack simulation software for PMI-ACP certification exam?

  29. Nice & informative post Project managers should take up this PMI-ACP Course. It will boost their careeer growth.

  30. Nice and good article. It is very useful for me to learn and understand easily. Thanks for sharing your valuable information and time. Please keep updating Devops online training hyderabad