Friday, 16 May 2014

The Ins, Outs and In-Betweens on the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner

So why is there yet another "agile" course, and what is the point of it? Well, in just the 12 months from mid-2010, the number of PMI members using agile practices rose from 12% to a staggering 27% (according to a PMI survey of its membership). In response to this increase, PMI assembled a working group of industry thought leaders and authors (not just PMI folks) to study how and if PMI should respond.

During the first few meetings, only one of the group felt that the PMI should have a certification, and over the months it became clear that there wasn't a common understanding across organisations of what agile means anyway. In some organisations, agile simply meant Scrum, in others it was XP, in others it was Scrum with a bit of XP or with kanban thrown in. It was clear that a certification was needed that clarified the core of what agile means and created a common language and understanding of principles across organisations. The PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) was developed.

There are other agile certifications of course, such as DSDM, plus all of the specific certifications for agile developers, such as Certified Scrum Master etc. Where the PMI-ACP differs is that it demonstrates to colleagues, organisations or even potential employers an awareness of all aspects of agile - not just in, for example, Scrum. It is a globally recognised certification that demonstrates that practitioners are able to use agile techniques and most crucially apply them in the correct circumstances – at the time of writing it is also the fastest growing PMI certification out there.

The PM-Partners course is intended for teams and project managers at varying stages of agile adoption who need an immersion session in the how to manage an agile project. It explores a wide range of agile techniques while also preparing the participants to sit for the PMI-ACP exam. Certified practitioners will then be able to demonstrate to their organisations and colleagues when and how best to use agile techniques, and not just focus on Scrum in all circumstances.

- Some frequently asked questions about the PMI-ACP certification
The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) page
The official PMI-ACP Handbook (online PDF)

    Steve Butler is Head of Delivery at PM-Partners. He was a Co-author of the PMI Standard for Portfolio Management, 3rd Edition, and has been a key contributor to other recent PMI publications, including OPM3, 3rd Ed., and Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition, earning special distinction as the only co-author based in the UK. Join the PMI Portfolio Management debate on our LinkedIn Group page - hosted by Steve - today.

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