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Steve Caseley focuses on PMI-ACP training and will prepare you to take the 2015 PMI-ACP® exam and become an Agile Certified Practitioner from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. The PMI-ACP exam measures professionalism in Agile Project Management, increases versatility in PM methods, validates ability to lead agile teams, and finally, provides a framework for agile training....
Steve Caseley focuses on PMI-ACP training and will prepare you to take the 2015 PMI-ACP® exam and become an Agile Certified Practitioner from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. The PMI-ACP exam measures professionalism in Agile Project Management, increases versatility in PM methods, validates ability to lead agile teams, and finally, provides a framework for agile training.

The PMI-ACP® is PMI's fastest-growing certification as agile project management continues to emerge as a preferred methodology. Agile project management equips dynamic and responsive organizations to successfully complete projects at higher rates than their slower-moving counterparts. Project management guru Steve Caseley guides you through this highly sought-after PMI-ACP® course.

Steve Caseley has been a CBT Nuggets trainer since 2004 and holds a variety of PMI certifications, including PMI-PMP, PMI-ACP, and PMI-SP.

PMI® and PMI-ACP® are registered marks of the Project Management Institute.
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1. PMI ACP – Why it is Important (11 min)
2. ACP Preparation Materials (4 min)
3. Domain I – Agile Principles and Mindset (13 min)
4. Agile Culture (8 min)
5. Agile Environment (8 min)
6. Domain II – Value Driven Development (7 min)
7. Epics and Stories (11 min)
8. Releases (6 min)
9. Backlog Management (10 min)
10. Iterations (10 min)
11. Domain III – Stakeholder Engagement (4 min)
12. Vision and Visibility (5 min)
13. Stories and Conversations (9 min)
14. Information Radiators and Managing Expectations (5 min)
15. Domain IV – Team Performance (4 min)
16. Team Norms (9 min)
17. Sprint Plan (8 min)
18. Daily Standup (4 min)
19. Domain V – Adaptive Planning (4 min)
20. Planning (10 min)
21. Dealing with Change (7 min)
22. Story Points (12 min)
23. Domain VI – Problem Detection and Resolution (6 min)
24. Threats and Issues (8 min)
25. Domain VII –Continuous Improvement (5 min)
26. Sprint and Release Reviews and Retrospectives (6 min)
27. Agile Tools and Technique (20 min)
28. Agile Earned Value Management (6 min)
29. Kanban Boards (6 min)
30. Kaizen (5 min)
31. Day of Exam (11 min)

PMI ACP – Why it is Important


Hi. I'm Steve Caseley from CBT Nuggets, and welcome to this Nugget series on PMI ACP Certification, Agile Certified Practitioner. To help ensure that you're making the right decision, in this Nugget I'm going to talk a little bit about why it's important, why I think this is a very valuable certification, and we'll wrap up this Nugget with a review of the qualifications and the expectations on you to get and pass the certification exam.


Agile is just incredible. I got into Agile many years ago-- yeah, I'm really old. And I got a lot of gray hair. I was a traditional project manager. I am PMI PMP certified, so I've got all of the waterfall credentials. As successful as I was with delivering nice dollar projects, I kept thinking there's gotta be a better way to do this.


And then, I heard about Agile and I heard about Scrum, and I read more and more about them. Wow, this is great. This is the way I want to deliver projects going forward, because it allows me to deal with changing business requirements. And it allows me to say yes to my project sponsors.


That's exactly what we're going to do by being Agile. So if you're not already committed to why ACP is so important, hopefully that little slice of my background is going to help you move down this path of why Agile is so exciting. And the main reason why I think you're in the right series and why the ACP is so important is because the ACP is non-proprietary.


There are a number of other certifications out there in that marketplace. You can become Agile certified from the Agile Alliance. You can become Scrum Master certified from a couple of Scrum Master certification organizations. And the issue with those particular certifications is they are very focused on proprietary language around how they believe you need to be Agile or Scrum specific.


What PMI has done is they've gone out and they've harvested the best practices in this area and their best practices around Agile and Scrum and Kanban and XP and dot, dot, dot, dot. So they've literally gone out there and surveyed the marketplace and said, OK, they're doesn't seem to be a single unified source of what it means to be Agile.


And really, what we're talking about is iterative incremental development. So they've gone out and figured out what it is and put it all together, and they're calling it the ACP certification. The reason I believe PMI has been able to do this and to break through those proprietary boundaries is PMI is extremely well recognized.


Now, I will be absolutely frank with you. The PMI ACP certification is not near as well recognized as the other PMI certification, which is the PMP, the Project Management Professional. It is, I would say, absolutely the world's most recognized traditional project management certification.


I believe PMI is well recognized. There still isn't a single industry-wide recognition. Again, there's the others out there, but I believe PMI is well recognized and actively working towards making the ACP the most recognized certification out there.


And to me, the same message is I think PMI is absolutely attempting to level the field to eliminate all of these competing factions between Scrum and Agile and Kanban and et cetera, et cetera. And it's focused on the processes that we need to do iterative incremental delivery.


And that, I believe, is the reason you're taking this exam series. The reason you want to get ACP certified is you want to be able to go to your boss and tell your boss, hey, I've done my homework. I've got a few scars, none of them fatal. And I absolutely understand this iterative incremental delivery stuff, and here's my certification from PMI to prove it.


Let's focus on making sure that you have all of the qualifications and you're really properly prepared the day you go in and write that exam to take and pass it. So if you haven't already downloaded and got, I would say, relatively familiar with this particular guide, the PMI Certified Practitioner Handbook, I would strongly recommend you go out to the PMI.org website and download it.


And give it a good read, because it absolutely provides the foundation of what you need to be prepared for to get permission to take this exam, because there are some qualifications, and what it's going to look like the day of the exam. So let's have a little look at what's inside this document and the single most important thing in this entire handbook.


There's an awful lot of material that you need to be familiar with in terms of the application process and how it goes through the channels. And this defines what prior experience you need to have. You're going to put this on your application. And if you don't have this experience, you will not be granted permission to write the exam.


So number one, educational background. You need to have a secondary degree, high school diploma, or equivalent degree from the appropriate educational programs in the country you live in. And you need to have 2,000 hours, 12 months worth of experience working in project teams.


Now, this does not have to be explicit Agile iterative project teams, but it must be working in a project team environment. And it needs to be fairly current. It needs to have happened within the last five years. But in addition to that, you do need some very explicit Agile prior experience.


1,500 hours, eight months working on project teams using Agile methodologies. Now, the key is it's working on the Agile team. You do not need to be a product owner. You do not need to have been a Scrum master or an Agile leader. You simply need to have 1,500 hours, eight months experience working in an Agile team environment.


And as it says, these are in addition to the $2,000 hours. So all told, you need to have about two years, 12 plus eight, I'm doing a little bit of rounding here, two years of experience in project delivery. And you need to have 21 direct contact hours and Agile training.


Now, the good news is CBT Nuggets is a PMI registered education provider. So the time you're going to spend in this Nugget series will count towards those 21 hours. This series in and of itself is not going to be 21 hours long, but we have other Nugget series out there in CBT Nugget plan that will help you with this.


Specifically, there's a number of being Agile using tools, specifically being Agile using TFS, and being Agile using JIRA that absolutely can be combined to give you your full 21 hours to ensure you've got that covered. As well, you're going to submit your application.


And on the application you're going to have to provide evidence of the projects and the companies and the bosses you worked for those 2,000 hours and those 1,500 hours. So it absolutely has to be verifiable, and PMI will go out and randomly select applications and make the contacts and verify.


So you can't fake this. You can't get around it. Now, there's one very subtle side note at the bottom. It says, if you already have a PMP or PGMP certification, you do not need to provide the direct evidence of the 2,000 hours because that was already certified by PMI.


But you still need to provide the evidence of the 1,500 hours even if you are prior certified by PMI. And I flip back up to the table of contents in this guide just to make sure you're aware of the depth and breadth of information available to help you through your application process.


In the guide-- certainly going to let you read this on your own time-- all of the processes for submitting the application and the payment, the audit process, the policies and procedures, the continued certification program, once you get your PMI ACP certification, you will be required to submit evidence back to PMI on a reoccurring basis.


It is currently every three years. You must supply evidence backed to PMI that says I'm continuing my education as an Agile Certified Practitioner, and I am maintaining this thing called PDUs, Professional Development Units, that says concrete evidence, verifiable evidence, back to PMI to stay fresh and current in Agile.


Delivery methods are very important in this guide. I will point out the very last two segments, which is the PMI Code of Ethics and the certification and application and renewal agreement. These are, I'm going to say, contractual, legal agreements that you're going to sign as part of your application that says, I understand the PMI Code of Ethics and the PMI code of professional conduct.


And I agree to these, and here is my electronic signature binding me to that. Nothing really scary in there. It just basically means I will abide by good, ethical corporate practices, and I will be a good professional citizen. And to wrap up this Nugget, I will reference another guide that I highly recommend you download from the PMI website, and that is the exam content outline.


That outlines what this exam is going to look like, what the exam content questions is going to be drawn from. It's a much shorter read. It's only 24 pages in length. And to be very honest, by the time you complete this Nugget series, we will have reviewed and addressed each and everything that's in this particular guide.


So just like the last guide, really the meat of this one again is on a single page. And this is your exam content outline. You will have three hours to complete the exam, and the exam is going to consist of 120 question. So I would suggest a fairly comfortable pace, and I will explicitly called out only 100 of those questions are actually scored.


And the other questions are unscored, i.e. pretest, where they're validating questions for consideration in the future exams. And the real reason I call that out is when you're in the day of the exam and you get a question that just doesn't feel right, chances are it's one of those 20 prep questions.


Therefore, brush it off. Don't worry about it. Answer as best as you can, and move on. Where and how is PMI going to be testing you? You're going to be tested across seven domains, principles and mindset, value-driven development, stakeholder engagement, team performance, adaptive planning, problem detection and resolution, and continuous improvement in the process.


And that's the distribution of how the questions are going to be laid out in the exam. In this introductory Nugget, I'm stopping at that because in all of the Nuggets that follow, we are going to do deep, deep dive into each and every one of these seven domains and the tasks and the preparation that you need to be successful taking and passing this PMI ACP certification exam.


I hope this introductory Nugget has been informative for you, and I'm happy to have you on board. And I thank you very much for viewing.

ACP Preparation Materials

Domain I – Agile Principles and Mindset

Agile Culture

Agile Environment

Domain II – Value Driven Development

Epics and Stories


Backlog Management


Domain III – Stakeholder Engagement

Vision and Visibility

Stories and Conversations

Information Radiators and Managing Expectations

Domain IV – Team Performance

Team Norms

Sprint Plan

Daily Standup

Domain V – Adaptive Planning


Dealing with Change

Story Points

Domain VI – Problem Detection and Resolution

Threats and Issues

Domain VII –Continuous Improvement

Sprint and Release Reviews and Retrospectives

Agile Tools and Technique

Agile Earned Value Management

Kanban Boards


Day of Exam

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Steve Caseley
Nugget trainer since 2004