The PMI-ACP® credential is the Project Management Institute (PMI) fastest growing credential. “ACP” is short for “Agile Certified Practitioner“ – the credential tests for and demonstrates understanding and experience with agile approaches.
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I’ve been getting a number of questions about possible changes to the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® exam. This is understandable, since the newly released A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition included an agile appendix and came bundled with the new Agile Practice Guide. Also, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has listed a 2018 “exam update” for the PMI-ACP credential on their Registered Education Provider (REP) website. Despite this, there are no changes that will affect someone who is studying to take the exam.
We teach prioritization techniques in many of our classes and many of the conversations we have at conferences and meetings are about how challenging it can be to get a group of people to agree on project priorities or even individual aspects of a product. As I was working on my 2017 strategic plan, I decided to write a short post on prioritization and metrics.
As a program manager at RMC Learning Solutions I have to prioritize projects and make recommendations to my management. We have many ideas for new courses, products, and services which are competing for our time. Prioritizing requires us to assess the expected value of an idea against its expected cost and then compare it to other ideas.
One Attendee’s Perspective from the Agile 2015 Conference
While attending the Agile 2015 conference in August, I heard a lot of discussion about pure agile teams, waterfall teams, and a combination of the two. A number of the presenters stressed the importance of being a 100 percent dedicated agile team. They stated that the only way to be successful is to make sure your team or company follows the Scrum/Kanban/XP/etc. methodology in its purest form. Other presenters called out these statements as false and went on to discuss numerous examples of blended approaches that have worked at their company or with their clients. How can an organization trying to understand agile figure out the best approach when so many experts in the field have different opinions?
Most agile approaches don’t include the role of the business analyst (BA) or even discuss any analysis work. Analysis is the process of understanding needs, finding the root cause of problems, and brainstorming about the best solutions. This is a critical-thinking process that considers impacts and ramifications before acting. And this is the expertise of a business analyst.
I enjoyed the Business Analyst World Conference in Atlanta last month and presented “Confessions of a Reluctant Agilist” to a group of Business Analysts. I asked everyone to write down one reason they are reluctant to use agile approaches, and then encouraged the attendees to be more open about the possibilities for success using these new approaches. It’s interesting to see where the reluctance is coming from. Much of it seems to be related to myths about agile rather than facts. Here are some of the reasons reported.
Servant leadership is one of the critical success factors in agile approaches to product development. The behaviors associated with servant leadership are not new, but they are very difficult to implement. One aspect of servant leadership is the ability to allow team members to choose their own work and get it done using their own approach. Many managers feel that letting a team “self-organize” or “self-manage” is pretty risky. As a manager, when I first read about the benefits of a “self-directing” team, it sounded like a great idea. But when I had to step back and let my team figure how to get things done on their own, it took great discipline.