Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP®) certification from Project Management Institute (PMI®) is targeted for agile project management community. Agile is an umbrella term for several light weight software development methods. Agile has evolved in last 20 years to address the serious problems in the heavy-weight classical waterfall software development model. Agile methods are characterized by iterative and incremental software development, continuous customer collaboration, value driven development and flexibility to changes.
As per 2011 CHAOS Manifesto, based on its project database between 2002 to 2010, agile project success rates are three time that of water-fall!! Moreover, customer gets early deliveries and quicker return on investment. No wonder why agile is more preferred by customers these days. With more and more agile projects and given that agile project management is different from classical water-fall model, project management community was longing to understand agile and agile project management and ACP is the apt solution from PMI.
As you would guess by now, with several agile methods, PMI was faced with the challenge of framing the contents. With agile veterans, it has done extensive research and that reflects in the well-formed ACP contents. ACP talks about:
Popular agile methods like scrum & Extreme Programming (XP) in detail as well as other agile methods like FDD, DSDM, Crystal, openUP, Kanban, and Lean
Agile planning is multilevel, progressive & adaptive. It does product level planning, release planning, iteration planning and daily planning. Agile emphasizes fixed time box concept for its meetings and iterations. e.g. the iteration must be finished within time box interval, may be at the expense of scope. Agile uses relative estimation approach which is easier, quicker and more accurate
Agile uses ‘just barely good enough’ requirement and design documents. Agile requirements are just one liner (known as user stories) and team discusses with customer to understand the requirements just before implementation. Agile bets on living code as good design document against huge, mostly antiquated, design documents. Agile believes in adoptive and evolving design and does frequent refactoring
Customer defines the value for each user story from end user and business perspective and that is used to order the stories for delivery. This ensures most valued requirements are implemented before lower valued requirements and provides customer with the flexibility to terminate the project and with best value of money spent
Agile emphasize good software engineering practices like continuous integration, test automation, test driven development (TDD), pair programming
Agile teams are cross functional, self-managing & empowered. Team directly works with customer right from requirements collection, estimation, planning, execution, monitoring & control, continuous improvement, change management, demonstration and delivery. Agile insists on collective code ownership and team accountability for deliveries. Agile team uses simple project management tools like Kanban board, burn up/down charts, signal lights, parking lot diagram, risk census, and information radiator which are easier to understand & maintain. Project manager’s role would accordingly morph into that of ensuring work infrastructure, coach, facilitator, removing impediments and supporting the team
Agile prefers colocation, face to face communication, less documentation, informal communication, continuous customer collaboration, and daily meetings by team… Agile adopts to distributed team also with the help of modern communication tools
Join the ACP community to be among future managers.