Friday, November 24, 2017

PMI-ACP Success Story: Agile is Transforming The IT Industry and ACP Credential Equips You to Lead this Transformation

By Geetu Bharti, PMI-ACP




Introduction
I was lucky to see the Agile transformation in my organization. Though initially challenging, the overall result was motivating. As a Scrum developer, I felt involved and empowered to make my work-related decisions and the customers were elated to see a working increment just after few sprints. 

This inspired me to explore more about Agile and I found PMI-ACP was a perfect way to expand my skillset and get an exposure to multi-faceted methodologies in agile.


ACP Coaching Experience
To obtain 21 Contact Hours of Agile Education I decided to go with classroom training. It was a 3-day weekend workshop conducted by Mr. Satya Narayan Dash.  


These 3 days were full of brainstorming, deep diving into Agile Values, its Principles, various Agile approaches and much more. 

Satya’s in-depth understanding of APM, Scrum, EVM, XP, Lean, Kanban, Kaizen concepts, coaching experience and the tips shared during the sessions really helped me learn, prepare well and gain confidence for the exam.

Last day, all aspirants gave a well-defined mock test which helped us to judge our current level and preparation that we would need to crack the ACP exam.


Own Study
Since it’s really hard to read through all the recommended books, I focused only on couple of books “I Want to Be an ACP” by Satya Narayan Dash and “PMI-ACP exam prep Guide” by Mike Griffiths. Classroom notes too came in handy while recollecting the information absorbed earlier during the 3-day classroom session.

As planned, I had majorly finished the two books by end of two months and spent remaining one month on practice tests to test my readiness and learning more about Agile, its best practices, and various tools and techniques (T&T) by browsing through online blogs and websites.

I also used a lot of other fine materials which I have mentioned in the References section.


Book Review - I Want To Be An ACP
Being an avid reader, I prefer reading eBooks as they come in handy, can be easily referenced and searched for any specific information. 

The book, I Want To Be An ACP, is divided into chapters based on each domain of the exam content outline (ECO) and has liberal use of visuals to help even a novice understand the complex concepts. Another key aspect of the book is the videos explaining the concepts of Earned Value Management (EVM) and Conflict Management in a very simple language with examples.  It covers all the seven domains extensively and neatly. Each chapter has Yogic Tips, followed by practice quizzes that make reading interesting and useful in reinforcing the concepts.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone keen on learning about Agile and preparing for ACP exam. In essence, full value for your money.

ACP Exam Experience
My strategy was to complete all the 120 questions in first 2 hours and use the remaining hour to revisit the bookmarked questions and walk-thru all the answers.  

The first few questions were confusing, lengthy to read and put me under pressure. I hardly faced any straight question. After an hour, I realized I still had around 70 questions left. I picked up the pace, marking tricky questions and proceeding to the next. I was able to complete all questions almost in time and had 45 minutes left to review.

The exam ended automatically and hurray! I saw the Congratulations message appear on the screen. I passed the PMI-ACP® exam with an overall score of “Above Target”.

Multiple questions were on SCRUM and XP Roles, Retrospectives, burndown chart, many scenarios based to calculate velocity, number of iterations required to complete the release, very few on Kanban and Lean and almost none on Crystal, FDD, and DSDM.
  
Suggestions for ACP Aspirants
Dos:
  • Be consistent in your preparation, download the study material in your smartphone and revise whenever feasible.
  • Practice as many as PMI-ACP® sample exam questions and target a score of 75%.
  • Plan your test strategy and try to execute it well but be prepared for a turn around on the fly.
Don’ts:
  • Don’t depend on PMI-ACP practice exams as your sole resource for studying.

Conclusion
Agile is transforming how IT industry works and PMI-ACP equips you with the knowledge to lead this transformation from the front.

References
600+ FREE PMI-ACP® Sample Exam Questions.
https://agilealliance.org/
https://managementyogi.blogspot.com/
https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog
https://www.scrumalliance.org/agile-resources



Brief Profile 
Geetu Bharti, Senior Scrum Developer and passionate Agile QA professional with 9+ years of experience in Project Management, Business Analysis, Development, and Testing. 






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