Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Book Review - I Want to Be An ACP: One Stop To Crack The ACP Exam

By Sathish Babu, PMI-ACP, PMP

Why this Book?
Unlike the PMP® exam, the PMI-ACP® (Agile Certified Practitioner) exam does not have a primary publication for examinees to study. Instead, PMI® provides a list of reference materials. A second source is the PMI-ACP Examination Content Outline. This document covers information about the Agile tools and techniques as well as the Agile knowledge and skills that will be covered in the Exam. 

First of all, you need to plan to acquire a book which covers the content required for the PMI-ACP certification which is the combination of the reading from various topics in the reference books. This saves enormous amount of time and you can position your preparation based on the single quality book. Luckily, I have found one of the best books for preparing PMI-ACP exam is I Want to Be An ACP by Mr Satya Narayanan Dash as this book is written in a conversational manner. As you read the book, you feel that Satya is talking to you. The language of the book is easy to understand and lucid. The style of the writing and the language would appeal to most of the readers.

Book – I Want To be An ACP
I read this book after taking an online course in preparation for the exam and I feel I got more out of this book than I did from the online course. Satya knows how to get us straight into the content that matters and makes even slightly complex concepts relatively simple. I had also read his PMP exam preparation book (I Want To Be a PMP) and was pleased with that, so I'm not surprised. 

Listed below are some key features of this book.
  • It covers many approaches to agile like Scrum, Extreme Programming(XP), Lean, Kanban, Test-Driven Development(TDD), Crystal, Feature-Driven development(FDD) and Dynamic Systems Development Method(DSDM).
  • It covers and organizes chapters which are exactly aligned with the PMI exam content outline. This is very important to understand and helps to clear the exam.
  • It helps you to understand and fill the gaps in your agile knowledge. 
  • The content does not contain any long paragraphs and the reader will not feel lost at any place.
  • Remembering Agile values and principles are no more difficult. Satya’s way of explanations will let you remember them forever.
  • It contains altogether over lots of exercises and 400+ practice exam questions with 3 full length exam sets. These questions can act as a decision point to understand whether you have acquired the knowledge for the chapters.
  • While explaining the different Agile concepts, lots of useful flowcharts and diagrams for explanation are included to further simplify the topics and you will be able to apply the tools and techniques readily in your everyday work.
  • Real-world examples and practices are included to illustrate the Agile concepts and their application.

Chapters in the Book – I Want To be An ACP
Chapter – 1&2: Introduction: These chapters are a starting point to understand what is the theme/rhythm of the book and how does the author cover it completely. It also covers pre-requisites for the exam and an overview of all domains.

Chapter – 3: Agile Principles and Mindset: Well written and elaborated about 4 values and 12 principles which you can remember them forever. This chapter briefly described about key agile concepts such as Agile Framework, Scrum, XP, Lean, Kanban etc. in detailed and easy way to understand. 

Chapter – 4: Value Driven Delivery: Well described about each tools, techniques, knowledge and skills that adds/gives highest value to the customer. Pay attention to this domain as more questions may expect from this chapter.

Chapter – 5: Stakeholder Engagement: If you are a PMP then this chapter would be a refreshment and most of the contents already familiar to you. You will learn more about engaging Stakeholders in Agile environment. 

Chapter – 6: Team Performance: You will learn more about how to form, manage, motivate and resolve conflict for agile team. It also covers what are all the stages team go through and performance charts. 

Chapter – 7: Adaptive Planning: Author has described this chapters with more useful diagrams, examples and real-word scenarios to understand better. Well described about Agile sizing and estimation which are important for the exam.

Chapter – 8: Problem Detection and Resolution: This chapter mainly focus on identifying, solving, visualizing and communicating problems. Author has elaborated this chapter with more diagrams and charts to each topic. Pay attention to Technical Debt, Metrics and Risk management.

Chapter – 9: Continuous Improvement: This chapter covers best practices on how to continuously improve process, product and people. Pay close attention to Five Steps in Retrospectives, Agile hybrid model and Value Stream mapping.

Chapter – 10: How to be a PMI-ACP: Author has described lots of tips and tricky to crack the exam. What to follow before, during and after the exam.

Chapter – 11: Full Length Question and Answer Sets: Overall 360 questions let you know that how much you are ready for the exam and helps you to identify your gaps on concepts.

Brief Profile: 
Sathish Babu is working for Motorola Solutions as a Sr. Program Admin and having 12 years of experience in Product, Project Management and Service Delivery in Telecom domain.

Book Available for ACP Exam Prep:

Book Excerpts:

PMI-ACP Success Stories:

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