Monday, December 14, 2020

Updated Book: What’s New – I Want To Be An ACP, Second Edition

The book, I Want To Be An ACP, Second Edition has been available since last year and has help many to successfully achieve the PMI-ACP® crendetial.

Why the Updates?

As you would know, nothing is static in the world of learning and you have to continuously learn and upgrade as new practices or approaches emerge. Hence, this ACP Exam preparatory book has seen continuous updates since its first availability.

Usually, a traditional book NEVER gets updated after its availability in print. It stays there static, becomes stale and quickly gets outdated. It really doesn’t help much in the world of development and Agile practitioners, which changes frequently. 

All my books for preparing with respect to the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP®) exam, Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam, Risk Management Professional Exam (RMP®) or other exams have seen continuous updates since their availability. These updates are possible, because all these books are hosted online. These updates are also important for you to know the latest practices or frameworks and stay up-to-date.

These updates are primarily driven by seven factors:

  • New availability or updates to existing standards: For example, updates to existing Agile standards.
  • New availability or updates to existing guides: For example, a new Scrum 2020 Guide has recently been released.
  • New ways to take exam: For example, as the world goes through the COVID-19 crisis, exams now have an online option, with proctors. 
  • Emerging new practices: For example, some practices of Kanban such as cadence are now part of Scrum. 
  • Feedback from exam takers: Some successful ACPs call, write and/or share their exam experiences and inform on new types of questions. 
  • Updates on advanced or complex areas: For example, many times advanced concepts such as Earned Value Management, Graphical Interpretations of Agile Metrics need further elaboration as readers request for it. 
  • Updates on Videos: Many times, I add additional videos and/or new exercises with solutions so that exam takers get more practice and feel more confident. 

There have been continuous and frequent updates to the PMI-ACP Exam Prep Book: I Want To Be An ACP. All these updates are FREE of cost for the customers of the book.

What’s New in the Book – I Want To Be An ACP?

The book, I Want To Be An ACP, as noted before has seen frequent updates - on an average one update every few months. Followings are highlights for the new addition, and updates to the book. 

1. NEW Document and Videos for Online ACP Exam

The ACP exam has gone online and with that a new document has been added, which illustrates how to take the exam step-by-step. The document has been divided into two sections:

  • Steps for traditional mode of the exam.
  • Steps for online proctored mode of the exam.

The book also has been updated with a number of detailed videos on how to take the exam online. 

2. NEW Formulas in Formula Gold Cards

There is a prevalent misconception that the PMI-ACP exam has little to no formulas. Not correct. There are quite a few related to earned value management, velocity calculation, Little’s law, among others. The Formula Gold Cards of the book now has additional formulas.

Note: The formula gold cards of the book can be downloaded.

3. NEW S-curve representation and elaboration for AgileEVM

S-curve related questions have little chance to appear in the exam. However, when you understand it, the neatness and usefulness of Agile earned value management (AgileEVM) becomes much clearer. The book has a new section on this regard.

4. NEW Changes to the Agile Scrum Framework

The Scrum framework has been revamped with the new release of the 2020 Scrum Guide, which happened in November, 2020. 

The guide contains numerous changes, some of which are:

  • Commitment based artifacts.
  • Product goal being clearly defined. (In a way it’s a new introduction)
  • Introduction of “Why” into the Sprint Planning event, among many others.

This has necessitated changes to various parts of Scrum framework such as:

  • Scrum Accountabilities (Roles)
  • Scrum Artifacts
  • Scrum Events
  • Practices related to Scrum
  • Overall Scrum Framework explanation, among others. 

5. UPDATED Changes to the Scaled Approaches, which uses Scrum

There are many scaled approaches in Agile, which uses Scrum as the foundation. They can be Scrum of Scrum (SoS), Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), or Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), among others.

Whenever a change is applicable and corresponding changes have happened in the released framework, they have been made available. 

6. UPDATED Changes to the various Agile Stakeholders and their roles

These have been updated due to change in roles, responsibilities and accountabilities related to various stakeholders. Some of the highlights are:

  • There is no “Development Team”, but one Scrum Team.
  • The Product Owner (PO) is accountable for developing and communicating the Product Goal.
  • The Scrum Master (SM) is no longer informed as the Servant Leader etc. 

This in turn has resulted in changes related to team formation and performance related contents. 

7. UPDATED Changes to various associated concepts of Definition of Done (DoD)

Increments which give value to the end user, customer or stakeholders are closely related to Definition of Done (DoD). There are associated concepts to this definition such as Definition of Ready (DoR), Acceptance Criteria, among others.

The book now gives detailed explanations with examples. 

8. UPDATED Changes to Planning aspects of Agile.

There has been changes to planning aspects of Agile as well. Some of the highlights here are:

  • Removal of three questions in Daily Scrum event or Daily Stand-up meeting.  
  • Removal of taking one prioritized improvement into the next Iteration or Sprint.

9. NEW A Detailed Section for Backlog Refinement

A detailed section of backlog refinement has been added with the latest practices on it. It also contains diagram representations and explanations on how the refinement (earlier known as grooming), happens. Earlier little information was given, and it has been updated. 

10. NEW Document for All Scrum Guide 2020 Changes

As noted earlier, the new Scrum Guide has been made available last month. Scrum is one of the most used and popular frameworks in the Agile domain. In the PMI-ACP exam, you can expect a number of questions related to Scrum.

All the changes related to the new Scrum framework have been elaborated in detail. 

11. UPDATES to Book’s Index File

The index file is important to know the content of the book. As the book gets updated the index file also gets updated with clear highlighting for the NEW, as well as the UPDATED content. You will also know if any item has been removed.

How Will I Know about the Updates?

I face this question frequently from people who want to purchase this book. I understand this concern and hence, decided to add as part of this post.

  1. All changes will be clearly communicated to you via E-Mail. 
  2. Inside the book, the new ones will be highlighted as *** NEW ***, and the updates ones will be *** UPDATED ***. Green color coding will be there for these changes.
  3. All the previous updated mails are part of the book, so that you are clearly aware of the new changes that have happened. 
  4. The index file of the book is also updated, because that gives you a quick view on the new/updated content. 
  5. For the new videos, the videos are clearly noted as NEW, so that you are immediately aware of it. Yes, the book contains a number of videos as well.
  6. For the new documents, the documents are cleared noted as NEW, too.
  7. A number of tips and revision reminders are also added along the content. They are also clearly highlighted.
  8. For any clarification or questions on these updates, you can ask your questions. You will definitely get a response. 
  9. As noted earlier, all the new/updated content will be FREE of cost to you.

The world of development in Agile is never static. It’s continuously evolving and bringing new practices, principles and knowledge. As they change, the book – I Want To Be An ACP, also changes.

As far as I am aware, this is the only ACP Exam Prep book in the world, which sees continuous changes and updates. I firmly believe it benefits all the readers of the book enormously. 

For overall details of book, please refer (second in the list):

Few Published Articles - Referring the Book
New Book for PMI-ACP Exam Prep:

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