How to Become an Agile Practitioner in 7 Easy Steps

There are multiple types of agile certifications one can take nowadays. But the PMI-ACP certification is perfect for anyone desiring a career in project management who also works in an agile environment.

With this credential, you will sharpen your skills and become a certified expert in the field of project management and agile.

Do you want to be a certified agile practitioner? We’ll guide you through all the steps on how it's done!

What is the PMI-ACP exam?

The PMI-ACP exam is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) for project managers who want to specialize and be certified in agile project management. The exam covers agile methodologies, tools, and practices from the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Handbook.

Who are certified 'agile practitioners’?

The PMI-ACP exam grants the title of "agile certified practitioner" to those who pass, denoting their ability to head agile teams, manage complex projects successfully, and deliver set outcomes punctually and under budget.

PMI reports that the PMI-ACP is their fastest-growing certification globally, which is only continuing to grow as awareness of agile practices expands in the business realm.

How to become a certified agile practitioner?

To become a certified agile practitioner, you must:

  1. Review the eligibility requirements to become PMI-ACP certified.
  2. Gather all your documentation and experience details.
  3. Complete the application form and pay the associated fee.
  4. Study for your exam certification.
  5. Schedule Your PMI-ACP exam date.
  6. Pass the PMI-ACP exam.
  7. Renew your certification every three years.

1. Review the eligibility requirements to become PMI-ACP certified.

In order to be eligible for the PMI-ACP certification, you must first meet the requirements of PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

In addition, you must have:

  • Secondary degree
  • 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years. A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP.
  • 8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 years
  • A minimum of 21 contact hours of agile education or training

2. Gather all your documentation and experience details.

Once you're confident you have all those requirements, the next step is you need to provide proof of your eligibility, including:

  • Proof of your degree, a diploma or school record
  • A copy of your PMP or PgMP certificate (if applicable)
  • Your resume or CV
  • Proof of your 3 years of project management experience
  • Proof of your 1,500 hours of project experience
  • Proof of your 21 contact hours of agile education or training

3. Complete the application form and pay the associated fee.

First, you need to create an account on the PMI website. Once you have created an account, you can log in and begin the application process.

You will need to provide your contact information, education information, and work experience information. Be sure to include all requested information, and be accurate and truthful in completing the form. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

You will also need to pay the application fee of $305.00 for PMI members, and $347.00 for non-PMI members—which can be paid through a credit card or PayPal. Once your application is complete, you will be able to schedule your examination.

4. Study for your exam certification.

Now that you know a bit more about the PMI-ACP certification process, it's time to start studying for the exam. You can also do this before applying for an exam date, whichever step you want to take first.

The best way to study for the exam is to use a variety of resources like PMI-ACP books, online courses, and practice tests. The exam outline can help you determine which topics will be covered on the exam.

The PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline includes the following topics:

  • Domain I. Agile Principles and Mindset
  • Domain II. Value-driven Delivery
  • Domain III. Stakeholder Engagement
  • Domain IV. Team Performance
  • Domain V. Adaptive Planning
  • Domain VI. Problem Detection and Resolution
  • Domain VII. Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People)

In addition to studying the content outlined, it's also important to understand how to apply agile principles and practices to your projects. The best way to do this is by using agile case studies.

Case studies can help you see how agile principles have been applied in different situations, and they can also help you identify potential challenges and solutions. You can find a variety of agile case studies online, or you can purchase a book that contains case studies.

Once you have studied enough, it's time to take PMI-ACP practice exams. Practice tests can help you determine if you are ready to take the actual exam and help you identify any areas that you need to study further.

The Prepcast PMI-ACP exam simulator is an excellent tool to help prepare for the PMI-ACP certification as it allows you to take practice exams and review the answers, as well as receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. This is a great way to focus your studies and ensure that you are fully prepared for the exam.

5. Schedule Your PMI-ACP exam date.

To schedule a PMI-ACP exam certification date, visit the PMI website and click on the "Schedule an Exam" link.

You will be prompted to create an account if you do not have one. Once you have logged in, you will be able to select the country, province, or state, and city where you would like to take your exam. The next step is to select the type of exam, which would be "PMI-ACP."

You will then be able to select your preferred exam date and location.

6. Pass the PMI-ACP exam.

To become a certified agile practitioner, you will need to pass the PMI-ACP exam. The exam is three hours long and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.

In order to prepare for the exam, you should thoroughly review the Agile Practice Guide topics and practice taking sample exams. The PMI-ACP Exam Prep Guide provides a number of practice questions to help you prepare for the exam.

Finally, one important PMI-ACP exam tip is to stay calm and focused during the exam. Remember to read each question carefully and take your time before selecting an answer.

7. Renew your certification every three years.

PMI-ACP certification holders are required to renew their certification every three years. The renewal process requires completing 60 professional development units (PDUs) in the three years prior to your certification expiration date.

Yes, this means you need to continuously be learning and honing your knowledge about agile practices.

To renew, visit the PMI website and follow the instructions on the PMI-ACP certification renewal agreement policy.

What are the benefits of becoming an agile practitioner?

As an agile certified practitioner, you can expect to earn a higher salary and have a greater career growth potential than those without this certification. To dig a little deeper into the benefits of becoming PMI-ACP certified:

1. Specialized in a high-demand industry

Earning your PMI-ACP certification demonstrates that you have a deep understanding of agile frameworks and principles with the ability to apply them in a variety of situations.

With agile methodology being used more and more in business, it's important to have professionals who are skilled in using this approach to project management.

As an agile-certified practitioner, you'll be in high demand by employers looking to fill agile roles, which can lead to better job opportunities and a higher salary. This can also help you move up the career ladder more quickly.

2. Higher earnings from your average paycheck

According to the PMI-ACP Salary Survey, agile practitioners earn an average of $120,000 per year.

This is significantly more than the average salary for project managers, who earn an average of $80,000 to $95,000 per year. As the demand for agile practitioners continues to grow with more organizations adopting agile, the more the expected salary increases.

3. Unique and competitive advantage over colleagues

Becoming an agile certified practitioner can also help you stand out from the competition and may lead to promotions and career growth opportunities.

Having PMI-ACP certification can also make you more attractive to potential employers and may lead to increased job security. As organizations move towards agile methods, those who are certified in agile methodology will be in high demand.

So, if you are looking for a long-term career in project management, earning your PMI-ACP certification is a great way to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing field.

Is it worth it to become a certified agile practitioner?

Either way, the PMI-ACP certification is a valuable credential demonstrating one’s knowledge and experience in agile project management. The certification process is rigorous, but becoming an agile certified professional is worth it.

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