As a professional working in IT and software organizations. It is almost certain that you have heard about the PMI’s Agile certified practitioner or PMI-ACP Certificate. Even if you are a non-IT person, there is still a good probability that you have already come across this buzzword – PMI ACP. There are several PMI-ACP benefits once you earned them. It is extremely beneficial to your profession in the field of Agile Project Management.
Why PMI-ACP Certification is Getting Popular?
Well, you are not alone there, and the reason for this is that PMI ACP is the fastest-growing certificate. It is from the world’s most prestigious project management house – the PMI or Project management institute. While PMP is still the most sought-after project management certificate out there. Any organization that wants to execute and deliver projects using Agile. It is more interested in people with agile project management skills. They are looking for PMI Agile Certified Practitioner who can apply the agile mindset and approaches to deliver the projects.
In this article, let’s explore a few of the key benefits of PMI’s Agile certified practitioner. With a broad and holistic view covering the individual, professional, and organizational appeal of this certification.
This article should be useful to the people. It involves scrum masters, project managers, engineering managers, QA managers, DevOps professionals. Anyone who is willing to know about agile certification and wanted to either start their careers in agile project management. If they wanted to get their existing agile knowledge vetted by the most trusted project body. The PMI – through their agile certification.
So, if you are from an IT or Non-IT background, an MBA, or any other professional looking to know more about the PMI ACP and how it can help you or your organization – both individually and professionally – then read on!!
What is PMI-ACP Certification?
But before we jump in and start exploring some of the key benefits of the PMI ACP certification. let’s just get a brief idea about what exactly is the PMI ACP Certification in the first place.
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner or PMI ACP was a certification introduced by The Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2011. PMI is a U.S.-based not-for-profit professional organization for project management that serves more than three million professionals. So, this certification is still relatively new – compared to say PMI PMP (which was launched in 1984).
The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) formally recognizes the knowledge of agile principles. The skills with agile techniques of an individual. The focus of the certification is on applying agile approaches for project execution. It is against the PMI-PMP Certificate which covers more general topics of project management.
PMI ACP is also different from the scrum master certificate too – the SM restricts to only Scrum methodology. PMI ACP covers scrum along with several other agile project methodologies. It involves Kanban, Lean, extreme programming or XP, Crystal, and many others.
For eligibility, exam fee, and other certification details – you can go to the official PMI-ACP Certificate link and find all the details about it.
Most Important PMI-ACP Benefits
Now that we covered in brief what the PMI ACP certification is, let’s come to the core of our topic “PMI-ACP Benefits”
While it is obvious that a professional certificate such as PMI ACP would naturally have a clear and obvious professional benefit to an individual, sometimes we tend to focus less on some of the other areas where this certification is equally valuable. But we will start with why a professional like you would benefit from it.
Professional PMI-ACP Benefits
It is obvious that any certification would mean investment from your side first. An investment of time and money – both. And you won’t be doing this investment unless there are quantifiable and distinguished returns on the investment. There is good news for you there, when it comes to monetary advantage. The PMI ACP folks earn a handsome 28% more salary than their peers who are not certified. This is quite a staggering difference. Since it clearly shows that enterprises definitely are willing to pay more the people with certifications. After all, there are not too many CVs with PMI ACP flashing in them, at the minute. One of the other PMI-ACP benefits is that you will get a better salary. For this only once you have earned the PMI-ACP certification.
Trusted by the Client and External Enterprises
The PMI as a project management body is a well-established, trusted entity in the business community. It has a reputation of its own when it comes to maintaining its standards in regard to its certification offerings. In other words, getting a certificate from PMI is hard. Each of the certification applications goes through a rigorous process, validating both the educational and real-world experience of its candidates. So once someone passes such a certificate – the enterprises and companies can trust that the individual is properly vetted. It has “earned” his/her certificate through hard work, persistence. It can be hence fully trusted to have acquired the knowledge and skills which are expected after achieving the certificate.
Stand Out From The Crowd
We all know how PMI-ACP benefits can help to compete for the job market is these days. Even an average small or mid-size company receives hundreds (if not thousands) of job applications every week. For any HR department, it is practically impossible to scan through each and every resume. It has been received and filtered to check the candidate’s fitment for the agile role. This situation gives a clear advantage to those candidates whose CV is flashing with PMI-ACP Certifications in it. The HR can quickly short-list such candidates knowing fully. To say, this candidate has been passed through the grueling drills of obtaining the certification. It can be trusted to have the required skills expected in an agile role.
Speak Common Vocabulary
When you prepare to pass your PMI ACP certificate you would be practicing a lot of agile concepts. It involves adaptive planning, T-shaped teams, team retrospective, fishbowl windows, and its applications. These are a few of the jargon typically used by professionals working in an organization. It has embraced agile for its delivery. With the PMI ACP certification badge on your sleeve, you can confidently understand the meaning of these terms and concepts. when they are being discussed in a meeting or in any of the workshops – and of course, you can yourself express your ideas and thoughts using a similar agile vocabulary. In short, both you and your colleagues would be using a “common language” to exchange information. While working which is always good for overall understanding & project execution.
Better Job Opportunities
Both IT and non-IT firms are now adopting agile as a way to deliver their projects. A simple google search on agile adoption shows that there are about 71% of companies who are embracing agile
So, if you are a PMI ACP and are planning to switch a job. There is a good chance that you will be getting many opportunities. This is for both IT and non-IT organizations who will be either adapting the agile. It has already have adapted the agile and wanted to grow its agile teams. It would be seeking professionals with Agile knowledge, experience, and skills.
Grow as an Individual
While the professional benefits of a professional certificate can be obvious, are generally well-documented and accepted as true. He would like to also surface a few of the personality development traits that the PMI ACP certification could offer – let’s explore a few of those.
Improved Interpersonal Skills
One of the 4 core agile values is “individuals and interactions over processes and tools” which emphasizes the importance of people-to-people connection or interpersonal skills. You will learn to apply many skills which can be termed as “people skills”. Such as treating other individuals with respect, using a feedback loop, allowing people to take a risk. It is without fear of failure, etc. All these skills while are from the Agile world are equally beneficial and applicable to our personal lives and situations.
You negotiate in your life all the time. It could be a negotiation with your kid to let you take that urgent Zoom call. You may offer him those candies at the end of it – in return. Or with your spouse for those birthday and anniversary gifts and what should be the price range for those. The negotiations are always going on. You will learn quite a few techniques of stakeholder negotiations in PMI ACP – which you can “intelligently” apply. You can get the best deals on your personal matters too.
On a more serious note, the point here is the negotiation skills that you will learn while preparing for PMI ACP can be applied for your personal business endeavors such as buying a home or purchasing a new car as there are a lot of similarities while negotiating that you can redeem at a personal level.
Develop a Discipline and Time-Management Skills
While you may know that some of the scrum master certifications can be achieved without much deliberation and concentrated efforts, the PMI ACP exam is not a quite “walk-in-park” – you cannot pass it just by attending 2-days of a training workshop session and then going and crack it. It needs a well-disciplined and carefully curated study plan and consistent hard work, with dedication. That is why there are not too many PMI ACPs out there, and those who are there are highly sought-after because of these very reasons.
Preparing and passing the PMI ACP exam demands a disciplined and structured approach that teaches you time management skills in a subtle way.
Achieve Project Success
As an organization or an enterprise, you would know how challenging it can be to complete the projects that are not only successful on the metrics of scope, cost, and schedule but also meets the stakeholder’s expectations and realize the business benefits for which projects were there in the first place. By applying the best practices, you would learn in the PMI-ACP certification path, the project management Centre of excellence or COE group in an organization can expect much-improved project success rates. Let’s examine what factors could help an organization achieve project success by the application of PMI ACP concepts and knowledge
Better Risk Management Skills
The PMI ACP will be familiar with a broad range of risks or threats that could potentially derail the project’s success. But at the same time, the knowledge and principles learned during the certification preparation could help the practitioner deal with these risks in a more proactive and effective way. Tools such as “prototyping” or “spike events” which are learned while preparing for PMI ACP can be super useful for risk management when used in the given context.
Early Benefit Realization by Value-Driven Delivery
One of the core skills which is heavily emphasized in PMI ACP is an overarching focus on “value-driven” early delivery of the most important components of the project. The PMI ACP would apply “MoSCoW” prioritization or similar other techniques, that she has learned during the certification path to make sure the highest priority features or components, that can generate business value identify for the project that develops early in the project’s lifecycle – thus achieving the early benefit realization.
So far, we have been focusing on some of the key benefits of PMI ACP that you, as an individual or a professional can achieve, however as an organization or an enterprise – having a group or center of excellence or CoE comprising PMI ACPs can offer several advantages too. Let’s examine those.
As an organization or an enterprise, you cannot execute all the projects that come your way through your sales and marketing teams. And hence as an organization or an enterprise, you should be focusing on a limited number of projects that would maximize the chances of success and thus generate positive returns on investments. To achieve this goal of selecting the “right” set of projects, a group or center of excellent or CoE comprising of PMI ACPs can really help – these practitioners are fully aware of various project selection strategies based on financial metrics such as “Payback period” or NPV or net present value or IRR (Internal rate of return) and can pick a project which is most beneficial for the organization
Apply Proper Project Execution Approach
Each project is a unique endeavor with its own needs and challenges and hence needs a “tailored” approach when executing it. For example, choosing “Scrum” for routine, pull-based projects would not offer too many benefits – instead using Kanban could be more advantageous as the team can control the WIP or work in progress limit – thus reducing waste and completing the work much faster. An agile certified practitioner is well-versed with multiple flavors of agile project execution. It approaches such as Scrum, XP, ScrumBan, or Kanban – and hence is in the best position to pick and choose the right approach based on the specific project needs.
Improve Networking and Offer Community Service
Let’s conclude the fifth key benefit discussion point about PMI ACP certification by sharing a story of Sara, who is PMI ACP and works as an Agile Business Analyst in a software consulting firm. Sara is an active member of PMI’s local chapter and participates in many of the events organized by her local chapter – she also volunteers sometimes with her local chapter community, by actively seeking networking in her PMI Chapter – a thing she learned when studying PMI ACP certification.
Sara has been applying many of the learnings from her PMI ACP certification path in her projects, such as rolling wave planning, retrospective meetings, and many other practices. She has a profile on LinkedIn and she shares some of her success stories on this social networking platform, thus enabling other project communities to learn from her success. Sara is confident of the fact that her project success stories can reapply as those are based on best practices, she has learned in her PMI ACP preparation and since then she has been applying those with aplomb.
This way Sara feels self-actualization – a sense of community service that she is offering for the success of others. Who doesn’t feel satisfied by helping others?
PMI ACP is one of the most sought-after certifications as of the date and will probably remain the same for the foreseeable future as more and more organizations and companies shift from predictive to agile-based project delivery. While obtaining PMI ACP benefits involves demands dedication, hard work – it is worth investment. Nothing which is worth comes easy – right?
We trust this article has given you a broader, holistic view of a few of the key benefits which one can achieve at the personal, professional, and organizational levels.