Preparing for the PMI-ACP exam


  • Background to the Agile Manifesto
  • The 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto
  • Agile versus waterfall approaches – high level differences
  • Typical agile methods (DSDM, SCRUM, XP - Extreme Programming)

Exercise – 20 questions on the background to Agile

PMI-ACP Examination Information

  • Examination pre-requisites
  • The seven examination domains
  • The scoring schema (120 questions, 100 marked, 50% knowledge/skills, 50% tools/techniques
  • The tools and techniques, by category
  • The knowledge and skills, by category
  • Recognizing key Agile developments and definitions

Exercise – 20 questions on aspects of the examination

Applying for the Examination

  • How to apply for the examination, process, documents and other requirements
  • Pre-requisites
  • Fees
  • Booking an appointment at the test centre
  • Q&A
  • Final test – 60 questions
  • Planning your time
  • Creating your own approach
  • Developing a personal examination strategy
  • Tracking your progress


Preparing to Pass the Exam

[1] PMP or PgMP holders, in good standing, are exempt from this requirement only, they must still demonstrate 1,500 hours of working on agile projects

Who Should Attend

People wishing to apply for an sit the PMI-ACP ® examination


The pre-requisites to attend the course are the same as the requirements to apply for the examination

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent)
  • 2,000[1] hours working on project teams, within the last five years
  • 1,500 hours working on agile projects, within the last three years (these hours are in addition to the 2,000 hours of general project experience)
  • 21 contact hours of training in agile practices
  • Describe the pre-requisites and application process for the PMI-ACP® certification
  • Explain clearly the principles of the Agile Manifesto
  • List the seven domains examined and the scoring schema
  • Explain the knowledge and skills for each domain
  • Show the tools and techniques for each domain
  • Prepare a personal learning and preparation plan to sit the PMI-ACP® examination
  • H&S briefing
  • Introduction of speaker
  • Participant introduction


Domain One - Agile Principles and Mind-set

  • Advocating agile principles to the stakeholders and ensuring common knowledge/understanding
  • Influencing the organization to be more efficient, by embracing change and improving people, processes and systems at both technical and behavioural levels
  • Build team trust, learning and performance by using visual information and creating a safe environment, where mistakes are used as drivers of continuous improvement
  • Encourage creative and innovative working practices in a collaborative and facilitative manner
  • Employ and nurture alternative leadership models, such as servant leadership and emergent leadership, to improve team performance and effectiveness

Exercise – 20 questions on agile principles and mindset

Domain Two - Value Driven Delivery

  • Identify value for the organization by the use of incremental requirement and development approaches (e.g. the MoSCoW rules), whilst minimizing lower priority activities
  • Customize working practices to drive higher performance and value delivery
  • Reduce downside risks by delivery smaller products more frequently and working with stakeholders to manage risks
  • Use regular reviews to gain feedback from customers/users, which will be used to create more value, improve quality and reduce cost
  • Prioritize factors that enhance the value and quality of deliverables
  • Balance value adding and risk reducing work in the backlog, to deliver the highest value
  • Re-prioritize the backlog, as required, to maintain the value proposition
  • Ensure than non-functional requirements are understood and in alignment with the final operating environment
  • Regularly review the products produced, to improve the process and product

Exercise – 20 questions on value driven delivery

Domain Three – Stakeholder Engagement

  • Identify stakeholders, understand their perspectives, engage as necessary
  • Ensure team awareness of stakeholders perspectives
  • Conduct regular stakeholder reviews, to ensure any changes in the project are reflected in stakeholder engagement
  • Promote stakeholder consensus for success
  • Manage stakeholder expectations , by transparent and honest communications and reporting

Exercise – 20 questions on stakeholder engagement

Domain Four - Team Performance

  • Form collaborative teams, with consensus on ground rules and working practices/processes, to increase buy in and motivation
  • Create a team with a healthy balance of hard and soft skills, appropriate to the tasks involved
  • Development a cross skilled team, to optimise size and effectiveness
  • Use empowerment to create a self organizing team capable of emergent leadership and complex problem management
  • Be aware of team and individual motivational factors and aim for a productive environment
  • Create a project vision to align objectives and to increase awareness of inter dependency
  • Promote appropriate communications within the team and proximate stakeholder audiences, to increase effectiveness and quality
  • Foster team accountability by facilitating the measuring of velocity and working out their capacity

Exercise – 20 questions on team performance

Domain Five - Adaptive Planning

  • Provide planning at suitably different levels (e.g. iteration, day-to-day), using appropriate tools/techniques such as rolling wave and progressive elaboration
  • Increase the visibility of planning, by involving appropriate stakeholders and promulgating the outputs from planning to the stakeholder community, progressively increasing actual commitments to create an aligned view
  • Be flexible in the pace/processes of planning, dependent on the nature of the project and the information generated from retrospectives, tuning the plans as required
  • Use progressive elaboration techniques in sizing and scaling work activities, assess likely project magnitude
  • Include maintenance and operational requirements in updating range estimates
  • Create initial scope, schedule and cost estimates from high level requirements, then refine using modified priorities from the stakeholder community
  • Monitor and forecast ETC using various indicators, including change sin resource capacity, project size and velocity

Exercise – 20 questions on adaptive planning

Domain Six - Problem Detection and Resolution

  • Foster a safe an collaborative environment, encouraging personal initiative and group dialogue, in order to identify and assess problems and resolve these in a value adding manner
  • Create awareness of and resolve risks/problems, whilst harvesting opportunities, by developing team capability and improving processes
  • Manage issues to successful resolution, in a timely manner, maintaining a prioritized list to increase team awareness
  • When issues cannot be resolved, agree alternative course of action with the stakeholder community and reset expectations
  • Maintain a register of threats and ensure corrective actions are added to the backlog

Exercise – 20 questions on problem detection and resolution

Domain Seven - Continuous Improvement

  • Customize and tune the project process to ensure that the practices, culture and goals support effective teamwork
  • Use retrospectives and improvement experiments to drive continuous process improvements
  • Use frequent incremental deliveries and demonstrations to improve product value
  • Foster a continuous learning environment based on personal development opportunities for team members, creating more round and generalizing specialists
  • Use value stream analysis to seek opportunities to reduce waste and increase efficiency
  • Use knowledge management dissemination to create systemic improvements across organizational boundaries and enhance organizational effectiveness

Exercise – 20 questions on continuous improvement