Certification Archive

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New PMI-ACP Classes Announced

PMI AgileI am happy to report that LeadingAgile is ramping up its Public Training Program.  We will now offer regularly scheduled public training classes in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.  Early bird registration (30 days or more before class start date) will be heavily rewarded, by way of a $300 discount.  The first class to be announced is the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.

For those unfamiliar with LeadingAgile, though all of us offer training, we’re all actually Agile practitioners by trade, with years of real-world experience.  We come from a variety of backgrounds, allowing us to offer relevant training specific to the needs of the individual student. Both our public and private classes move at a steady but relaxing pace, delivering the right combination of applicable information, Q&A, and interactive exercises.

When it’s time for your respective exam, you will pass because you understand the concepts, not because you memorized questions and answers. When you go back to your organizations, you will have the confidence of knowing that you understand the fundamentals and how to apply then.

Why Us?

There are a lot of companies out there who offer training but do so from an ivory tower.  The trainers aren’t actual practitioners so they aren’t going to be able to answer your questions based on their experiences.  When it comes to knowledge about the PMI-ACP content, no company comes close to LeadingAgile.  Both Mike and Dennis were on the ACP Steering Committee and I was an Independent Reviewer.  After the exam pilot phase concluded, I transitioned to a new role as Co-Lead of the PMI-ACP Support Team at the PMI Agile Community of Practice.


Contact Hours/PDUs: 21
CEUs: 2.1
Public or Private: Both
Duration: 3 Days – 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

DATE LOCATION  EARLY BIRD PRICE
August 20-22 Tampa, FL  $1395.00 $1695.00 Register
September 10-12 Reston, VA  $1395.00 $1695.00 Register
October Atlanta, GA  $1395.00 $1695.00 Register

Who Should Attend

Certainly, if you’re interested in getting the PMI-ACP certification, you should take this class. But, it doesn’t matter if you’re an executive, traditional project manager, or a member of a team.  This class is going to give you a lot of value.  In a typical workshop, I’ve seen anyone from a CTO to an Extreme Programmer to a Tester.  Come with an open mind and you’ll see how we’re on the bleeding edge of Agile thought leadership.

Class Materials

Attendees will receive a complementary copy of the class training material, ACP practice exam, and ACP flashcards.

Course Content

Though this course was originally designed to be an exam prep course, it was enhanced to be an introduction into the principles, values, and practices of Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and Extreme Programming. Our course is developed around a fun 3-day exercise, simulation, and game driven curriculum that encourages signifiant interaction amongst everyone participating in the course. Topics include:

  • Understand the Agile Manifesto Values and Principles
  • Have an end-to-end understanding of Scrum, its key roles, artifacts, and meetings
  • Understand what are and why we use big visible charts or information radiators
  • Understand Scrum from a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, and empowered Team perspectives
  • Know and understand the XP (Extreme Programming) roles and who does what
  • Understand Test Driven Development. Know how it works and why it’s valuable
  • Understand Continuous Integration. Know how it works and why it’s valuable
  • Understand the Lean Software Development Principles
  • Know what Lean Portfolio Management is and how your organization could benefit from it
  • Understand what Value Stream Mapping is and how to do it
  • Understand the basics of Kanban, WIP, and why it works
  • Know how to write and identify good User Stories
  • Know what Personas are and how to use them
  • Understand what makes a Servant Leader and what they do
  • Understand Velocity and its usefulness
  • Know Agile Estimation techniques
  • Know facilitation methods
  • Understand how Agile deals with risks
  • Understand the Definition of “Ready” and “Done”
  • …much more…

Private Training

If you are interested in private training for your organization or team, please contact us for more information.

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Sneetches and Agile Training

star upon tharThis morning I read a tweet offering a 100% guarantee to pass the corresponding Agile exam.  Offering such a guarantee is such BS and insulting to our craft.  Reading the tweet sounded something right out of a Dr. Seuss book.

I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!

That is a quote from The Sneetches.  The two main characters of the original Dr. Seuss story are the Sneetches and Sylvester McMonkey-McBean.  If you don’t know the story, I have it below.  The original text is listed in blue.  My commentary is in black.

I understand there are those who are eager to get a new Agile certification to add to their email signature or resume (Sneetches) and those willing to provide training and help them part with the money in their pockets (Sylvester McMonkey-McBeans).  But when I offer an Agile Certified Practitioner workshop, the primary goal is not to teach attendees to pass an exam (though they will as a by-product).  Rather, my primary goal is to introduce learners to multiple concepts and practices that can be leveraged later.

Are trainers primarily trying to help people be better at their craft or are they just trying to make fast money?  I’m quite certain people will get value from attending an Agile training class.  As someone who may be interested in getting a certification, what does a trainer have to do to pass your Sylvester McMonkey-McBean sniff test?

Image Source: Pictofigo “Star


Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches.
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
they’d hike right on past them without even talking.

I’m going to introduce another character into this story.  His name is Sylvester McMonkey-McBean, an entrepreneur who offers hope to the plain-bellied Sneetches by offering them the use of his star-on-machine.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and clean,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey-McBean.
And I’ve heard of your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that, I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie.

However, it soon becomes clear that Mr. McMonkey-McBean is no champion of the Plain-Belly Sneetches; in fact all he cares about is making money.  He is quite happy modifying the machine to remove stars from Sneetches who want to stand apart again.

I’ve come here to help you.
I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work with great speed.
And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!”

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink.
And he said, “Things are not quite as bad as you think.
So you don’t know who’s who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I’ll do?
I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

He encourages the Sneetches to continually go from the star-on-machine to the star-off-machine and back to the star-on-machine.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.
Off again! On again! In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,

Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Eventually, Mr. McMonkey-McBean vanishes once the Sneetches run out of money.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach,
“They never will learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch!”

Fortunately, in the end, the Sneetches have no idea who is who and both Star-bellied Sneetches and Plain-bellied Sneetches learn to live together.

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

 

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PMI-ACP Numbers So Far

PMI ACP NumbersTomorrow, the June 2012 edition of PMI Today will be formally available.  Before that happens, I wanted to give a progress report on the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner numbers.  Since the certification was launched back in January, the number of certification holders has grown from 542 to 758.  Though this may be perceived as a slow start for number of people holding the credential, it has already surpassed the PMI-SP and will surpass the PgMP next month.  Let’s not forget, these certifications have been out for a few years, not a few months.  I’m not trying to minimize the value these certifications hold.  Rather, I believe the Agile community is responsible for the ACP number reaching these milestones as quickly as they have.

Based on informal polling of learners from my classes, people are taking the exam within two months of taking a class.  Though I don’t expect to see the certification rates to rival the PMP any time in the near future, I’m excited to see an upward trend in the ACP adoption rate.

Data Source: PMI Today

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Official PMI-ACP Numbers

PMI Certifications January 2012The PMI-ACP pilot has concluded and the Agile Certified Practitioner certification is officially one month old.  The numbers are in!  Per PMI Today, January 2012 concluded with 542 PMI-ACPs.  Not too shabby for its first month.  The PMP is still PMI’s shining star, at 4047 new PMPs.  What surprised me were the numbers of PMI’s other certifications.  Only 11 people got the PMI-SP in January.  It makes me wonder, what is the PMI-SP certification’s value and longevity in the PMI ecosystem?  I ask because the PMI-ACP reached a number in one month that took the other certification a few years.

And so it begins.  Will PMI-ACP be the next PMP?  What do you think?

6

PMI-ACP Prep Workshop

I am very excited to announce that I will begin offering my own 3-day PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner Certification Prep workshop, beginning September 26-28.  The workshop will be offered at the Bridge Education Training Facility located at 6716 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 100, in Columbia, Maryland.  As an added bonus, for those who register for the September (and the to-be-announced October) class, I will give each attendee a free ticket to AgileDC 2011.

Count on 3 full days of learning, simulation, and Legos!

Who Should Attend/Prerequisites

Although this prep course is primarily targeted towards project management professionals interested in achieving the PMI-ACP(sm)  certification, it could benifit many others. It is an effective foundation for anyone interested in adopting and leveraging Agile techniques, including Product & Line Managers, Program Managers, IT Managers, or Senior Technicians.

Course Overview

The PMI-ACP(sm) certification requires the candidate to have 2,000 hours of general Project Management experience, 1,500 hours of Agile Project Management experience, 21 training hours in an Agile specific curriculum, and pass the PMI-ACP(sm) certification exam.

This course will satisfy all of the training requirements for the exam. After taking this course, students will have the strong foundation needed to begin preparing for the certification exam.

Take your course from one of only a few instructors who were independent reviewers of the curriculum, as it was being developed. As independent reviewers of the PMI-ACP, it was our job to modify, revise, update or delete elements to ensure that it was comprehensive, contemporary (reflective of current practice), concise, and clear.

Learning Objectives

The course will provide a broad survey of Agile PM tools, techniques, skills, and knowledge areas. Within the 3-Day course, we will cover all 6 domains of the upcoming PMI-ACP exam

  • Value Driven Delivery
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Boosting Team Performance Practices
  • Adaptive Planning
  • Problem Detection and Resolution
  • Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People)

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Active Listening
  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Agile Frameworks and Terminology
  • Agile Manifesto Values and Principles
  • Agile Project Accounting Principles
  • Assessing and Incorporating Stakeholder Values
  • Applying New Agile Practices
  • Building High Performance and Empowered Teams
  • Coaching and Mentoring within teams
  • Communications Management
  • Co-Located and Geographically Distributed Teams
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Elements of a Project Charter for an Agile project
  • Facilitation Methods
  • Feedback Techniques (e.g. Prototypes, Simulation, Demonstration, Evaluation)
  • Globalization, Culture, and Team Diversity
  • Incremental Delivery
  • Innovation Games
  • Knowledge and Information Sharing
  • Leadership tools and Techniques
  • PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • Problem Solving Strategies
  • Product Roadmapping
  • Progressive Elaboration
  • Project and Quality Standards
  • Principles of Systems Thinking (e.g., complex adaptive, chaos)
  • Servant-Leadership
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Team Motivation Techniques
  • Time, Budget, and Cost Estimation
  • Variations of Agile Methods and Approaches
  • Value Based Analysis, Decomposition, and Prioritization

When:

Monday, September 26, 2011 9:00 AM – Wednesday, September 28, 2011 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Where:

Bridge Education Training Facility
6716 Alexander Bell Dr.
Suite 100
Columbia, Maryland 21046

Cost:

$1,495 per attendee (plus travel and expenses for private workshops)


Drawing courtesy of Pictofigo