Written by Mike Griffiths (JAN 2018)
What Changes Will You See on the PMI-ACP® Exam in 2018?
I’ve been getting a number of questions about possible changes to the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® exam. This is understandable, since the newly released A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition included an agile appendix and came bundled with the new Agile Practice Guide. Also, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has listed a 2018 “exam update” for the PMI-ACP credential on their Registered Education Provider (REP) website. Despite this, there are no changes that will affect someone who is studying to take the exam.
The Only Change
The only change to the PMI-ACP exam that will occur in March, 2018 is a minor lexicon update to harmonize the terminology between the terms used in the exam questions with the new Agile Practice Guide. This simply means that some questions might be reworded to better to reflect the terms used in the guide.
The good news is that if you are studying for the exam this change won’t affect you, since you have not seen the exam questions yet. And even if you have taken the exam before, this change won’t affect your ability to understand or answer the exam questions.
What Has Not Changed
There have been no changes to the PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline, and the questions on the exam will cover the same material as they did before. Your study plan for the PMI-ACP exam should still be based on the topics listed in the PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline, which will not change in 2018.
What Does This Mean to Me, Studying for The Exam?
Very little. Carry on with your study plan. The current edition of my book PMI-ACP® Exam Prep is still the best guide to the exam. You may also want to read the Agile Practice Guide to familiarize yourself with the terms used, but there is nothing significantly different on the exam.
As chair of the group that authored the Agile Practice Guide, I encourage you to read it since I believe it offers useful guidance for practitioners using agile. However, we did not redefine what a “sprint” or a “backlog” is, and there is no need to worry about your ability to recognize key agile terms and concepts on the exam.
By the way, if you do read the Agile Practice Guide, bear in mind that some topics included—such as hybrid agile—are not tested on the PMI-ACP exam. The exam content outline has not been changed.
Example of Lexicon Changes
PMI is very particular about the consistent use of terms. To give you an idea of the minor terminology changes that we made, here’s an example. We removed the underlined word “development” from the following definition to better reflect how these practices are being used more frequently outside the software domain:
Continuous integration: A development practice in which each team members’ work products are frequently integrated with one another
Since a few terms have been tweaked like this, PMI is listing this as an exam change. But in reality, nobody studying for the exam will notice this change, and the exam content outline remains the same.
Why All the Fuss?
You may have noticed that some education providers are using PMI’s announcement of the March 26th, 2018 “change” to encourage enrolment. Perhaps they are genuinely unaware that there is no significant change, or perhaps they are just using the confusion to promote their products. Either way, there is nothing to be concerned about. You don’t need to change your study plan.
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