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TOPIC: Lessons Learned - Passed PMI-ACP

Lessons Learned - Passed PMI-ACP 2 years 8 months ago #10208

  • Jonathan Hebert
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Preparation:
• Bought and read Mike Griffiths PMI-ACP Prep book twice and then answer end of chapter questions in back. Missed a question or two out of the 20 questions.
• Listened to and watched the Agile PrepCast over the course of three months
• In my last week focused on studying the Agile Manifesto, Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean, TDD
• Read a lot of lessons learned from others which emphasized short general situational questions
• Took the OSP PMI-ACP exam simulator questions and many sample questions on the web

General exam observations:
• The exam really tests your understanding of the “Agile mindset” which is explained in the principles and value of the Agile Manifesto. No direct questions like what does the third value say or what is the tenth principle. Instead it’s important to know how those principals are used in agile situations.
• Very few knowledge-based questions like, “which one is not one of the “wastes” of Lean”
• Majority of questions were situational questions that are short 2-3 sentences max and very general where you would need to know, for instance, the benefits to the project and stakeholders of iterative delivery of high value features.
• Know why WIP limits are imposed and what effect changing WIP limits does to cycle time and what can be determined by reducing WIP to a minimum i.e. bottlenecks
• The practices and roles of Scrum, XP, Lean, Kanban, and TDD are important!! Didn’t see a single question on DSDM, FDD, Crystal
• Only one easy calculation question based on velocity, story points in backlog, and how long to complete project.
• Know your burn charts, like burndown chart with planned and actual velocities and what does the chart tell you about the state of the project.
• Question like what approach would an agile team use to prioritize user stories and recognize a prioritization scheme versus a participatory decision technique in the answer choices.
• Know how agile methods build in quality or how to ensure quality in agile projects, not all at the end of a release.
• Know the order and activities that occur in process such as product roadmap>release planning>iteration planning. So, might be questions about new requests for functionality and its effect on the product backlog, iteration backlog, or release plan.
• Understand the importance of creating a safe environment for experimentation with process changes even if an iteration or release goal could be impacted. Again, this is the agile mindset that the manifesto describes
• Most of the questions were very applied/situational.
• Know that the daily stand up is not a place for discussions, period! Know the purpose and strict structure of the daily standup.
• Know what you can do during an iteration and what you can’t or shouldn’t do i.e. sponsor recommends something to the delivery team lead in the middle of a sprint, who should make the call about this and what should be done with this new recommended feature.
• Know how agile teams use information radiators and do not rely on excess documentation i.e. detailed progress reports to senior management.
• You may see traditional terms like functional manager in the exam mostly related to what role they would play in a certain decision.
• The terms used were very generic like sometimes scrum master or coach used synonymously just as product owner = business representative = customer advocate. Agile team leader was also used and it wasn’t obvious except for a detail in the question whether they were referring to the dev team leader or a project leader i.e. coach or scrum master, or project leader. Another favorite was what would action would an “agile practitioner” take in response to a given situation?
• Know the financial metrics like IRR, ROI, NPV and how they are used and which one to use in a given situation like projects of different durations and using NPV and the higher NPV is best. You will not have to calculate any of these.
• Understand the four ways a servant leader assists the team and that team are empowered to make decisions about HOW they get their work done and should solve internal disagreements amongst the team members.
• Know high-touch low-tech are favored and what to do when you have virtually or non-colocated teams to permit good collaboration i.e. web video conferencing.
• There may be questions that test your knowledge that face to face communication is what should be selected when other methods of communication are given as answer choices i.e. email.
• Know when and how architectural and risk spikes are used for instance, to choose a development approach or mitigate risk and know the difference between these techniques and exploratory testing, and usability testing.
• No questions on collaboration games
• Know about interpersonal skills i.e. emotional intelligence and what you can control or regulate vs what you can recognize in your own behavior and others, active listening.
• Osmotic and tacit knowledge were tested so know these.
• Didn’t see anything about developmental mastery models, but you should probably know how the coach or scrum master will interact with teams at different stages of team formation i.e. adaptive leadership
• Know that generalizing specialists are sought after for team and are good to use to address a bottleneck
• I did see any value-based analysis or decomposition questions
• Nothing about general time box guidance like 15 minutes for the daily standup, or two week sprints, etc.
• Know that very few circumstances or situations call for sprints to be canceled or work within a sprint to be stopped and adding resource usually isn’t the best choice. Also know how to handle requests to adding features or user stories during iterations, know who makes decision what are the rules for handling new feature requests before sprint planning, during sprint and after sprint review. Product owner, business rep, someone else?
• Know who should be in attendance and participate in user story workshops, backlog refinement, iteration planning, daily standup, iteration review, and retrospectives.
• Know the overall process for sizing > estimating > planning and who is responsible to do each activity.

Testing process:
• Basically, the same experience as the PMP. Nothing in pockets or jewelry, inspected my reading glasses, metal detector, almost like going through the TSA at the airport. You have a locker to put your wallet, watch, and cell phone in, turn off your cell.
• Same prometric screen as the PMP exam, same functionality, nothing different so you can get through the tutorial in less than 5 minutes. They stress no brain dumps and attendant waited until I was answering questions to leave to make sure I would use the scratch paper for a brain dump. But a brain dump wouldn’t be of as much use as it was on the PMP exam.
• I used the strikeout feature to eliminate obviously wrong answers and many questions had two choices that were potential correct answers. Most often reading the question carefully would help with the choice.
• As I said finished with plenty of time and reviewed the 5-8 questions I marked because I just wasn’t sure of my answer.
• After you hit finished, there is a short survey about the prometric testing experience which can be completed in a couple minutes. After this the scoring routine runs and then I saw the Congratulations and the proficiency ratings: 3P’s and 4MP’s.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SamHuDa, Fernando Barrancos

Lessons Learned - Passed PMI-ACP 2 years 8 months ago #10239

  • SamHuDa
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very good lesson learned
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