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TOPIC: Here is what you can learn from my PMI-ACP journy

Here is what you can learn from my PMI-ACP journy 4 years 7 months ago #19106

  • Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP
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Well, I just earned my PMI-ACP certificate and passed the exam with an "above target" score in my first attempt. Earlier this year, I cleared my PMP too. A year of some remarkable achievements !
Undoubtedly, Prepcast was a great learning aid. The real exam was, almost entirely, situational questions testing your deep understanding on how to apply Agile manifesto and principles in real life scenarios, rather than how much information did you possess. The so called "being Agile" over doing Agile.

I have approached my PMI-ACP certification journey by first having the Prepcast online course that has essentially rich and comprehensive material in a very organized and well prepared fashion. Thank you Cornelius Fichtner and your great team !
Then, I read Mike Griffith book (just once and highlighted key areas that required a re-visit) before I eventually went through the Prepcast simulator which was really helpful in applying the theoretical knowledge via a more practical cases. I previously have quite strong knowledge base in scrum method as we have been adopting scrum at my workplace for years. However, I perceived Mike’s book such a great resource in filling the gaps in my knowledge across other agile methods. Generally speaking, all agile methods converge at the same final values and principles. Understanding this can help to always get to the key point faster. I would recommend you to get your focus on the 4 values and 12 principles by investing most of your preparation effort and time in trying to ingrain, absorb and understand them but more importantly on how to practically use them and putting them in the right context. And then any relevant tool or technique you come across afterward, you just correlate each of them back to its corresponding agile principle, rather than digging further in the tool’s attributes and parameters. I think this is quite crucial to know as some aspirants get lost in details, so always focus on “whole” and just catch the gist. Not to mention that over 80% of agile tools and games I learnt were surprisingly not indicated in the Exam! Instead, it was testing how to apply the key principles and how to handle some tricky situations where you, for instance, need to scarify one agile good practice to a more prioritized one. What I also found really good aid of learning into the Prepcast tool was the interviews that Cornelius Fichtner had with some senior agile managers and practitioners. Those interviews were all about process tailoring, scaling agile to organization level and stakeholder management in such away that you can apply them in a day to day tasks and activities. Isn’t that what we eventually need to acquire?

It might sound interesting but real that the best way to approach your PMI-ACP certification is to apply the agile manifesto itself as you start preparing toward your exam. Keep your learning effort a value-driven and always focus on the final goal of your project (your project can be PMI-ACP Certification). Start with high risk high value areas of study (those probably are the gaps in your knowledge). Eliminate waste (that can be the extra time you spend to learn a method details rather than understanding the key benefit of the method itself or it can be any other type of waste(i.e.partial study or studying sub-topics that you won’t probably need). Utilize high-touch low-tech study material (I know this is relatively different from one person to another. In my case though, I found the hand-written notes that I built up along my study so helpful and more tangible, plus you customize the contents based on your needs). Tailor your study of all massive resources (12 handbooks as referenced by PMI) to your needs, study the sub-topics you feel you lack knowledge in.

I wish I made some useful hints here. Best luck !
Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Linda Militano, William E. Sumner
Last edit: by Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP. Reason: typos and improve the feedback a bit to share it with some groups of friends.

Here is what you can learn from my PMI-ACP journy 4 years 7 months ago #19107

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Dear Mohammad,

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. I remember the valuable inputs that you submitted through our simulator’s Live Feedback™ support feature. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP
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