Those who follow the Project Management Institute (PMI)® are aware that many of the standards underlying the certification program are changing. This includes the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Standard for Program Management and Standard for Portfolio Management. Consequently, the examinations for the PMP®, PgMP® and PfMP® are also going to change. Not many are aware though that even the PMI-ACP® certification is changing. This post is to give you more information about whatever we know so far about the forthcoming changes and what it means to you.

  1. What is the driver for the change?

The PMI® is coming up with a Practice Standard for Agile. This is really big news. As we all know Agile is a vast discipline and there is no single “Body of Knowledge”. The current PMI-ACP® exam for example relies on 13 different reference books. The first edition of the practice standard therefore is eagerly awaited.

  1. Will the 13 references no longer be required now?

It is unlikely that the supplementary reference list will go away as it is very difficult to encompass all the knowledge in a single document. However the practice standard will provide a structure to the aspirants of the certification and help them plan their studies.

  1. The PMBOK® Guide is also including Agile in a big way. Would this not confuse professionals as to which certification to pursue (PMP® or PMI-ACP®)?

Agile methodologies are becoming increasingly common place in the industry. For software development, Agile is already the de facto methodology of choice with studies indicating a wide adoption rate. Even in other industries, the application of incremental and iterative methodologies is becoming more prevalent. Therefore PMI-ACP® is certainly likely to gain traction in the forthcoming period. The PMP® certification is a generic Project Management certification that gives an elaborate framework for traditional project management and is now being extended to include Agile methods too. Both certifications are likely to co-exist for the foreseeable future. However, adopters of Agile methodologies will probably be more attracted towards PMI-ACP®

  1. What exactly are the changes to the PMI-ACP® exam and when are they expected?

Not much is known about the changes yet. A lot will depend upon the Practice Standard, which is expected to be released on 6th September as per the PMI® website. The tentative date for the new exam to come into force is in the first quarter of calendar year 2018.

  1. What does this mean for existing and aspiring PMI-ACP® professionals?

The current PMI-ACP® professionals should be looking forward to learn the contents of the new practice standard – though their certification continues to be valid. Professionals who are aspiring to acquire the PMI-ACP® certification in the near future are advised to take up the exam in the year 2017 or else wait for the changes to come into effect. A lot will depend upon how far you are in the journey towards the certification (e.g. whether you have already taken the course/started studying) and what your desired time frame for the certification is.

If you want more information or need help with your PMI-ACP® journey, do get in touch.