We took some time out to chat with Angelique Jardine, Project Manager at Derivco’s Stormcraft Studios.
Angelique recently wrote and passed her PMI ACP exam, and besides congratulations being in order, we decided to pick her brain in order to get a perspective on the experience, and what it has meant for her and her employer.
Derek: What inspired you to take on the Agile Certified Professional certification with PMI?
Angelique: At first it was to gain knowledge on agile tools and practices, learn practical techniques for planning and be able to estimate the cost of the project in an agile way. Also, to increase my adaptability in agile technologies that would hopefully increase team productivity.
PMI Certifications are regarded highly across many organizations and with this, taking traditional Project Management in mind as well as looking at a broad range of Agile methodologies, it seemed to be the most comprehensive certification on the market. l wanted something that would formally recognize my knowledge of Agile principles and expertise with Agile tools and techniques.
More and more companies are adopting an Agile approach to their projects, I wanted to do a course that would not only benefit my organization but would also provide me with professional growth and make me more marketable.
Derek: How did you find the exam?
Angelique: I found the exam quite tough, coming from a traditional project management background, you need to always check yourself, make sure that you do not go back to old habits in the exam and in your projects. Having an Agile mindset is key to passing the exam.
Derek: Do you feel that the ACP studies have improved your individual service offering to your employee in the workplace?
Angelique: Yes, I learned more about the details in the tools and techniques that were not covered in other Kanban and Scrum courses. e.g. WBS and how to get your stories right, in terms of size and details and accurate estimating. Costing of a project in an agile environment. Tips and tricks Agile Leaders have learned over the years.
Derek: How long do you think that any aspiring candidates would need to spend in preparation for their studies for the ACP exam?
Angelique: If you are able to put in the hours, I would say you should try do it within the 2-3-month mark, on completion of the course. I did my course at the end of Oct, and wrote my exam in early Feb.
Derek: Are there any particular resources that you would recommend using to anyone wanting to take the exam?
I attended the PM Ideas Prep Course in JHB, with Charmaine Allen which was great. She is an amazing Coach and Mentor.
I purchased the Andy Crowe book ‘The PMI-ACP Exam’ (Iteration 2 – 2016), which did not arrive in time for the exam unfortunately but have read through it after the exam and found it quite comprehensive and it includes two exams at the back of the book as well as an online exam. There is a third iteration that was released in April 2018.
Note: It’s not a good idea order this from Book Depository, they send books through the postal system and you know how that goes. I did not see this info as it was only in the FAQ’s on their website.
I see Michael Griffiths also has a book out ‘PMI-ACP Exam Prep’.
I also did as many free tests as I could find, some of them I found from this website:
Derek: Do you have any advice for readers regarding the taking of the exam?
Angelique: Again, having an Agile mindset is key to passing the exam.
If you can do a Prep course through one of the PMI Providers in your area I would highly recommend it. Not only will you gain great insight from the lecturers, but you will also get the books/ information you need for passing the exam.
Derek: Do you have any parting words of wisdom for the PM community?
Don’t be afraid of Agile, embrace it and go in with an open mind.
Keep the Agile manifesto in mind daily throughout your workday and processes.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.
Derek: Thanks Angelique ! Best wishes for the future
Click here to check out the various Project Management Qualifications offered by PMI
A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAPTER LEADER DR LYNN A. KEEYS
Dear PMI Members
In the film Star Trek: Insurrection, Data the android, says to a little boy, “my operations depend on specifications that do not change.”
While Data’s success as an android depended on his specs never changing, I am not sure we can say that for projects. Now more than ever Bob Dylan’s words ring true: The times, they are a-changing! Not only is the world changing, it is changing at exponential rates, even as I write this message. We live in an environment where the market and the context of projects is often characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
Change and the 4th Industrial Revolution
The rapid technological change and accelerated pace of innovation in this era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which impacts every aspect of life, is causing disruption across industries and markets. World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab states in his 2015 article that the 4th industrial revolution has brought about greater and rapidly shifting customer expectations, greater demand for enhanced value in products and services, the need to collaborate in innovation, and organisational culture, talent and structures that support this.
So what does this mean for your projects and for project management in general? Projects are drivers of organisational change and means for creating value – not only for business but society at large. Questions that arise from this state of affairs are numerous: What does it take to get a project right, the first time? Should we even get it right, the first time? How do we define ‘right’ and who decides what’s ‘right’?
Getting it Right
The way we think about projects and project management is changing rapidly. Getting it right has historically evolved around getting scope, schedule and budget right at the start and minimising change. The focus was based on a predictable linear approach to the project life cycle, or the waterfall approach. Emphasis was on the internal organisational environment of the primary project stakeholders and less on the external operating environment or context of the project and broader stakeholders.
PMI’s Pulse of the Profession study found that project management approaches, through necessity, are becoming more adaptive, with 41% of the respondents using agile or hybrid approaches. The latest edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK 6th edition) has called for tailoring projects that operate in environments requiring adaptive, agile and iterative approaches, and as such has integrated agile methodologies in the latest edition.
However, this is just the beginning of the discussion. Being only agile is not sufficient. Who defines what is ‘right’ is equally important, as well as the techniques used and the participants involved in the process.
Join us at the PM Summit 2017
For answers to these questions and an opportunity to debate and engage with industry experts, don’t miss PMI South Africa’s PM Summit on 9 November 2017, at the Accolades Convention Centre in Midrand. Learn about managing projects in an ever-changing age of dynamism, exponential change and disruption. Join us for a day of delving into with new ways of thinking and project management approaches, with strategic emphasis on value creation for individual organisation and society. Sessions will be lively and provocative, dealing with all areas of project management such as stakeholder engagement, governance, leadership, benefits realisation, sustainability for individual business and society at large, new approaches to PM such as design thinking, and the importance of on-time business analytics.
What are your thoughts about getting it right? We’d like to hear from you. Start the discussion early! Post your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
See you at the PM Summit!
Dr Lynn A. Keeys
PMI South Africa Chapter
ARE YOU GETTING IT RIGHT?
We’re trained from the getgo to get it right, the first time. But what does it take to get a project right, the first time? And how do we define ‘right’?
Getting projects right goes beyond achieving the triple constraint targets of scope, schedule and budget and the usual technical approaches to project management. For answers to these questions and an opportunity to debate and engage with industry experts, don’t miss PMI South Africa’s PM Summit on 9 November 2017.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
Ticket prices are as follows:
|Early Bird (until 14/10/17)||Member||Non-Member||Student|
|Conference||R 950|| R1 200|| R350|
|Dinner||R300|| R 350|| R150|
|Conference& Dinner||R1 150||R1 450|| R450|
|Partner||R300|| R350|| R350|
|Conference||R1 200|| R1 400|| R450|
|Dinner||R350|| R400|| R200|
|Conference& Dinner||R1 450|| R1 650|| R600|
|Partner||R350|| R400|| R400|