Writing and Passing the PMI ACP Exam – Interview with Angelique Jardine

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:

https://edward-designer.com/web/free-pmi-acp-exam-questions/

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

Project Management Summit 2019 – Call for Presentations

“Projectification of South Africa Building capacity to lead and succeed”

Deadline:  15 July 2018

Projects and project management have become important to the transformation of South African economy and society.  “Projectification”, a concept coined in 1995, means the ever increasing share of work that is done through projects.  This is not only at a company or organizational level, but at government and societal levels, too.  This is a global phenomenon that has reached South Africa.  Projects and project management are more than schedules, charts and other tools. They are about value creation and social processes we use to deliver benefits.  Choosing projects and project management as instruments of change, innovation and transformation is a management and strategic choice.  It can enable transparency and provide structures for inclusivity and conversations on critical issues impacting all segments of society—economic growth, social change, business and societal transformation, innovation, and delivery of services.   The choice to use projects requires professional project management to achieve results—value and benefits creation for organizations and businesses that create projects and for those who should benefit. 

What does this increasing use of projects or “projectification” mean for South Africa?    What is the impact of project management on leadership and on the ability bring about successful change by business, government, NGOs and by society at large?

The 2019 PM Summit will explore this topic through a variety of formats.  Participants will join project management thought leaders in discussion and shape thinking on how project management can positively impact South Africa.

The 2019 PM Summit is accepting proposal abstracts for the Summit to be held on 19 February 2019, at Accolades Conference Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg.  A variety of presentation formats will be considered:  individual presentations, expert panels, workshops, lightning talks (TED-like talks), and world café conversations (structured conversations on knowledge sharing around café tables, facilitated by café hosts; participants switch tables occasionally).

Suggested topics include:

  • National impact of projects and project management
  • Selecting the right projects for benefits and value creation
  • Projects and project management as part of organization strategic processes
  • Project monitoring and impact assessment
  • Broadening the dialogue on public service projects
  • Using the appropriate project management methodology for the project context
  • Agile approaches in project-based delivery of services and products
  • Building capacity in professional project management in business, NGO and government sectors
  • Recognition of project management and project managers in private and public sectors
  • Project management influences on leadership
  • Increasing the role of projects in different sectors
  • Projects and transformation in private, NGO and public sectors
  • Role of project management office (PMO) in different sectors
  • Project management in support of entrepreneurial development
  • Topical case studies
  • How project organizing is changing delivery of public services
  • Inclusivity and diversity through broad inclusion of stakeholders
  • Public discourse in projects on societal issues
  • Improved governance and transparency in projects
  • Project work by the NGO sector
  • Projects in the arts
  • Ethics and anti-corruption measures in projects
  • Benchmarking South African project management practices and maturity
  • Project management leading the sustainability challenge

 

Submission:

Submission abstracts must be minimum 350 words to maximum 500 words and submitted in PDF file attached to an email, and submitted to submissions@pmsummit2019.org.za

Abstracts must include the following in adequate detail:

  1. Objective
  2. Description come expected
  3. Structure of presentation and chosen format
  4. Intended audience/participants
  5. Special equipment or set up requirements
  6. Submission must be in PDF format
    c. Presentations must not have been previously presented at a conference or published
    d.    Papers and presentations should be free of commercial sales content and should not be supported by promotional materials
    e.    Papers and presentations should focus on the subject of the summit, and provide new contributions to the topic.
  7. Biography of no more than 150 words and high resolution photo in jpeg format
  8. Submission of short presentation video is encouraged
  9. Research presentations should adhere to standard academic paper format

Note:  Maximum of two submissions per individual

 

Submission Selection Criteria:

Speakers of selected submissions must be willing and available to work with the engagement facilitator in designing participant interactions.  As the PM Summit will be recorded, presenters must agree to be photographed and recorded for purposes of developing PM Summit highlights and promotion.

Speakers will be invited to provide 30-60 second video recordings to advertise their presentations on the PM Summit 2019 website and to engage in social media discussions.  Upon acceptance of submission, speakers will be provided the details.

Submissions will be judged according to the following:

  1. Relevance to the conference theme;
  2. Uniqueness and newness of information or perspective;
  3. Knowledge content at intermediate or advance level
  4. Originality of ideas and innovativeness in presentation style or content (speakers will be assisted by the engagement facilitator);
  5. Relevance to latest PMBOK 6th edition and availability of presentation slots.

**Research based presentations will undergo a peer review process.

NOTE: The Summit Program Team reserves the right to reject or edit any submission whose content is offensive or defamatory, explicitly unethical or if it contains content that is politically sensitive, supports racism, sexual or religious discrimination, illegal activities and terrorism.

 

Submission and Presentation Review Schedule:

Submission deadline:  15 July 2018

Notification of submission acceptance:  15 August 2018

Submission of presentation for review:  30 September 2018 (Submitted presentations for review should balance the quantity of content and with time for discussion.  We want you as presenter to demonstrate your expertise while giving the audience a chance to process your input.)

Presenter work with engagement facilitator:  October; to be scheduled.

Submission of final presentation:  October/November after revisions based on agreement between facilitator, presenter and PM Summit Program Team.

 

Speaker Benefits

  • Professional Benefits:
    • Pre- and post-event promotion via: emails, brochures, website, relevant social media
    • Recognition before, during and after at the event as a subject matter expert
    • Increased visibility and credibility in the eyes of fellow professionals
    • The opportunity to share ideas, knowledge and experience with delegates across various industries, public sector, and NGO community
  • Compensation:
    • Complimentary registration to the conference. Confirmed speakers are responsible for all other costs related to participation in the conference.

 

Intellectual Property and Ownership of Presentation Materials

Presentations should consist only of the speaker’s original work, and it should not violate any proprietary or personal rights of others (including any copyright, trademark and privacy rights), is factually accurate, and contains nothing defamatory or otherwise unlawful. The speaker will be the sole copyright holder of the presentation, or that he or she has obtained all necessary permissions or licenses from any persons or organizations whose material is included or used in his or her presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting Start to 2018 for Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch

PMI SA Chapter Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch Meeting January 2018

Group photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch Meeting attendees on 25 January.

First KZN Branch Meeting of 2018

At the first Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch Meeting of the year we had a whopping 32 attendees.  The speaker for the January meeting was the incoming Deputy Branch Lead Derek Smith (pictured front extreme left). Derek is currently Projects Portfolio Manager for Network Games at Derivco in KZN and a veteran project management professional in the ICT sector. Derek’s presentation centred on what is happening with Agile adoption and philosophies in Project Management. He advised that managers need to know about these changes keep themselves relevant and employable. He also highlighted the fact that Agile is no longer the sole domain of software developers.

Chapter Events

Branch Lead David de Miranda (pictured front right in the white shirt) has worked hard over the last year to engage attendees and volunteers, and is in the process of filling the necessary portfolios to ensure the smooth running of the branch. If you would like to be part of the largest global network of Professional Project Managers but not sure what it’s all about, join David and his team at the next Branch meeting. Details of events are updated monthly to the Events Calendar. If you are already a paid-up PMI member, please keep an eye on your inbox for email invitations we send out monthly, and posts on our Facebook page. If you’re a PMI member but your Chapter Membership has lapsed, you can

David and his team have some exciting new ventures lined up for the Kwa-Zulu Natal branch activities, so don’t miss the opportunity to improve, update or share your project management skills. PDUs can be earned by attending meetings, or presenting on a topic in which you are an expert.

KZN Branch Newsletter 01/2018

The KZN branch is proudly the first branch of PMI South Africa Chapter to publish its own newsletter, which you can download from this link: KZN Newsletter 01/2018.  Please contact Derek on kznadmin@pmi.org.za or David kznbranchleader@pmi.org.za if you would like to contribute to the next newsletter in any way.

 

 

SA Chapter Supports PM Education at Stenden South Africa

PMI South Africa Chapter has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Stenden South Africa to support project management in Stenden’s new academic minor program in hotel opening management.  The MOU was signed in a ceremony at the inauguration of the program on 3 October 2017, by PMI SA President, Dr. Lynn A. Keeys and Stenden SA’s Executive Dean, Dr. Wouter Hensens. Also in attendance at the ceremony were Jannes Haasbroek, Chapter Academic Outreach VP, Stenden SA Program Coordinator Kevin Aitchison and global hotel opening expert and programme collaborator Gert Noordzy of Northside Consulting. The collaboration will support the development of project management higher and professional education and practice at Stenden SA and in the hotel management profession in South Africa. According to Dr. Hensens, Stenden Africa is the first worldwide to introduce a curriculum in hotel opening management in its Hotel Management School and the first to include project management for the entire hotel opening project life cycle. Stenden South Africa is the local branch campus of Stenden University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

A Booming Industry

According to Gert Noordzy, the global hotel industry is exploding. Today, the worldwide hotel pipeline stands at over 11,000 projects, comprising 1.9 million rooms. Of these, 427 projects which equates to 73,000 rooms, are in Africa. Noordzy believes project management is a new area for expertise in the hotel opening industry, and a critical one. Research shows that many new hotel openings in the region are experiencing delays, and both owners and operators are suffering the consequences, along with the general public as the hotel industry is an important source of employment and contributor to GDP as part of the tourism industry. As Noordzy suggested at his recent keynote presentation at the PE Branch meeting—a new hotel opening is in fact a project, and must be managed accordingly, using a holistic approach and standard methodology. See the hotel opening project management lifecycle below:

HOTEL PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Academic Outreach

This MOU sets the scene for further collaboration between the PMI and Stenden University.  Already under consideration are guest lectures at the university by PMI Chapter members and for the PMI the join in on presentations and discussions at various hospitality industry conferences in 2018 in South Africa.

According to Jannes Haasbroek, it must be emphasised that when we look at project management in the hospitality sector, it does not only involve the ‘building of a hotel’.  The building project is but one project in a much bigger program or portfolio of projects, including the initial Feasibility Study, preparation of Impact and Environmental Assessments and final Operationalization and Hand-Over of the hotel.  The program approach is also not only limited to the new build scenario, but just as applicable to facility upgrades and usage change.  In managing programs of this scale all traditional project management knowledge areas are utilised, including Change Management, Stakeholder and Media Engagement.  Due to the nature of the hospitality industry and the fast pace at which it is moving, the outcome and target of the hotel opening is also in constant change, necessitating Project as well as Organisational Agility project management skills and techniques.

GETTING PM RIGHT IN CHANGING TIMES

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
President
PMI South Africa Chapter

REGISTER NOW FOR THE PM SUMMIT 2017!

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)MemberNon-MemberStudent
ConferenceR 950 R1 200 R350
DinnerR300 R 350 R150
Conference& DinnerR1 150R1 450 R450
PartnerR300 R350 R350
Non-Early BirdMemberNon-MemberStudent
ConferenceR1 200 R1 400 R450
DinnerR350 R400 R200
Conference& DinnerR1 450 R1 650 R600
PartnerR350 R400 R400

 

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