A bit of googling and asking around tells you that Mike Griffiths’ book PMI-ACP® Exam Prep is the best study guide for the exam.
In fact, it’s endorsed by no less an expert than “Agile Manifesto” coauthor Alistair Cockburn, who says, “I hope that everyone reads it, not just to pass the PMI-ACP® exam, but to learn agile development safely and effectively.”But wait, you already know agile. You want a practical guide to the main points covered on the exam rather than a comprehensive agile exam prep book.
To address this need, Mike has created the PMI-ACP® Workbook—a focused study guide for the 50 key topics that experienced agile practitioners should know to be prepared for the exam.
You may already have an in-depth understanding of Scrum, or another version of agile. But that isn’t what you need to pass the exam. Project Management Institute (PMI)® expects you to understand generic agile, including a wide range of concepts, practices, and terms that even a master agilist may not know.
Mike designed this book from an agile perspective to allow people to efficiently focus on what they need to learn. He says, “Where PMI-ACP® Exam Prep is like a guided hike through the country, this book is like a workout program.”
What is that workout program? For each topic, Mike provides a definition, a clear explanation of what you need to know for the exam, a review exercise, and three situational quiz questions. These “application” questions mimic the types of questions you’ll see on the actual exam, and they are also available in an online quiz as well as the printed workbook.
The introduction to the workbook includes a backlog and task board to design your own study plan using the personal Kanban approach. This allows you to quickly identify your gaps and study only the topics you need to pass the exam. The book’s modular format is designed for progressive iterations that fit the timebox available for your study time.
So which of Mike’s books should you use to prepare for the PMI-ACP® exam?
In his introduction to the workbook, Mike draws a distinction between the “why” and the “what and how” of agile. Most experienced agilists already understand the “why”—the agile mindset, values, and principles—such as value-driven delivery, progressive elaboration, and barely sufficient documentation. But you may also need some “what and how” preparation, since the exam will probably cover unfamiliar practices and methods. In this scenario, the PMI-ACP® Workbook should be sufficient to pass the exam.
However, for those who are looking for a deep dive into the “why” as well as the “what and how” of agile, Mike’s original book PMI-ACP® Exam Prep is still the best guide. It provides a comprehensive exposure to all the aspects of agile that might come up on the exam.
The workbook can also be a great supplemental study resource for the PMI-ACP® Exam Prep book, since it provides additional hands-on exercises and scenario questions to reinforce the most important exam topics.
Today, we estimate that over 500,000 people have Scrum certifications—and of course many more agile practitioners aren’t certified, or use other approaches. However, only about 14,000 people have obtained PMI-ACP certification so far.
If you’re one of the many agilists who have been intending to get certified by PMI, Mike’s new workbook is another reason to get started!