PMI-ACP Study Notes: Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset

PMI-ACP Study Notes: Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset

[NEW! For the 2015 July PMI-ACP® Exam syllabus] The PMI-ACP® Exam consists of 120 questions which can be categorised into seven domain. The first domain: Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset is the knowledge about “how to explore, embrace, and apply agile principles and mindset within the context of the project team and organization” (source: PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline).

Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset accounts for 16% of all questions in the PMI-ACP® Exam (i.e. ~19 questions among 120 PMI-ACP® Exam questions)

According to the PMI-ACP® Exam Content Outline, Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset consists of nine tasks:

  1. Act as an advocate for Agile principles with customers and the team to ensure a shared Agile mindset
  2. Create a common understanding of the values and principles of Agile through practising Agile practices and using Agile terminology effectively.
  3. Educate the organization and influence project and organizational processes, behaviors and people to support the change to Agile project management.
  4. Maintain highly visible information radiators about the progress of the projects to enhance transparency and trust.
  5. Make it safe to experiment and make mistakes so that everyone can benefit from empirical learning.
  6. Carry out experiments as needed to enhance creativity and discover efficient solutions.
  7. Collaborate with one another to enhance knowledge sharing as well as removing knowledge silos and bottlenecks.
  8. Establish a safe and respectful working environment to encourage emergent leadership throughself-organization and empowerment.
  9. Support and encourage team members to perform their best by being a servant leader.

PMI-ACP® Study Notes: Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset

Below is a collection of the key knowledge addressed in Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset and the nine tasks related to the domain:

  • Agile Manifesto and 12 Agile Manifesto Principles
    • Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools
    • Working software over Comprehensive documentation
    • Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation
    • Responding to change over Following a plan
  • Agile Project Management Fundamentals
    • Users Involvement
    • Team Empowerment
    • Fixed Time Box
    • Requirements at a High Level
    • Incremental Project Releases
    • Frequent Delivery
    • Finish Tasks One by One
    • Pareto Principle
    • Testing – Early and Frequent
    • Teamwork
  • Agile Methodologies
    • The following are the common Agile methodologies in practice these days, these are listed in order of importance for the PMI-ACP® Exam. An understanding of the process and terminologies of these Agile methodologies will help ensure Agile practices to be carried out effectively.
      • Scrum
      • XP (eXtreme Programming)
      • Kanban
      • LSD (Lean Software Development)
      • Crystal Family
      • FDD (Feature Driven Development)
      • ASD (Adaptive Software Development)
      • DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method) Atern
  • Information Radiators
    • Information radiators are highly visible charts and figures displaying project progress and status, e.g. Kanban boards, burn-down charts. These shows the real progress and performance of the project and team which enhances transparency and trust among team members and other stakeholders.
  • Agile Experimentations
    • Agile projects make use of empirical process control for project decisions, ongoing observation and experimentation are carried out during project execution to help and influence planning
    • Introduce spike (including architecture spike) to carry out a technical investigation to reduce risks by failing fast
  • Sharing of Knowledge
    • Ideally, Agile teams are best to be co-located (working within the same room with seats facing each other) to enhance pro-active support, free discussion, open collaboration and osmotic communication
    • Face-to-face communication is always encouraged
    • Practice pair programming if feasible
    • Make use of daily stand-up, review and retrospectives
    • Make use of Agile tooling to enhance sharing of knowledge:
      • Kanban boards
      • white boards
      • bulletin boards
      • burn-down/burn-up charts
      • wikis website
      • instant messaging – Skype, web conferencing, etc.
      • online planning poker
    • Since documentations are not encouraged, co-located teams can share tacit knowledge more readily
  • Self-organization and Empowerment
    • Self-organizing teams are the foundation for Agile project management
    • Self organization includes: team formation, work allocation (members are encouraged to take up works beyond their expertise), self management, self correction and determining how to work is considered “done”
    • Agile team is given the power to self-direct and self-organize by making and implementing decisions, including: work priority, time frames, etc. as they believe “the best person to make the decision is the one whose hands are actually doing the work”
    • In Agile projects, the project manager/Coach/ScrumMaster practice servant leadership to remove roadblocks and obstacles and to enable the team to perform best

Summary: Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset

This PMI-ACP® Exam Study notes covers the first domain: Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset of the new 2015 PMI-ACP® Exam syllabus. Domain I accounts for 16% (~19 questions) of all questions to be found on the PMI-ACP® Exam.

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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9 Responses

  1. Wafi says:

    Hi Edward,

    Thank you for another excellent piece of helpful resources.

    I have been reading the Head First PMI-ACP supplemental book in my preparation for the exam. What has confused me is I’m unable to connect your resources to Head First. Your notes are based on the six domains with limited reference to agile methodologies, while Head First specifically focusing on agile methodologies such as Scrum, XP, Kanban, etc. with almost no reference to domains, sub domains, and tasks.

    While both are great resources, I’m confused as to which one is more relevant to the exam. Any clarification would be appreciated.


    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Wafi,

      My notes are based on the PMI ACP exam outline while Head First is more on discussing the knowledge required as a whole for a more complete mental picture of Agile. So just integrate these and you are great to try out the exam.

      Wish you PMI-ACP success!

  2. Prashanth says:

    Hi Edward, Thanks for this site and information. Awesome work ! Can you please let me know if the sample questions for the exam can be found domain wise? i.e I wanted to test myself in Domain 1 , once I finish my reading domain 1 ?


    Hi, I’m appearing for my exam in weeks. Could you suggest me some websites or would you provide more details on this newly added domain- Domain I Agile Principles and Mindset?

  4. Asmi says:


    i have been referring to your website for getting familiar with ACP. I must say awesome work .When will you publish posts for Domain IV through VI?