PMI-ACP Knowledge And Skills: Level 2


PMI-ACP Knowledge And Skills: Level 2

[PMI-ACP® Exam Study Notes] Level 2 PMI-ACP® Knowledge And Skills group is one of the three Knowledge and Skills groups for the PMI-ACP® exam. The “Knowledge And Skills” accounts for a total of 50% of all the questions to be found on the exam paper. According to the PMI-ACP® exam content outline, Level 2 Knowledge and Skills includes 12 knowledge / skills.

PMI-ACP® Exam Importance: around 14 questions (~12% of all questions)

PMI-ACP® Exam : Level 2 Knowledge And Skills

  • 12 knowledge / skills (Level 2) for the PMI-ACP® Exam with around 0-2 questions on each knowledge / skills (in alphabetical order):
    • Agile frameworks and terminology
      • SCRUM
        • meetings: Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, Daily Scrum
        • roles: Product Owner (i/c product backlog), Scrum Master, Members (Developers)
        • artifacts: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burn-down Charts
        • characteristics: everything time-boxed, short sprint (= iteration) around 2-4 weeks, self-managing team, potentially shippable increments
      • Extreme Programming (XP)
        • meetings: Release Planning, Iteration Planning, Daily Stand Up
        • roles: Tracker, Customer, Programmer, Coach, Manager, Tester
        • artifacts: Vision, User Story, Customer Test, Release Plan, Metaphor (System of Names), Iteration Plan, Coding Standard, Unit Test, Production Code, Build
        • valuessimplicity, communication, feedback, courage
        • key practices: planning game, small releases, customer acceptance tests, simple design, pair programming, test-driven development, refactoring, continuous integration, collective code ownership, coding standards, system metaphor and sustainable pace
        • characteristics: disciplined, frequent interval around 1-3 weeks, for software only
      • Lean Software Development
        • artifacts: Kanban Board
        • principles: eliminating waste, amplifying learning (continuous improvement), deferring commitment, delivering fast, respecting people / empowering the team, building quality in, optimizing the whole
        • characteristics: focus on value stream, just-in-time, work-in-process (WIP) limits
      • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
        • for planning, managing, executing, and scaling agile and iterative software development projects
        • “fitness for business purpose” as the primary criteria for delivery and acceptance
        • 80% of the system that can be deployed in 20% of the time
      • Feature Driven Development (FDD)
        • model-driven, short iterations, design by feature – build by feature, features need to be “useful in the eyes of the client”
      • Crystal
        • lightweight, adaptable, a family of methodologies to be tailored based on team size, system criticality and project priorities
    • Building high-performance teams
      • a team is “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable” ~Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith
      • establish the team – vision, mission, values, goals, ground rules
      • maximize performance by
        • clear and realistic goals
        • building trust
        • open and honest communication – even in case of disputes or conflicts
        • taking ownership, empowered, self-organizing
        • coaching and mentoring
        • choose teammates with complementary skills to perform all tasks
        • sense of belonging (identity)
        • limiting each team to have 12 members or below, break down the team if needed
        • make decisions through consensus (participatory decision model)
        • full-time, dedicated members
      • low performing teams are:
        • absence of trust
        • fear of conflict
        • lack of commitment
        • avoidance of accountability
        • inattention to results
    • Business case development
      • to justify the project for the resources and capital investment
      • includes: high-level requirements, resource needs, funding sources, timeline, risks and opportunities, expected returns (early benefits realization opportunities), assumptions and recommendations, etc.
      • states values in terms of IRR, ROI, NPV, etc.
    • Co-location (geographic proximity)/distributed teams
      • co-location: ideal for team communication and performance
        • Caves and common
          • caves – private spaces for private calls or quiet time
          • common – the common space to work together
        • Osmotic Communication
          • pick up on things unintentionally through overhearing others’ conversations
        • Tacit Knowledge
          • tacit knowledge is unwritten collective group knowledge
          • since documentations are not encouraged, co-located teams can share tacit knowledge more readily
      • distributed teams:
        • distributed teams making use of Agile project management have greater chance of success owing to the nature of Agile projects (e.g. close collaboration, short iterations)
        • meet in person face-to-face at least at the kick-off of the project (better also for the first and second iterations)
        • tools that helps communication
          • make use of video conferencing (webcams)
          • interactive whiteboards
          • web-based collaboration
          • pull-based information sharing websites (wikis)
          • instant messaging / chat for effective communication
        • maintain a metaphor of the project / goal
        • intensify facilitation through asking more questions, repeating others’ views, etc.
    • Continuous improvement processes
      • processes are continually evaluated (with feedback from process/team) and improved for performance / value gains (to reduce wastes)
      • an ongoing approach to enhance project output / approach
        • continuous process improvement – plan, develop, evaluate, learn
        • continuous product improvement – review and improve the product incrementally
      • responsible by the whole team
    • Elements of a project charter for an Agile project
      • the 1st document for the project
      • a formal document to authorize the official kickoff of the project with barely sufficient information
        • Background, objectives, vision (why) and mission (what), stakeholders of the project
        • Preliminary direction, scope
        • High-level budget, timeline
        • High-level risk and constraints
        • Communication plan
        • Success criteria
      • Agile charters address more about the “How” instead of “What” of the project
      • can make use of the Project Elevator Statement
        • For – (target customers)
        • who – (need to do what)
        • , the – (product / service)
        • is a – (product category)
        • that – (key benefits)
        • . Unlike – (competitive products)
        • , we – (primary differentiation)
      • progressive elaborated
    • Facilitation methods
      • used to run effective workshops and meetings
      • need to establish goals, rules, timing and assist all participants to have equal opportunities to voice their opinion
    • Participatory decision models
      • encourage / empower team members to participate in organizational decision-making process
      • trying to reach a consensus rather than imposing a top-down decision
      • Agile encourages team / stakeholder participation in decision making by
        • simple voting
        • thumbs up / down / sideways
        • Jim Highsmith’s Decision Spectrum – express feeling of a decision on a spectrum ranging from “in favour”, “OK with reservation” to “veto” to help them express their concerns / feelings
        • fist-of-five voting – give 1 to 5 fingers (1 – totally support, 5 – object completely)
    • PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
      • emphasizes on responsibility, respect, fairness and honesty
      • around 1 – 2 questions on the PMI-ACP® Exam
    • Process analysis techniques
      • a process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to turn certain inputs into particular outputs
      • process analysis is to closely study the process actions to improve performance and eliminate wastes and bottlenecks by making use of process mapping tools
        • closely related to process tailoring and principles of system thinking
    • Self assessment
      • self assessment is the continuous improvement process on the people (individual and team)
      • through self assessment, rooms for improvement are identified and action plans are created to implement them
        • Tabaka’s model for high-performing team
          • self-organization
          • empowered to make decision
          • belief in vision and success
          • committed team
          • trust each other
          • participatory decision making
          • consensus-driven
          • construction disagreement
    • Value-based analysis

Summary: PMI-ACP® Exam Level 2 Knowledge And Skills

This PMI-ACP® Exam Study notes covers 12 knowledge and skills from the Level 2 group of Knowledge and Skills for the PMI-ACP® exam syllabus. This group is less important for the PMI-ACP® exam as it accounts for 12% of all the exam questions. Agile frameworks and terminology should be the emphasis here.

 

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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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