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Topics: Agile
PMI-ACP vs PMP certifications
Hello all,
I'm new to this community, and just beginning my course work toward certification. For several reasons (my organization is transitioning to agile, project management is only part of my current role, and most of my projects are aligned with agile development squads) I had planned to focus on the PMI-ACP first. I'd appreciate input from those more familiar with the certifications on whether that approach makes sense, and the difference between PMI-ACP and PMP, and the required course work.

Thanks in advance.
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If you will compare PMI-ACP with PMP then -
- ACP is easy as scope is only limited to agile and you will be able to clear exam easily. But PMP cover all the aspects from scope, time , cost etc in detail.
- If we will talk about market value then PMP is more popular than PMI-ACP.

Personally i will also suggest gt ACP first and then PMP
I have both and PMI-PBA too. Both are totally diferent.My recomendation is take a look to the method your organization is using to run projects based on agile and go for it. For example, if your organization is using Scrum framework go for Scrum certifications. At the end, in my personal opinion, what matters to decide to invest time and effort to get a certification is future market demands. PMI-ACP is a generalistic certification for Agile environments. In my case I am Agile Project Trainer and Coach which includes AgilePM, AgilePgM, AgilePF, AgileBA certitications but all those are based on DSDM method so it is specific (similar to Scrum related certifications).
I am not PMI-ACP yet. So, I cannot comment on it. But, I am planning to get it in the next 4 months. I also heard that the exam is much simpler than a PMP exam.

As far as PMP is concerned, you need to have the discipline of preparation. Take at least 3-4 months of good preparation. It is one of the toughest exams.

Best of luck!
Chad -

Unless your company provides bonuses for achieving one or the other certification, the real value will come when you look to change jobs. If you want to focus in the agile space, then the ACP would be of greater value whereas if you feel you could manage projects with a traditional lifecycle then I'd start with the PMP.

I would agree the ACP is easier to attain, but it comes down to how soon you plan to "make a move" and what future roles you wish to target.


I agree with Kiron’s feedback but I would like to add that when you take the PMP exam, it is not fully based on traditional approach. In the 6th Edition, there are many highlights as to how you can do things in an agile approach but not heavily illustrated so you can benefit from both.

If you want pure agile, the ACP is the way to go.

Good Luck,

Thank you everyone, I appreciate the thoughtful feedback. It still seems to make the most sense to focus on the ACP first, but begin preparing for PMP and potentially more specific agile certifications (Scrum, most likely) as well.

Thank you again-- this was very helpful!
I transitioned to agile as I was preparing for my PMP- it was difficult trying to learn Agile on the job and study in the evening for PMP. I think you are making a good decision, work on your ACP first and then PMP. Best of luck!
As Rami said, Now PMP covers the agile aspects as well, but it is not the specialization in Agile. So you need to decide based on your job profile and career aspects.
When I was asked to manage my current project, I was asked if I had an agile certification. My reply was would you rather I was a project manager with project management certifications or agile certifications?
Should your decision be to get both PMP & ACP, then I would go with PMP first followed by ACP.

Hands-down, the PMP exam is more difficult and requires more prep time. But having the PMP means the 2000 hours requirement for the ACP is waived. Also, taking the required 21 contact hours for ACP credits you with PMP PDUs for your recertification. (I am unclear whether that is true for every course recognized by PMI for the 21 contact hours.)

The downside of doing PMP, then ACP is that the two-certification journey requires more time and energy. Prep time for PMP is likely to be at least 3 months followed by ACP which is likely to be a couple of months.

But if you are intending to stay in Project Management, having both certifications broadens your knowledge and may get you more mileage in your PM career path with your current or prospective employers.

Best wishes!

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