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Topics: Agile, Consulting, Education
You Passed the ACP Exam, So What?

It's no secret that having consultants with Agile experience is in-demand today, and as a consultant, passing the PMI-ACP exam seems to be a great way to formally prove one's understanding of Agile. Upon passing the exam, what next? Meaning, what's the most realistic way to help a potential client achieve their goal(s)? Can someone who passed the PMI-ACP exam get staffed on a project in any Agile framework, plug in as a Product Owner or Scrum Master and thrive? Or does the PMI-ACP best apply to a role like a Delivery Lead or even an Agile Coach? Maybe it's leading an Agile Transformation? I could be missing a bunch of possibilities, and maybe the answer is "all of the above", but I haven't found anything useful yet for this question.

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The ACP exam does not target a specific role but rather just proves that you've had some agile experience (could have been as a team member) and understand agile fundamentals.

Just as the PMP won't make you an effective PM, the ACP (or any other credential) won't make you an effective agilist.
You pursued the credential because...
1)'s included in job postings and will give you a competitive edge over job candidates who don't have it
2) did some research and realize that, while it is not in demand today, the potential is growing; there is some risk, but you think it is worth it
3) was a personal goal
4) heard about it and bought the sales pitch, but didn't do any research into its value. Oops. Maybe you'll get lucky.

Credentials don't help clients achieve their goals, unless their goal is to have certified consultants. The best way to help a client achieve their goals is to:

- understand their goals
- understand their business
- understand their opportunities and obstacles
- understand the reality of their situation
...and so on. There are multiple variables involved. Certification solves none of them.

What you've done, how well you've done it, what you know, and who you know are better indicators of whether or not you will get a position.

If you can't describe the value you expect to get from achieving a credential, you should NOT pursue it.

If you've achieved a credential and still can't describe the value it provides, it could be a problem with the credential, the job market, or how you've positioned yourself.
The answer is simple. When you look at jobs for Agile personnel, what do they ask for? Increasingly it is the PMI-ACP, sometimes the AgilePM and others. This will only increase. Experience + qualifications = better chance of landing the job. Experience always wins over qualifications, but both is better than just one.

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