A few weeks ago I applied to take PMI’s new PMI-ACP exam – the Agile Certified Practitioner. I was initially reluctant to sit for this exam because – I knew it was going to take time to file, to skim the required reading (I’ve already read most of the books suggested), and to actually take the test – see the FAQ. I also have so many interesting and exciting change initiatives and coaching learning opportunities currently underway … so where will I find the time?
And as soon as I pressed the submit button on my application, boom, I received email that I was one of the lucky (unlucky) random foks to get audited. Really it’s fine, I have tons of the required experience and classes. It was more of a sense of – bummer – this is going to eat up even more time.
A) The transcript was easy – MBA– no problem, they deliver electronically! Go USC!
B) Work experience in Agile – no problem… thank you EFI and my wonderful manager for the opportunity!
C) The Agile Related Education – oh man. This was harder that I imagined.
You see, much of my Agile education has been either in-house or in Open Space with some fabulous consultants, like Tobias Mayer, and Chris Sims. My first great learning experience was working along side Jesse Fewell, Pat Reed, Brian Buzzuto, and others on the original PMI-Agile PB Wiki – this was even before there was an official Community of Practice. I am also a trained “Innovation Games® facilitator – great tools to facilitate agile collaboration and the best tool for hosting online retrospectives with virtual/remote teams! I have also learned so many great agile lessons from the Agile Open Northern California open space — for several years in a row with Ainsley Nies, David Chilcott, and many other amazing folks. And then there was the first open space that I actually shared at – the PMI San Francisco Open Space – exploring the Agile Way. I love open space events – great hands on learning! My first more formal training – with certificate – was a Product Owner class with Chris Sims and Steve Bockman – called The Agile Product Manager’s Guide to the Galaxy – hmmm was this going to apply? And I have also participated in and hosted Agile tracks at PMI symposiums.
So I started emailing all my teachers above…only to learn that the events above probably don’t count towards the Agile Related Education. Uh Oh. Now what?
Fortunately I realized that through an interesting twist I did actually have my CSM – by chance! (that is a story for another day). Great – I thought – that should be two days of the training requirement. Alas I went to the scrum alliance site and could not find the letter proving that I had in fact taken the CSM training – no proof of attendance. Now I was on a mission, if I had to be audited, at least I would help others who are a audited later…by sharing my learning. I happily emailed scum alliance support and asked for the letter of attendance. And they quickly replied – “Thank you for contacting. You will need to get this letter from the actual trainer. Do you still have their contact information? If you give me the name, I can provide it to you. “… Wow – this was getting frustrating. At least I knew how to contact Tobias Mayer! Who quickly sent me the needed letter!
Then a colleague pointed out that in fact there is a way to print a certificate of CSM on the scrum alliance site. Ironically I could not “find” the button to create this certificate until he sent his email – I re-checked my screenshots. The font on the “generate certificate” button is really small. And my eyesight is not improving here with age! I am glad that there is a place to generate the certificate.
By then, reviewing the list of books for the exam study – I also realized that Lyssa Adkins’ Coaching Agile Teams class would also count! Hurray! And I also had just taken The Coaching Stance class with the Agile Coaching Institute. Now my audit folder contained an embarrassment of riches. Lots of “extras” just in case. Letter from many Agile friends and trainers. We sent in the whole lot of letters and certificates… and voila – I have passed the audit.
So lesson here – just ask the Agile trainers for a letter of completion listing dates and learning goals at the time that you attend that class. Keep a copy in a safe place – electronic – pdf is fine. And wear glasses when checking the scrum alliance site for your certificate – it’s there somewhere!
Good luck with your exam!