I am very pleased to announce the opening of the Agile Project Management Academy! The Agile Project Management Academy is an online school that is dedicated to helping project managers and other students learn how to successfully integrate Agile and traditional plan-driven project management principles and practices in the right proportions to fit any situation and to develop a very high impact and adaptive project management approach that provides the best of those two worlds.
You can enroll in the Agile Project Management Academy at no charge by clicking this link. There is no obligation to purchase a course if you enroll in the school and enrolling in the school will keep you informed of new courses and discount offers that become available. You can also enroll in either of these two free courses to try it out with no obligation:
Any of my Udemy students will recognize the courses in the Agile Project Management Academy as courses that have been offered on Udemy that have drawn over 10,000 students and over 300 5-star reviews. I will continue to offer these courses on Udemy; however, offering these courses through the Agile Project Management Academy creates some new opportunities that were not available on the Udemy platform. The new platform provides:
- A dedicated focus on Agile Project Management that will help students realize the full benefits of these courses in a much more integrated environment
- More ways for students to take courses including bundled discounts and subscriptions
- Much more capabilities for direct communication with students to create a more interactive learning experience
- The ability to integrate courses from other providers with my own courses to provide a more complete learning experience
- Better and more timely support for students
I hope you enjoy this new capability! I am very excited to make it available! Enrollment in the school is free and anyone who registers in the school will receive email updates of new courses as well as enhancements to existing courses. You can enroll in the school at no charge here:
Agile Project Management Academy
You can find a summary of the courses that are offered as well as some discount coupons for all of the courses here:
Course Summaries and Discount Coupons
Please send me an email if you have any questions or comments on this new capability:
Send email to Chuck
For any student who has previously purchased one of my courses through Udemy, I will be happy to provide access to the equivalent course in the new Agile Project Management Academy at no charge. If you would like to take advantage of that offer, just send me an email.
The New PMI PDU System has raised a number of questions. As many people may know, PMI has recently announced some significant changes in the process for claiming and reporting PDU’s. This new change went into effect on December 1, 2015. With this new change, PDU’s need to be split into three different categories:
- Strategic & Business Management
In addition, each major certification (e.g., PMP, PMI-ACP) requires you to achieve a certain number of PDU’s in each of these categories in order to renew your certification (Total number of PDU’s is no longer sufficient).
I applaud this change. It is going in absolutely the right direction to elevate the project management profession and is very much in line with the direction I’ve been developing in my own courses. The thinking behind this change is that a project manager can no longer be just a technical administrator who manages project plans and schedules and that sort of thing. The essence of this change is that, in addition to that kind of technical project management role, a project manager must also have:
- Strong leadership skills (not just simply coordinate resources from a variety of functional departments) and
- Be able to play a value-added role that connects projects with driving strategic business goals (not just simply meeting project requirements and controlling budgets and schedules)
It’s very apparent to me that we are in the midst of a major transformation of the whole project management profession and you can see this clearly with Agile:
- The role of a project manager at the team level in a true Agile environment does not exist anymore in many environments, and
- If there is a role for a project manager, at all, in an Agile environment, it is a very different kind of role and may be at a higher level that requires strong people leadership skills as well as the ability to help define a project management approach that is well-aligned with the company’s business
These are exactly the challenges I have tried to address in all of my courses to help the project management profession move in this direction! All of my courses are eligible for PDU’s and you can find more information on all of my courses at the following location:
I recently published an article on “Preparing for the PMI-ACP® Exam“. I want to expand on that article in the broader context of: What is the “Agile Project Management Roadmap” for a Project Manager with little or no Agile experience to become a well-qualified Agile Project Manager and where does PMI-ACP® certification fit into that process? Here’s a simplified, high-level diagram that shows what I think that process looks like and how the online training I’ve developed fits into that “road map”:
Here’s some notes on this “road map”
- It’s important to recognize that the typical Project Manager who has little or no Agile experience can’t just go out and take the PMI-ACP certification exam (even if they took at least 21 hours of training first), you need at least 1,500 hours of experience in an Agile environment to qualify to take the exam
- In order to get 1,500 hours experience in an Agile environment, you need some knowledge to be able to perform that role. That’s the primary need that my current online training courses fill. Those courses provide an excellent foundation and an equivalent level of knowledge for most of the topics required for PMI-ACP but it’s more focused on preparing someone to assume a real-world role rather than “exam prep” training
- After you get the 1,500 hours of experience, you need to take an exam-prep course before you can take the PMI-ACP® exam. A total of at least 21 hours of training is required to qualify to take the exam. My courses, as they exist now, will satisfy about 7.5 hours of this requirement
- Finally, it’s important to recognize that getting PMI-ACP® certification doesn’t immediately give someone the skills to get a job. PMI-ACP® certification is a test of general Agile knowledge and is not oriented around qualifying someone to perform a particular role. This is a very controversial topic; but, in general, there is no role for an Agile Project Manager at the team level in an Agile environment, the typical role for an Agile Project Manager would be at a higher enterprise level and PMI-ACP® definitely does not prepare someone for that role. That’s requires additional training beyond the level of PMI-ACP® certification and that’s the need my Advanced Agile PM Training course are designed to satisfy.
It’s very important to recognize that Agile will precipitate a dramatic transformation of the Project Management profession as we know it today and PMI-ACP® certification is a good step in the right direction but I think most people will agree that it’s just a test of general Agile knowledge and doesn’t go far enough to prepare project managers for a specific Agile Project Management role and to address the real challenge that many project managers face of “How do I blend Agile and traditional Project Management” principles and practices in the right proportions to fit a given situation?”
I recently participated in a forum on PMI-ACP® when someone asked “What’s Next After PMI-ACP?”. I thought it was an interesting discussion and is worth elaborating on further. I believe that the individual who asked the question was wondering what new certifications PMI is going to come out with for people who have a PMI-ACP certificattion and are interested in continuing to advance their knowledge and career in that direction.
It’s a perfectly understandable question but, unfortunately, the answer may not be what you might want to hear. It raises a much larger question of what’s an “Agile Project Manager”? and what’s the career path for someone who has a project management background and is interested in developing into an Agile Project Management role? Many project managers have been thinking that PMI-ACP® would open up a new career path into Agile and it’s just a matter of getting another certification to move further, but I don’t believe that to be the case for a couple of reasons:
- The role of an “Agile Project Manager” is not well-defined and is also somewhat controversial at this point in time. it’s very difficult to certify someone to have those skills when they are not well defined and contentious.
- The PMI-ACP® certification tests general knowledge about Agile and Lean and is not designed around a specific role like the CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification is.
- Agile is much more heavily based on “tacit” knowledge versus “explicit” knowledge. It requires a lot more judgment and it’s not something that you can easily codify in a document like PMBOK that you can test and certify people against. For that reason, even if the idea of an “Agile Project Manager” was more well-understood, it still might be very difficult to develop a certification exam to test that someone really has the skills to fill that role.
The PMI-ACP certification is a great step in the right direction by PMI to try to close the gap between traditional plan-driven project management and Agile but it just doesn’t go far enough and it also leaves open some very large questions that any project manager who is interested in Agile would naturally want to have answered about what their career path is. Agile is rapidly changing the whole “ball game” for project managers and it’s very understandable that project managers have questions about what their career direction is.
The truth is that any project manager who has a PMI-ACP® certification who wants to further develop into an Agile Project Management role has to be somewhat of a “pioneer” to lead the way for other project managers at this point in time. It can be a difficult transformation, it’s certainly not a matter of just getting another certification, and the ultimate role you wind up in may be very different from a conventional notion of what “project management” is. You have to be a real self-starter to start out on that journey but I think it’s a survival issue for many people in the project management profession to move in that direction.
I am passionate about helping project managers move in this direction and I’ve developed some training courses to help. Check out this video for a summary of the training courses I’ve developed and how I think they help people make this transformation:
What’s Next Beyond PMI-ACP®?
This is a difficult problem but I believe that this is critical to the future of the project management profession and I’m determined to help project managers make this transformation. You can find more detailed information on any of my training courses here:
Agile Project Management Training Course Details