Transcript: 3 Ways to Improve Your Marketability as a PM Professional

This Video Transcript is from A StormWind VBlog post: 3 Ways to Improve Your Marketability

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Hello, everyone. My name is Ashley Hunt. I’m the Senior Project Management Instructor here at StormWind Studios. I wanted to spend just a couple of minutes talking about the Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner’s Certification Exam, and why is it so good for your marketability.

You might have heard some rumors that over time project management methodologies have had to adapt because we’re basically leaving what could be considered the industrial age and really entering into the technology age. Because of that, project management best practices absolutely have to adapt in order to accommodate that. Part of the reason why the Project Management Institute put out the PMI-ACP Certification is because it was trying to meet the goals of project managers and also to support with all sorts of project management best practices.

Whether we utilize Waterfall and incorporate some Agile into it, or vice versa, having the skillset of Agile project management going forward is considered to be one of the top five hottest skills right now in project management.

Now, what is the PMI-ACP? The thing about this is that when you hear the word agile, it’s actually a descriptor. It’s an umbrella statement over things like Scrum, XP, lean, Kanban, feature-driven development. Really there are a lot of different methodologies and frameworks and best practices that fall under that header of agile project management.

The Project Management Institute says, “We can’t just pick one and say, ‘This is the best way. Scrum’s the best.’ ”
What they did is they took all of the best practices and all of the frameworks and put them all together in one certification exam. It tests you on best practices that are found in multiple types of Agile environments. Basically because we’re now in the technology age, it’s good to have best practices and skillsets across multiple frameworks.

That does include waterfall or PMP as well an agile framework or methodology and the ability to really tailor that to push out the best deliverable that you possibly can as far as project management is concerned.

Now, the exam is 120 questions. It’s a three-hour exam, it’s pretty bulky. If you got your ScrumMaster certification or something similar, then you probably have a pretty good idea as to the agile frameworks and so on. But this is a big exam, it’s three hours long and so it’s definitely going to be something that you’ll have to study. Why is certification so important? For me, getting certifications is about proving that I understand the content or the best practices, but it goes above and beyond that. It’s more now having that ability to be able to shift and be agile with multiple modalities, different frameworks, best practices, and tailor that approach in order to produce the right thing and also to produce it correctly. To do it right.

That combo approach of Waterfall and Agile tailoring is the next big thing. It’s becoming more and more necessary for all industries globally. It’s not just for software anymore. There’s a greater need for multiple modalities based on unique project specs. If an organization is installing massive server systems or they’re building a data center, that might be better served with a Waterfall project management approach, whereas if you’re developing software for a customer, then that might be better suited with a more Agile approach. Then, of course, you have hybrid projects that might benefit from both.

Getting certified in this will improve your marketability. It’s really just proof that not only do you understand multiple modalities and frameworks, like Scrum, XP Extreme Programming, Lean, and Kanban, but it’s also proof that you seek the ability to be able to tailor your approach to your project’s needs. This overall is going to save your organization time and money. Think about it this way, there are only currently 8,000-plus Project Management Institute ACP certified Agile practitioners in the world. If you jump on this now, you will be not only ahead of the curve, but you’ll be ahead of the need.

Now you’ve got that proof in your pocket that says, “I understand all of these things. I understand them well enough to pass an exam. I’m now certified,” thereby improving and increasing your marketability across the board. If you already have your PMP and you get your ACP, you basically have the two most popular non-technical certifications in the world. That in and of itself improves your marketability. I highly suggest you out to and check out the PMI-ACP or Agile Certified Practitioner Exam requirements and if it’s something that you think you can do, definitely let us know because we have an exam prep class. Not just for Agile, but also for PMP. Hope to see you there.