PMI Releases Agile Certification Examination Outline

PMI has released the examination outline for their still unnamed Agile project management certification, as well as a list of ten reference texts “that candidates may find helpful when preparing for the Agile examination.”  The exam will consist of 100 scored and 20 unscored items, randomly distributed throughout the exam, as is PMI’s custom.  Questions are to be evenly split between Agile tools and techniques, and Agile knowledge and skills.  The tools and techniques have been organized into ten areas.  In order of relative importance, they include:

  • Communications
  • Planning, monitoring, and adapting
  • Agile estimation
  • Agile analysis and design
  • Product quality
  • Soft skills negotiation
  • Value-based prioritization
  • Risk management
  • Metrics
  • Value stream analysis

PMI has grouped 43 knowledge and skills areas into three levels.  Those in Level 1 will comprise 33% of the questions on the exam; those in Level 2 will comprise 12%; and those in Level 3 will comprise 5% of the questions.  Since there are 13 items in Level 3, we can safely assume that not all areas will be tested on any given exam.

Though it won’t be a part of the exam, PMI has identified 56 tasks under six major domains of practice, including:

  • Domain I: Value-driven Delivery (15 tasks)
  • Domain II: Stakeholder Engagement (7 tasks)
  • Domain III: Boosting Team Performance Practices (12 tasks)
  • Domain IV: Adaptive Planning (9 tasks)
  • Domain V: Problem Detection and Resolution (5 tasks)
  • Domain VI: Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People) (8 tasks)

Based on the announcement of the list of tasks and domains, it seems PMI is headed toward the Agile PM body of knowledge document many of us have been looking for.  However, describing the content in terms of tasks, rather than processes, is obviously a different approach from the current edition of the PMBOK, or the practice standards.

I’ve created a page in the IT PM Bookstore for the listed Agile reference texts.  Most are available in both paperback and Kindle format.  If you’ve read any of them, please drop a comment with a review, and I’ll add it to the description.

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About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty five years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including SaaS solutions like Workday and premises-based ERP solutions like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. In addition to his articles and blog posts, he curates a weekly roundup of articles on project management, and he has authored or contributed to several books on project management.

2 thoughts on “PMI Releases Agile Certification Examination Outline

  1. That Agile PMi certification looks interesting and i’m looking forward to get ready. Was looking at the PMBOK,it is way more comprehensive that the outline for the Agile PMI Cert. Wondering
    (1)if you can take Agile PMI cert without being PMP certified?
    (2)I tried, but can’t find more details about the content/knowledge requirements for the Agile Cert – do you know if more details have been circulated


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