What Is PMI-ACP? Eligibility Requirements And Syllabus

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What is PMI-ACP

ACP stands for Agile Certified Practitioner. Project Management Institute (PMI) provides this certification to those who pass the PMI-ACP exam. ACP Certification claims a high degree of professionalism in Agile projects as well as Agile tools and fundamentals.

Agile is a monotonous approach that ensures that project deliverables are delivered to the customer in small chunks rather than delivering the whole project by the end. It is the best approach to make the project efficient. Thus, Agile Certified Practitioner is an Agile expert, and this certification is in demand worldwide.

To get that, it is important to take the PMI-ACP exam. For that, you must know the eligibility requirements and syllabus. To make it all comprehensive, we have elaborated it below for you:

Eligibility Requirements

It is important to meet the eligibility requirements to apply and sit in the exam. The eligibility requirements for PMI-ACP are:

Academic Education

You must have a secondary degree to apply for the PMI-ACP exam. The name of institution, the graduation year and your major are the required academic details.

General Project Experience

As for general project experience, 2000 hours of professional experience on a project team in the past 5 years must have been earned.

Agile Project Experience

For Agile experience, 1500 hours of professional experience on a project team in the past 3 years must have been earned.

You must keep in mind that agile experience hours are in addition to general experience hours. They need to be separately completed and not as a part of general experience.

Training Hours

A total of 21 contact hours training is required in Agile Project Management Education. The Agile training topics should cover agile manifesto, methodologies, principles, tools, and practices. The training certification must be from a PMI approved project management education source.

Make sure you fulfill all of these eligibility requirements before applying for the PMI-ACP exam.

Breakdown Of Questions For PMI-ACP Exam

When it comes to the exam, you need to know the breakdown of questions. It helps you focus on the areas that will help you achieve maximum marks. The breakdown of questions for PMI-ACP exam is as follows:

Total number of questions: 120

Pre-test questions: 20 (these do not contribute to the final score)

Other 100 questions are from the domains of PMI-ACP as discussed below.

Type of questions: Multiple Choice, one answer out of four will be correct

Total time: 3 hours

Exam attempt: Computer-based

7 Domains Of Practices For PMI-ACP Exam

The whole PMI-ACP exam questions are based on the 7 domains of practices for PMI-ACP exams as per the examination content outline issued by PMI. These domains take into account all the important tasks that must be completed to surpass the domain. The seven domains are:

1. Domain I: Agile Principles And Mindset

Domain I: Agile Principles and Mindset makes up 16% of the PMI-ACP exam. It deals with the implementation of Agile manifesto and setting up of project goals and objectives accordingly.

As per the PMI-ACP Examination Content Outline, the nine tasks for this domain are:

  • Ensure a shared agile mindset and work as an advocate between your customers and your team.
  • Practice Agile practices and use agile terminologies to create a common understanding of values and principles of agile as per agile manifesto.
  • Ensure that your team welcomes any change to agile project management. Educate and influence your team and organization for this very purpose.
  • The information regarding project performance must be clear and on time to enhance trust and transparency.
  • Allow everyone to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment.
  • Conduct experiments to enhance creativity and come up with the best possible manner for any task/problem.
  • Interact and collaborate to share knowledge and resolve problems and confusions.
  • Practice self-organization and empowerment to create a healthy working environment.
  • Be a servant leader who encourages and supports his team to put in their best.

You need to have complete knowledge of the tools and techniques to implement these tasks.

2. Domain II: Value-Driven Theory

Domain II: Value-driven theory makes 20% of the PMI-ACP exam. It is related to the maximization of project value by controlling the risks and prioritizing project activities. It includes 14 tasks which are divided into four sub-domains:

  • Define Positive Value
  • Deliver project work in sprints to gain competitive advantage.
  • Maximize the value of the work delivered to stakeholders and minimize the non-value tasks.
  • Agree upon certain criteria of the acceptance of deliverables with the stakeholders.
  • Refine project processes that conform to the team experience and the organization’s preferences.
  • Control Risk
  • Use concepts like minimally marketable features (MMF) and minimally viable products (MVP) to get project deliverables on track.
  • Get feedback from stakeholders to not repeat the mistakes.
  • Carry out experiments and implement techniques early on to reduce potential risks.
  • Prioritization
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to identify the priorities early on to add value to your work.
  • Keep reviewing backlog with stakeholders for value delivery optimization.
  • Create a backlog that includes priorities regarding value producing and risk-reducing work in order to balance value and non-value (risks).
  • Review and prioritize the parameters that are likely to reduce the chances of failure, such as security, operation, etc. 
  • Incremental Development
  • Develop the product incrementally.
  • Do inspections, testing, and reviews with stakeholders on time to get feedback and correct the mistakes.
  • By the end of this process, retrospect overall improvements that need to be done to the project.

3. Domain III: Stakeholder Engagement

Domain III: Stakeholder Engagement constitutes 17% of PMI-ACP exam. This domain is all about engaging stakeholder in the project to understand his needs and produce the best results. It includes nine tasks that are grouped into three sub-domains:

  • Understand Stakeholder Needs
  • Identify the key stakeholders at every point in the project to understand their needs and expectations.
  • Knowledge sharing and active listening must be done to engage stakeholders throughout the project.
  • Ensure Stakeholder Involvement
  • Build working relationships with stakeholders to ensure and enhance collaboration.
  • Update project stakeholders with project performance to engage them appropriately.
  • Make decisions and resolve conflicts in a group with stakeholders to maintain a good relationship with them.
  • Manage Stakeholder Expectations
  • Use project vision and objectives to create a shared vision of different aspects such as project deliverables, iterations, and releases that conform to stakeholder’s expectations.
  • Get to a consensus regarding acceptance criteria of project deliverables/reports mutually.
  • Update stakeholders with key information to ensure transparency.
  • Share detailed project forecast with stakeholders for effective planning.

4. Domain IV: Team Performance

Domain IV: Team Performance relates to human resource management. It deals with tasks to hire and manage your team to produce positive project results. This domain constitutes 9 tasks that are grouped into 3 sub-domains:

  • Team Formation
  • Establish ground rules and create a shared goal of the team to strengthen teamwork.
  • Hire a team in which members acquire all the necessary skills to perform their tasks and deliver intended outcomes and value of the work.
  • Team Empowerment
  • Create a team in which members are generalized specialists and can perform cross-functional tasks.
  • Empower team members to share their ideas and take decisions to enhance teamwork. This creates a self-organizing team.
  • Understand who is a motivator and who is a demotivator in your team to enhance their morale accordingly.
  • Team Collaboration and Commitment
  • Enhance communication by using collaboration tools and colocation. This increases collaboration within the team as well as with the project stakeholders.
  • Protect the team for external pressure and distractions to maximize their performance.
  • Align the goals of the project and team members with the shared project vision.
  • Track work performances in previous tasks of each team member to measure team velocity. This helps in creating a more accurate project forecast.

5. Domain V: Adaptive Planning

Domain V: Adaptive Planning is all about execution of the project by considering the evolving plan for the project which includes goals, values, risks, constraints, stakeholder feedback and general assessment reports from the start till the end of the project. This domains ensures holding on to the project plans and then come up with solutions to the problems as well as improvements.

This domain constitutes 12% of the PMI-ACP exam. It has 10 tasks that are further categorized into 3 sub-domains. These are:

  • Levels of Planning
  • Planning of Agile projects is done at multiple levels such as strategic planning, release, iteration, and daily planning by using rolling wave planning and progressive elaboration. This adds flexibility and adaptability to the project.
  • Make sure to add stakeholders in the planning process for clear communication. This helps come up with planning results and improved commitments.
  • Manage stakeholder expectations by updating them with all the required information regarding project deliverables.
  • Adaptation
  • Keep on reviewing the project performance and allow periodic retrospectives to ensure adaptation of the planning process.
  • Adapt the project plan as per the changes in project requirements, stakeholder’s needs, priorities, feedbacks, and organizational/environmental factors.
  • Agile Sizing and Estimation
  • Progressive elaboration must be done to deduce project efforts accurately.
  • Improve team capacity to enhance maintenance and meet all the operations demands.
  • Make initial rough estimate ranges on scope, schedule, and project cost at the very start of the project that is based on project requirements. This ensures a kick start of the project.
  • These initial estimates must be refined to come up with accurate figures according to the latest understanding and performance of the project.
  • As the project parameters such as team velocity or scope change, estimates must be updated accordingly and continually.

6. Domain VI: Problem Detection And Resolution

Domain VI: Problem Detection and Resolution deals with the continuous identification of the problems and potential risks. It is about prioritizing and properly resolving these issues in time. It helps in monitoring and communicating these problems to implement timely improvements and make sure they do not occur again and again.

This domain constitutes 10% of PMI-ACP exam. Its 5 tasks are:

  • Allow for experiments and encourage interaction and communication for identification of any issue beforehand that might risk maximal value delivery.
  • Engage the whole team to discover and solve these challenges and constraints.
  • Issues must be handled by skilled team members. Engage stakeholders if team alone is not able to resolve any issue.
  • Maintain a list of prioritized threats and risks as per the current status and ensure transparency.
  • Add resolution activities to the backlog for future reference.

7. Domain VII: Continuous Improvement (People, Processes, And Products)

Domain VII: Continuous Improvements is all about improving the quality, value, and effectiveness of the team, work, and project deliverables. This domain accounts for 9% of the PMI-ACP exam. Its 6 tasks include:

  • Review products and processes time by time; see if there is a need for improvement.
  • Do repeated experiments and retrospectives for team improvement.
  • Get feedback from stakeholders to enhance the value of processes and products.
  • The team must learn and practice opportunities to perform best.
  • Use value stream analysis on the current processes to remove all the non-value tasks and increase efficiency.
  • Share the knowledge gained throughout the project with the whole organization for overall organizational improvement.

The practice of the tasks of this domain ensures best results.


This is an overview of what PMI-ACP is all about, what are the eligibility requirements and main syllabus of the PMI-ACP exam. The above-mentioned syllabus covers the seven domains of practices of PMI-ACP, each of which has its unique tasks. Overall, the knowledge and implementation of these tasks using Agile tools and techniques ensure that the project is in the safe hands, and the outcomes will be profitable.