PMI-ACP® and Scrum Alliance CSP–Two Complementary Certifications


In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP® and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference” (or as I refer to it, the “Agile Desk Reference” for short), he combines the material to study for two certifications, the Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner or PMI-ACP® certification as well as the Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) certification sponsored by the Scrum Alliance.

This is particular true if you are software development, because that is the industry orientation of the CSP certification.  The PMI-ACP® certification, has a wider industry orientation, and so going after that certification alone would make sense if you are in a different industry.

Some of the other major differences are that the CSP test is slightly longer, requiring one to answers 150 questions in 3 hours as opposed to the 120 questions in 3 hours required by the PMI-ACP® certification exam.   Interesting enough, the work experience requirement for the two tests seems to be more intense for the PMI-ACP® certification, which requires 2,000 hours of project management work experience plus 1,500 hours of experience using Agile methodlogy.   The CSP test merely asks for 2,000 hours of Scrum related work.

The last comparison is that the CSP requires you to maintain your certification with a continuing education requirement over a two-year cycle, the PMI-ACP® certification requires a three-year cycle instead.

This blog is going on the assumption of looking at the PMI-ACP® certification first, because of its wider application in the PM community.   The last post in this preliminary material on Agile will discuss the Ethos of Agile Project Management, that is the justification for using Agile methodology on a project.

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