Updated June 12, 2023
What is PMP vs Agile Certification?
Before you get familiar with the role and responsibilities of a Project Management Professional (PMP) or Agile Project Management, you must know what Project Management means. They can define it as formulating a plan and then implementing or executing it to perfection through controlled strategy and joint team coordination. A project involves undertaking a set of tasks or assignments within a specified time frame and with the help of a stipulated budget. Projects can be both temporary or permanent, involving research and development. A definite aim is a driving force behind the execution of every project. The intent of the project is to achieve the end result successfully. It can be any project, such as technical, related to business operations, or educational. There are several approaches concerned with project management. A few important ones include the following-
- Traditional Method
- Critical Chain Project Management
- Agile Project Management
- Process-based Management
- Lean project management and
- Extreme project management
Difference between PMP Certification vs Agile Certification
Project Management Professional (PMP)
To define Project Management Professional (PMP in simple language, one can say that it is an important designation having an international reputation throughout industries worldwide. The Project Management Institute is the apex body that offers this certification. You can find PMIs in around 204 countries, and according to an estimate, about seven hundred million people have already been certified with PMPs.
The Required Criteria
Now let us focus on the prerequisites for enrolling in this certification program. A candidate who is willing to avail of the PMP certification must have-
- Passed secondary examination from a recognized High School or should have a diploma equivalent to it.
- An experience of 7500 hours in leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management training
However, if you do not fulfill the above following conditions, you may still peruse the PMP certification provided you have-
- A four-year degree
- An experienced 4500 hours in leading and directing projects
- 35 hours of project management training
The Project Management Institute provides all the formal training and education. Candidates who cannot fulfill the eligibility for PMP can opt for Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) at PMI.
To maintain the PMP certification, it must be remembered at this juncture. The candidate must get sixty Professional Development Units (PDUs) within the three-year course. It involves a number of tasks, such as researching and writing articles and expressing your thoughts on issues related to project management. Continuous Credential Requirements (CCRs) refer to all of these tasks. You can also receive PDUs through formal academic courses. On December 1, 2015, the Project Management Institute updated the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCRs) to include information about employer-identified skills.
The Curriculum of the Examination
The pattern of the PMP examination centers around the five most essential elements. The project commenced with a focus on implementation, which receives the highest priority at 31%. Importance is given to planning at 24%, followed by monitoring at 24%. The conclusion of the project is allocated 7% of the overall attention.
There will be about 200 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) related to PMP codes and ethics in the exam. Therefore, reference books are available if you want to prepare for the exam. The most authentic is ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.’ The book contains relevant information on each step of the project management process. As a project manager, it is important to update oneself with these vital aspects of project management, including project scope management, project integration management, project cost management, project quality management, human resource management, risks, communication, procurement, and stakeholder system. After attaining the Project Management Certificate, you can find jobs in various sectors, such as Government, IT companies, commercial organizations, etc, that employ certified project managers to handle and complete different projects.
The Procedure for the Exam
The Project Management Institute awards the PMP Certification to candidates who successfully pass the exam. The exam is computer-based, although a paper-based test option is available at Prometric test centers. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions (MCQs), with 25 questions released beforehand and the marks calculated based on the remaining 175 questions. Candidates must choose one option out of the four provided for each question. The test results can be obtained immediately after completing the computer-based exam, but for the paper-based exam, it may take approximately one month (4 weeks) to receive the outcome. The candidate’s performance is evaluated and marked at three different levels:
- Proficient, Moderately
- Proficient, and
- Below Proficient
According to the candidates undertaking the PMP exam, the most challenging portions are quality management, integration management, and time management.
The Project Management Professional Certification program includes item writing as part of its process, particularly in developing multiple-choice questions. The goal is to verify the accuracy of the content and references used in the exam.
Advantages of PMP Certification
After thoroughly discussing what the PMP certificate is all about, it is time to throw some light on its various advantages.
- Remain Ahead of Competitors with PMP certificate – The PMP certification program has a standardized value which helps put candidates ahead of their competitors when applying for the job.
- Skilled Knowledge of Project Management – The PMI offers comprehensive knowledge of various stages of project management right from beginning to end. You can utilize your sound knowledge to boost the profit of your company.
- Getting Handsomely Paid – As a project manager, you can be sure of getting a good starting salary right from your first job. Your pay will increase with the amount of experience you gain.
- Improving your project performance – Another added benefit of the PMP certificate is that it always helps improve your performance as a project manager. You can handle more difficult projects.
- Offers Better Job Opportunities – You can be sure of one aspect after availing of the PMP certificate: getting better job offers.
Certified Agile Project Manager
Literary speaking, Agile means to be alert and responsive. Therefore, to gain these qualities for a Certified Agile Project Manager, choose the Agile Project Management Program offered by Project Management Association in collaboration with DSDM Consortium.
Agile project management helps to develop solutions more effectively. It allows it to change as per the requirement so that the project manager can work individually and as part of a team. DSDM has laid down eight vital factors necessary for the successful completion of any agile project. They are-
- Focus on specific business needs
- Successful Collaboration
- To lay down a solid foundation
- Effective communication
- Follow deadlines very strictly
- Uncompromising Quality
- Develop Interactively
- Show better control
Essential Requirements for Agile Certification
Before you can apply for the Agile Project Management Certification (APM), you need to satisfy a few important conditions, including-
- An experience about 2000 hours working on general projects with the team, plus a PMP or PgMP certificate.
- In addition, you also should have a work experience of 1500 hours based on agile project teams or techniques.
- You should have practiced Agile for at least 21 contact hours.
The Curriculum of the Program
The entire course program of Agile Project Management has been categorized into two categories, namely-
- Foundation Level
- Practitioner Level
As is evident from the name, the Foundation level of the Agile PM emphasizes the basics or the core elements of project management. It will teach you the procedure to ease any task allowing suppleness. It will help the fresher candidates deal with various projects and even the experienced project managers and show the perception of the project productivity.
The next is the practitioner level. This is a more advanced level wherein you get a deep and sound knowledge of the certificate program and the techniques of implementing them successfully while doing a project. It is very important to grasp the methodologies as they will help you on a regular basis.
Certain conditions must be fulfilled before you can apply for the practitioner level. These include-
- A Foundation level certification showing either the 2014 or the 2010 version.
- DSDM Atern Foundation Certificate, or
- DSDM Advanced Practitioner Certificate
The Examination Pattern of Foundation
There has been a change in the examination format at both the foundation and practitioner levels. First, let us see the foundation level. The comparison between the 2014 exams aligned to Handbook v2.0 and the 2010 exams aligned to Handbook v1.2 will clarify things.
- Both have Multiple Choice Questions
- A candidate has to attend 50 questions in the 2014 format, while there were 60 questions in the 2010 pattern. However, the pass percentage is the same.
- The new format also increased the qualifying marks from twenty-five to thirty.
- The examination time has been reduced from one hour to forty minutes, which is another significant difference.
- Both have a Closed book
Exam Structure of Practitioner Level
The curriculum of this exam is also based on the 2010 and 2014 versions. Only there has been an alternation in their format. They are-
- The 2010 version had 60 questions, with a passing requirement of 30 correct answers. However, in the 2014 format, the number of questions has increased to 80, and the passing requirement has also been raised to 40 correct answers.
- Like the foundation level, the exam duration has been reduced from 150 to 120 minutes.
- The number of questions per paper remains the same, but the marking of each question has been increased from fifteen to twenty.
- Both versions have Opened Book (only for the official manual) and objective testing.
The Pros of Agile Certification
After getting acquainted with the curriculum and the examination format of the Agile certification program, it is important to understand the benefits of pursuing it. These benefits can be briefly discussed as follows:
- Enhance your Knowledge about Project Managers – This unique program has been designed for all project managers, including those in the IT industry. If you have Agile Certification, you can stand apart from the rest of the job seekers and enrich your resume or CV, creating a lot of difference.
- Boosts your caliber as a project manager – The Project Management Agile Certification sets up a benchmark that you have the capability and potential to cope with different types of project management as a professional being. It increases your self-confidence and also strengthens the company’s trust in you.
- Increases the chance of promotion and high pay – The Agile Certificate also increases your chance of promotion. Also, it provides a wonderful opportunity to get a high salary as an Agile Project Manager. The promotion will depend on your experience and understanding of the methodology.
Which Project Management to Choose: PMP vs Agile Certification
After thorough deliberation on both project management programs, the inevitable question arises: which is the right choice between PMP and Agile? A study revealed that PMP was at its peak until 2008 but has experienced a decline in recent times. Conversely, the rate of Agile Certification has been on the rise since 2009. However, despite this trend, it is still suggested that opting for the PMP certification program is advisable for aspiring project managers, as it remains highly popular in countries like India. On the other hand, Agile certification has shown growth, but there is still much ground to cover, particularly in software development techniques. Ultimately, it can be concluded that both certifications offer various benefits, and one can pursue both per their preference.