AKP®

Overview

The Accredited Kanban Practioner (AKP®) is a professional who has demonstrated in a responsible manner, proven knowledge and expertise which make up the body of knowledge recognized by those who are experts in Kanban Implementation for software development. This is standard which is based on principles of Kanban and other related agile methodologies. This certification by ACI® enables the participant to demonstrate his or her skills and knowledge of general principles of various agile methodologies and in particular enterprise level Kanban implementation.

Accredited Kanban Practioner (AKP®) is now under pilot phase and will continue to be in Pilot Phase till February 28, 2014. During this stage you will still able to get your certification. Changes to the credential questions and experiences will be made after the pilot phase after January February 28, 2014. This deadline was extended from the previous deadline of January 15, 2014 to allow the already registered credential seekers to complete their certification in the pilot stage.


Benefits of AKP® Certification

  1. Demonstrate to employers your level of professionalism in Kanban implementation for software development, agile practices, tools and techniques. Helps you to brand your Kanban enterprise application competency in a credible way.
  2. Helps you to demonstrate your knowledge way of Kanban and generic agile methods and reinforces your knowledge of applying the agile principles to real world applications.
  3. Hold a certification that is more credible than existing entry-level, training or exam-only based offerings.
  4. Develop a more advanced, applied level of knowledge to gain an understanding of Kanban enterprise implementation agile and the ability to apply relevant project management methods, leading to successful agile projects implementing Kanban tools and practices.
  5. Actively promote trust and close co-operation between the business and developers and gives the business ongoing visibility into what is happening.
  6. Combine knowledge of more traditional management methodologies with Kanban and agile to better adapt to a changing business environment.
  7. Help you to get ahead. ACI® certification offers financial benefits by making you stand out and better market yourself to current and prospective employers. Most of our candidates have reported a 3000% ROI on their certification cost with us in a span of 3 years from date of certification.
  8. ACI® certifications are renowned throughout the world. Instead of relying only on a written assessment, our certifications more comprehensively assess a candidate. Also, the quality of our certification governance superior which enables affordable certifications with the highest flexibility available in the market today.

WHO SHOULD GET "ACCREDITED KANBAN PRACTITIONER" CERTIFICATION?

Accredited Kanban Practitioner is a very good certification for anyone working in software development based on usage of Kanban practices, tools and techniques and where optimal flow and signaling systems are common.

We recommend you to obtain AKP® certification if you are performing one of the following roles in a Kanban Software Development team:
  1. Business Analyst
  2. Program Manager
  3. Product Manager
  4. Team Leader
  5. Project Manager
  6. Designer
  7. Architect .....etc

Comparison of ACI AKP® with other certification bodies

Sample Certificate

Training Information

  1. ACI, for all its certifications, mandates that all the applicants should have prior training in Agile practices to be eligible to apply for any ACI's certifications.
  2. You can take training from any organizations of your choice to satisfy the mandatory training requirements for the AKP® credential.
  3. You are also strongly encouraged to study the reference books suggested in the later sections of AKP® Handbook to feel confident about taking up the AKP® certification exam.

CONCEPTS REVIEW

The Japanese word "Kanban", literally means "Sign Card". Kanban is the term borrowed by the software industry from the Toyota Production System.

Kanban was one of the tools developed by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota. In its simplest form, it is the communication method that could be a card, an empty space, a cart, or any other signaling method to inform the upstream process that the downstream process to say that it is ready to receive next work item.

Kanban method is rooted in its foundational Principles and Core practices. David Anderson’s advice to implement Kanban method is to first follow the foundational principles and then adapt the core practices.

Kanban foundational Principles are

  1. Start with what you do now
  2. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change
  3. Respect the current process, role, responsibilities and titles

Kanban Core Practices are
  1. Visualize
  2. Limit WIP
  3. Manage Flow
  4. Make Process Policies Explicit
  5. Implement feedback loop
  6. Improve collaboratively, Evolve experimentally (using models / scientific method)

1. Start with what you do know

Kanban is not a prescriptive approach. It does not prescribe any roles, processes, artefacts, routines etc. to start implementing to improve the current process. In Kanban, we need to understand the current process thoroughly and start doing incremental changes to improve sytem.


2. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change

Kanban method encourages continuous small incremental and evolutionary changes. The team needs to be convinced and commit itself to pursue continuous small incremental and evolutionary changes to improve their work and overall system performance. Managing the team through continuous improvement should be the mantra of the managers.


3. Respect the current process, role, responsibilities and titles

Desire for change should not result in throwing away the current best practices and procedures. Revolutionary changes result in throwing away current working practices, disregard for current human relationships resulting in fear, chaos and gaming of the system. Kanban recommends evolutionary changes. As part of it, it is important to respect the current process, people roles, their responsibilities and titles. The focus of improvement also includes improving current working environment of the employees, their knowledge level and trusting them to drive the improvement initiatives.


Visualise

Unlike manufacturing industry, the workflow of any knowledge work is invisible. Making this workflow visible and helping teams understand how work progresses are the core of Kanban process. Any workflow will have work in progress items at each stage in the process, which in turn creates queues. In knowledge industry, these queues are hidden and hard to visualize.

These hidden queues result in long cycle time, reduce quality, increases workload and introduce more variability in the process resulting in slipped delivery dates and increased rework costs.

Kanban Board helps to visualize the workflow with columns representing the different steps / states in the workflow and Kanban work items moving from left to right towards completion.


Value Stream Mapping

The first step towards visualizing the workflow is to understand how the current process works. One of the methods to map the current process using Lean technique is called "Value Stream Maps" (VSM). VSM helps us to map all stages the work item (or final Value to customer) passes through, from the point customer orders for a product / service to the point when the customer does the payment. In a knowledge environment, these work items are information that passes from one stage to another including the stages where the value is being added to the work item and stages where the work item is waiting by the downstream process for processing. VSM helps to help to understand the stages involved in the current work processes.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

1. Kanban Board should reflect
  1. Official process of the team
  2. The desirable process of the team
  3. What the team actually does
  4. Depends on the work flow

2. What system limits work in progress to some agreed upon quantity
  1. Process Analysis
  2. Pull
  3. Push
  4. Trend Analysis

3. Kanban is an approach that drives change by
  1. Implementing new process
  2. Optimizing new process
  3. Changing the workflow
  4. Optimizing existing process

4. Kanban WIP Limits
  1. Enable the 'Stop the Line' behavior
  2. Disable the 'Stop the Line' behavior
  3. Disable the 'Stop over the Line' behavior
  4. "Enable the 'Stop over the Line' behavior"

5. Which of the following is FALSE regarding Kanban Buffers
  1. They provide less utilization
  2. They increase the throughput
  3. They smooth the flow
  4. They ensure people are working

6. The card walls are not inherently Kanban systems unless they have
  1. sticky notes and several columns
  2. To Do, In Progress, Done Columns
  3. Backlog and Tasks that can be moved
  4. Explicit Limit to work in progress

7. Kanban provides all of the following , except
  1. Shortens the lead times
  2. improved predictability
  3. improved due date performance
  4. Less visibility onto quality and process problems

8. A Cumulative flow diagram depicts
  1. quantity of work in a given state
  2. scope changes with respect to time
  3. quality of work with respect to time
  4. amount of WIPs with respect to scope

9. BEST way to achieve sustainable pace of development is
  1. Use a Kanban system to increase team's work in progress
  2. use SMART goals
  3. use predictive approaches to project management
  4. Use a Kanban system to limit team's work in progress ratio

10. Typical work item types on Kanban board may include
  1. Requirements
  2. Features
  3. User Story
  4. All the choices are valid

Register

According to IDC, 63% of Hiring Managers believe certified individuals are more productive than their non-certified counterparts. Get Certified. Get Ahead.

Get certified as "Accredited Kanban Practitioner AKP®" for 199$ Now!

FAQ

I found your web site after checking out USD 2000 price from another Scrum certification provider for training and 500$ for certification. That is too much for me to personally pay for. I am interested in making a certification program from your Agile Certification Institute for ScrumMaster. However, I don't have much background and project experience with Agile/Scrum. What is your suggestion?

At this point in time, ACI® does not impose a policy that you have to be trained from any expensive training providers to appear for our certifications. You can get training on Agile concepts from our website links and also the Master Standards which are provided to you once you register for the exam. Almost 40% of our certificants appear for certifications without any additional training (other than our website links and the Master Standards made available once you register).


How are the success rates of Agile certification programs?

The first time Success rate of Accredited Agile Practitioner (AAP®) Certification Program is 80%, whereas the success rates of Accredited ScrumMaster (ASM®) Certification is 82%. For Accredited Product Owner (APO®) Certification and Accredited SAFe Agile Practitioner (ASAP®) Certification Programs are 65%. However, most candidates seem to clear the certification in their second attempt, thereby incurring no additional expenses (All our certification programs provide two attempts for a single registration towards any certification)


Can you please provide more insights about the structure of the questions of your certification programs?

The exam questions contains of a total of 75 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. The questions are based on the Master Standards approved by Agile Professional Certification Council (APCC) with a 50:50 focus on the theoretical aspects as well as practical challenges of working in an agile setting.


How soon after the registration, will I receive access to take the examination?

After you register for the exam, you have to choose a slot which is preferable for you. We provide 24 slots in a day and they are available all 365 days in a year. The remote proctoring is done via webcam (so your computer MUST have a working webcam to take up this certification). The exam software locks your screen and hence you cannot change your browser. Also you will not be allowed to move away from the computer screen during the exam. Any such violations will result in forfeiture of your attempt at the exam and you will have to take a second attempt.


How soon after the completion of my examination, will I receive my Certification and Test Results?

It is a matter of a few seconds. Your answers are processed and evaluated real-time and you will receive your test results as soon as you submit the answers of your Agile Certification Examination. However to receive the certification, you have to clear all the three levels- Written Assessment, Submission of a Thesis (600 - 900 words) and a peer / managed feedback.


Can you let me know the procedure for the examination and details of written assessment?

Before you take the examination, as part of registration you are required to upload one of the photo ID's recommended by APCC (Includes a passport, a valid driving license of your country or any other government issued photo ID). Your ID will be verified against you personally via webcam before the test lock is released on your appointed registration time so as to ensure the test takes is the person whose ID is presented. We provide 24 slots in a day and they are available all 365 days in a year. This means pretty much you can take the exam anytime you want in a year. Our proctoring team works from three different countries so as to enable 24x7 coverage of the test taking. The registration is valid for a period of one year. The remote proctoring is done via webcam (so your computer MUST have a working webcam to take up this certification). The exam software locks your screen and hence you cannot change your browser or search online or use your browser for any purpose other than taking test during this period. Also you will not be allowed to move away from the computer screen during the exam. Any such violations are treated with seriousness and you will become ineligible to continue the certification exam. You will have to take up the exam after re-scheduling and this shall be treated as a second attempt.


Can you let me know more details of Thesis submission?

The thesis to be submitted should be between 600 words and 900 words (Roughly about one A4 page equivalent). The topic can be chosen by the candidate. Several topics and samples of previous thesis submissions are provided to candidate after they clear the assessment test. Most candidates have no difficulty clearing the Thesis level.


Can you let me know more details of peer/manager submission?

Once you submit the thesis, you will have to get recommendations from three members (either peers or managers) recommending this credential be bestowed upon you. Each of the referee has to fill an online recommendation from which consists of five (5) questions on which he will be rating on a scale of 1-10 (1 is low and 10 is highest). All these recommenders must possess a valid corporate e-mail ID (Any exceptions need approval from APCC). You will have to get an aggregate of 50% in all the recommendations to obtain the ACI credential. In case, you do not get the required rating, you can modify the reference providers and re-submit to a new set of recommenders. Our past records indicate no one had difficulty clearing this final round of assessment.


What is the validity of the registration?

You must complete all the requirements of the assessment within one year from the date of registration. If you cannot complete all the formalities of the assessment, you will automatically lose your registration and have to register.


I have received your global credential for Agile Certification recently. Is there any validity to my certificate? Also, should I pay any annual membership fees?

Once you are certified by ACI®, the certification is valid for 4 years. Every 4 years you have receive 45 knowledge points (KPs) to renew your certification. The Master Standards on Agile undergo changes every few years and we want all our certificants to update their knowledge every 4 years. However, you do NOT need to write the exam again. One knowledge point is approximately equal to one hour of class room instruction or one hour of effort on reading a relevant text book etc. You will have to pay a fee of 20$ every four years to renew your credential and maintain your licence details in our certified agile Practioners database. However, most of this information is available in "My ACI" once you get certified. Most of the relevant books are available as e-copies to be read online in "My ACI®" and these count towards earning KPs.


Will you help me get a job?

ACI® does not act like a placement agency and we do not directly provide jobs to any certificants. However, "Planet ACI® " provides a networking platform for Job providers from various companies all around the planet to post relevant jobs.


While I am making examination if I lose my Internet connectivity due to some technical issues, do I have to pay again to access the certification examination?

No problem at all. If this happens please inform us per e-mail and we will reactive your examination access code free of charge.


I just passed one of your certification programs. What kind of certificate do I receive?

As soon as you complete all the requirements of the certification, you will receive a PDF certificate which is printable if you wish (as it is generated with high quality). In addition, you will also receive your paper based certificate by regular mail within 3 months of clearing all the certification requirements. Please keep in mind that our paper certifications are processed in our back offices located in Singapore, India and Qatar and will contain metal objects (lapel pins) hence you will have a long lead time of 3 months to clear the customs requirements of your country. However, our database will reflect your certificate authenticity from the instant you clear all the requirements and you can use that in your CV.


I am considering registration for your Certification program. However, I have never possessed such a certification and I just would like to understand how such a certification looks like?

You can see a low resolution and miniaturized copy of the certificate in the respective section of the programs by selecting the respecting program links and navigating.


What is the difference between the certifications provided by Agile Certification Institute and other organizations?

According to our market analysis our programs cost less than 1/5 of the lowest cost of other online Scrum certification programs with better brand in the market. Moreover, together with the trust of our thousands of certificants we have brought a modern and friendly approach into the field of online Agile / Scrum certification programs which doesn't mandate practitioners like you to receive expensive classroom trainings before you prove and certify your competence in Agile/Scrum.


Why is your cost lower than others?

We use the latest technology in certification test taking based on Remote Proctoring and Screen Locking facilities in addition to large scale certification operations which brings down our cost of operations. We pass on some of these advantages to you, our certifications takers.


Are Scrum certifications valid in Europe and in Asia?

Yes. Certifications we issue are worldwide valid including in Europe and in Asia. Our certifications are valid and recognized in more than 120 countries around the world.


Will I get reimbursement for this certification from my organization?

ACI provides you with a detailed invoice. This coupled with successful completion of a certification from ACI provides you with reimbursement in most organizations around the planet. In case, you are not successful in claiming the reimbursement, you could alert us post your successful certification through "My ACI". Our global support team will then work with the leaders of your organization to enable reimbursement.


Do I receive PDU credits for ACI courses?

Yes. Please follow PMI's procedure. Our KPs are similar to those of PMI's PDUs.


Will I get a promotion by taking up your certification?

In most organizations, this counts towards continuing education and should enable you to get recognition and improve the chances of your promotion but keep in mind that this cannot be guaranteed by ACI®. Based on a survey of more than 1000 certificants in the past, we have seen an average of 3000% ROI on their investment on ACI certifications.


I am going to register for an agile certification program. Can I make the payment by using my credit issued from a Scotland bank?

Yes. Our trusted payment partner accepts all major credit cards issued from all banks around the world including the banks from Scotland.