Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rolls you have to know for the ACP Exam


For the ACP exam you have to be very familiar with many different Methodologies. So far this is no big problem. But there is one obstacle, they have different rolls defined and you have to be very careful not to mix them up and as well you have to know the tasks and meanings of these rolls.
And if you already have your PMP, then better take everything what you learnt for the PMP and hide it somewhere in your mind, until you have passed the ACP exam.

So let’s take a look at some of the Methodologies:


It makes sense to start with Scrum as there you will find some rolls with very good defined definitions and boundaries. In Scrum we know:

Product Owner
he / she is the Representative of the customer in the team. This roll is very important, it is the interface to the customer, the interface to the stakeholders and he / she is should have the business knowledge about what the team is developing. But he / she is not a project manager! Even the Product Owner will present  the vision for the project to the team. Be careful, you will find questions concerning who sets the priorities for the deliverables for example. Or who decides about the content of a scrum or the backlog.

Scrum Master
Do not mix it up with a project manager!!!!
A scrum master has to take care, that the process is understood and tries to keep the team focused on the right way. Besides this he / she shields the team from all inferences coming from third parties and he / she removes any obstacles for the team.
If you like it, think about the scrum master like a good mum, who takes care that you do the job in the right way and you cares that nobody disturbs you.

In scrum we have a rule for a ideal team size.
It is very simple: 5 to 9 members are a perfect team, or if you like it a bit more formal: 7 +/- 2. The team is a high motivated self organized team. I know this is very ideal, but it will help you in the exam. With Scrum we talk about cross-functional teams, who manage them by themselves and have all needed knowledge. So it is the team who is responsible for the output and the timelines.

Project Manager
In Scrum, there is no definition for a project manager. But this does not mean, that all scrum projects run without a project manager, it means only that scrum has no definition for this roll and that it is up to the company or the team to decide who takes care for the job which is in other projects fulfilled by a project manager. For the exam you have to remember that in the ideal scrum world we do not talk about the roll of a project manager.


In XP we have the roll of an Coach, he / she is a team member and helps the team to follow the rules of XP. This is important as XP is a very disciplined framework.

XP involves the customer most of all frameworks. The job of the customer is to create (not necessary to write) and prioritizes the stories for the next iteration. The customer has the right to add or to remove stories from the backlog and influences so the release date. The priorities what has to be developed first are set by the customer. The customer will set the acceptance criteria for the product.

He or she estimates the effort for the stories, takes the responsibility for accepted jobs and of course he / she writes the tests and the code. With XP programmers work always in pairs. One is the pilot, the second one is the navigator.

I do not found this roll in all books. The tester supports the customer who has to create the acceptance criteria and the tests. He or she transforms them then into the right format. He executes all tests and communicates the test results with the programmers.

There is no rule, that every team must have a tracker. But once they have one, it is his job to monitor the progress of the team, and the schedule and to post the latest results.

In some books you can find this expression, I don't know if it is really used, but I like this functionality. The batman takes care for all organizational items and for requests which would go to other programmers. The idea behind is, to keep the team focused and avoid any interruptions to the work from outside.


here you will find no defined rolls!

FDD Feature Driven Development

Here we have not more than 9 roles!
We have a
Project Manager !!
Chief Architect
Development Manager
Chief Programmer
Class Owner
Domain Expert
Technical Writer

These rolls are listed more for reasons of offering a complete overview. So far neither in my exam nor in any other I have heard or seen any question regarding FDD.

TDD Test driven Development
here you will find no defined rolls!

Kanban and Lean

As Kanban and Lean are more collections of guides and good practices, it can not be seen as a framework to run a project. So you will see on the exam no questions regarding Kanban or Lean and rolls.

I hope this helps a bit.

Good Luck!

Thomas Schneider
PMI chapter SFBAC

Upcoming PMI San Francisco Bay Area Chapter events/trainings can be found on our calendar at http://www.pmi-sfbac.org/calendar/.

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