Agile vs PMP: Difference Between Agile and PMP

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28th Dec, 2022
Agile vs PMP: Difference Between Agile and PMP


Project Management and planning are crucial for all businesses. The most commonly asked question is which is better to obtain a Project Management Professional Training Certification in? Agile and PMP or Project Management Professional Certifications depend on where you wish to use your skills. The methodologies are ideal in certain circumstances. Continue reading to make a clear decision and understand Agile certification vs PMP comparison.

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PMP vs Disciplined Agile

Project Management Professional (PMP) vs Agile

There are several similarities and a vast differences between Agile and PMP methodologies which are compared in the below table:

PMP methodology
Agile methodology
The methodology used in PMP vs Agile
PMP certifications and professionals use the updated agile and holistic project delivery methods. i.e. combination of Agile, Hybrid and Waterfall ModelAgile concepts, framework and Scrum teams and have development iterations in phases are used.
The important features
The method has three distinct phases. Namely,

The Project Planning Stage in software development before starting the project.
  1. The Code Development Stage is the execution, change requests, and building stage wherein the product is developed.
  2. The Product Testing Stage is comprehensive and continues till the finished product is completed, tested and delivered to the client.
The unique features here are  

1. The Project Backlog is where the project is subdivided into smaller, manageable, and prioritized tasks.  

2. Sprints vary from 2 weeks to a month short periods for starting and completing iterations.  

3. Product Delivery is where operational deliverables with completed features are presented to the client.
Project Delivery date
PMP projects are predictable and have clear cut expectations, milestones, and timelines for project deliverables.Work in the fast-changing Agile environment is undertaken in Sprints in the PMP vs Agile battle.
Used in
The method was developed for manufacturing industries before being adopted in marketing and various industries.It is ideal for software development as it produces high-quality, competitive, fast product launches.
It is ideal for project teams where
  • Similar past projects are completed.
  • Where project scope needs to be defined before starting.
  • Where the estimation of project costs and resources are accurate.
Many smaller products can be launched quickly.

The client needs frequent changes.

The timeline or cost of the project is not fixed.
PMP Certification vs Agile Certifications
Leads to PMP Certification.Leads to PMI-ACP Certification.
Planning differences
Here the project plan is definite and outlined before the project begins.In the Agile method, every sprint has a planning session where the tasks are outlined.
Building differences
Project building is linear, and the next step begins when the present step is completed.Building Agile projects is iterative. Each iteration results from a sprint, and team members simultaneously work on the various steps.
Change management
Change is hard to make without an adverse impact on the project plans.Agile plans are flexible and change amenable due to sprint iterations.
The client receives a complete deliverable at the end of the project plan.Agile clients receive deliveries at the end of each sprint.
Testing takes place only when the product is completed.The products of a sprint are tested during the sprint itself.

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The Required Criteria

PMP® certifications across the globe follow the same criteria for the certification process, approval and eligibility requirements. The fee is $10 for PMI members to obtain the PMP application form. The basic criteria to apply for the PMP or Project Management Professional Credential is that you need to have:

  • A Secondary Degree like the Associate’s Degree, High School Diploma, or its equivalent.  
  • Have at least 60 months or five years of non-overlapping unique experience in Project Management with experience in directing/leading projects of at least 7,500 hours.
  • Acquire 35 hours of education at the PMI or its authorized representative in Project Management. The Knowledgehut Project Management Professional Certification Course can be a great start to your journey in project management.


  • A 4-yr Bachelor’s Degree/its global equivalent.
  • At least 36 months or three years of non-overlapping unique experience in Project Management with experience directing or leading projects of at least 4,500 hours.
  • Acquire 35 hours of education at the PMI or its authorized representative in Project Management.

Note: PM education hours are formal project management hours at work or on projects. The rule of thumb followed here is that this is about 2000 hours per year or a maximum of 40 hours per week of mandatory training PDUs in a calendar (12 months) year. If you are managing multiple projects in any month, you need to total the hours spent on each project and total it into the monthly hours when filling in the PMP exam application form.

The 35 contact hours of project management education are received through training in either of these two ways.

  • You can use in-person or online classes from the PMI authorized training academy like KnowledgeHut to resolve the Agile project management vs PMP question.
  • Attend the training program on Project Management conducted by the local PMI Chapter.

Project Management Professional (PMP) vs Agile

The Curriculum of The Examination

Many people have questions as to what is included in the syllabus of the PMP® course to gain answers to the PMP vs Agile question. So, let’s quickly glance through the exam curriculum. You can benefit from dividing the syllabus into the following seven sections.

A. The mindset of Project Management: The Project Management mindset covers topics like introduction to PMI, its evolution, contact resources, the PMBOK Guide, PMI certifications, and more.

B. Team creation: Team creation deals with building a high-performance team, negotiating agreements, the team rules, empowering virtual teams, stakeholders, team members, training, producing, gaining the understanding and support of teams, etc.

C. Starting projects: Starting projects covers the whole gamut of managing and planning schedules, resources, budgets, the project plan, scope, project methodology, procurements, quality of deliverables and more.

D. Executing projects: Executing projects has topics like managing and assessing project issues, changes, communications, risks, etc., engaging stakeholders, delivering project value, creating the artefacts, and everything associated with getting the project working and done.

E. Team management: Team management topics are how to lead teams, manage conflicts, support their performance, address the obstacles, promote team performance, collaborate and mentor stakeholders and more.

F. Aligning with business goals: Aligning with business goals module has the processes of continuous improvement, meeting compliance needs, delivering project benefits, organizing and addressing changes, etc.

G. Preparing for the PMP® Examination: Preparing for the PMP® Examination is a module that contains tricky and sample questionnaires, exam tips, and information to help prepare for the PMP exam.

So, now let’s move on to the procedure to take the PMP exam.

The Procedure to Take The PMP Exam

The procedure to qualify for the PMP Exam can be summed up in the following steps.

  • Firstly ensure you fulfil all the PMP® Exam domain experience, educational and eligibility criteria.
  • Next, enrol at the PMI® and become a PMI or Project Management Institute member.
  • Complete the 35-hour PDUs required for PMP® Course through a PMP course from a PMI REP like KnowledgeHut.
  • During the course, you will be instructed on how to fill in the PMP® application form. You can also read up on the annexures required, the fee, how to fill and submit the form, etc. Carefully fill it out and submit it online.
  • The PMBOK® Guide is an important resource with a few questions appearing in the exam. Read it well.
  • Prepare for the PMP® Exam and schedule your exam with the authorities at Pearson VUE. You can take the PMP exam online from the comfort of your office or home.  
  • Finally, appear for the PMP® Exam and emerge successful at it.

Pros and Cons: PMP vs Agile

The below tables can help you with which is better PMP or Agile? Let us compare the characteristics of the two methodologies to understand the respective pros and cons of the Agile and PMP methods.

PMP method
Agile method

Software deployment
Slow deployment and turnaround time is the main difference between PMP and Agile.Quick software deployment, turnaround times and business value.  
Resource usage
Wastage of resources is high.Fewer resources are wasted as the task list is updated in the product backlog.

Change in plans adaptation
Adaptability and resiliency to assist the practitioner in managing the project and deliver outputs that enable outcomes regardless of development approach.Adapts faster to changes in iterative sprints.

Testing and debugging
The process is bureaucratic.Very little bureaucracy is involved.

Support Community
A smaller global community.Large Agile community support can be relied on.

Feedback timing
Feedback is at the end of the project.Feedback is immediate, and team morale is higher.

Cost of development and testing.
High cost of testing and developing.Developing and testing costs of a sprint product is lower.

Project documentation
Excellent documentation is present.Documentation gets sidetracked, making new team members slow.

Progress measure
Measurable progress.Progress is measured in sprints and not for the project.

Client interaction
No client interaction or feedback till the product is delivered.Customer and developer interactions are constant and demand energy, time and teamwork.  

This is also the main difference between Scrum and PMP, as Scrum is a methodology working on the Agile framework.

Developer reassignment
Once developer work is complete, they can be reassigned.If the developer’s work is complete, a different project cannot be assigned as they may be needed during testing.

Project duration
Fixed project durations.Projects last and do not have a clear end date.

Project scope
No scope creep or experience rot in the planned methodology.Experience rot and project scope creep can set in.

Estimation of project costs
Project costs can easily be estimated.Clients with fixed schedules and budgets cannot estimate project costs increasing sales cycle complications.

Product Development
Better UX, design and architecture products are developed.Multiple and faster products from sprints can mean lower architecture, design, and UX features. Over time this spirals, leading to disjointed software.

Project cycle
Long and defined project cycle.Short sprint cycles lead to redevelopment.

Exam Structure:

The new PMP exam tests the aspirants across three domains. Namely,  

  • People who have the necessary PM soft skills to lead teams effectively in new environments.
  • Business environments and a balance between organizational strategy and projects.
  • Processes successful in PM’s technical aspects.

The exam questions are based on Agile, Predictive and Hybrid project management approaches and have 180 questions to be answered in 230 minutes. The previous exams had 200 questions. There are no negative marks awarded since the questions have graded difficulty levels, and every question correctly answered adds to your score. Further, because of this, there are no prescribed pass marks that are specified.
You can avail of the two breaks of 10 minutes each in the computer-based or online tests. However, there are no breakouts allowed for the written paper-based examinations.
The questions are generally MCMA or multiple-choice-multiple-answer type, a few fill-in-the-blanks and hotspot questions. The questions maybe

  • Situational based  
  • Formula-based  
  • Knowledge-based  
  • Specific technique based  
  • Interpretational based
  • PMBOK® Guide knowledge-based.  
  • The exam fee for PMP® Certification is different for non-members and members. As a PMI member, you pay $405 against the non-member fee of $555. If you have not registered with PMI when filling in your exam application form, you will have to pay the non-member fee.
  • The PMP® Certification renewal fees are annual, and for members, it costs $119. New Members pay $129.

Now that you know about the PMP exam, eligibility, etc., the next question is which certification should you choose?

Which Certification to Choose?

In the battle of Agile Certification vs PMP Certification in Project Management certifications, the only difference is the methodology and depends on whether you are in IT, Marketing etc. The ten best certifications from the PMI are listed below for you to choose from.

  • (PMP)® or Project Management Professional  
  • CSM or Certified ScrumMaster®  
  • CAPM® or Certified Associate in Project Management
  • PRINCE2® Certifications (Foundation and Practitioner)
  • Certification and project in CompTIA  
  • PPM or Professional in Project Management  
  • APM or Associate in Project Management
  • CPMP® or Certified Project Management Practitioner  
  • MPM or Master Project Manager  
  • PMITS or Project Management Certification in IT Security.

Choices Choices!

“Should I do PMP or Agile Certification?” If you are also stuck with this dilemma, consider that both PMP and Agile Certifications are excellent for project management. The Knowledgehut Project Management Professional Certification Course can be a great start to your journey in project management. Project Management Professional Training depend on which methodology is best suited for your use, skills required and project requirements. Doing the KnowledgeHut Project Management Courses can help you score as they ensure adequate exam preparation strategies, and provide comprehensive through quizzes, tests, project simulations and more.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q: What is better PMP or Agile?

A: You cannot rate the Agile Project Management vs PMP battle because the two methods are suited for different project management needs. The PMP traditional method works equally great for small as well as large organisations and is a planned method. On the contrary, Agile is a conceptual framework that focuses on rapid to-market deliverables and scores in the IT industries.

Q: Is Agile part of PMP?

A: The PMP methodology used is the traditional waterfall project management method. In comparison, Agile is a framework of concepts in project management. Most PMP Managers also take up the Agile Certifications to better their job scope and prospects.

Q: Why is Agile not for everyone?

A: Agile is today’s buzzword and works well for software development teams. However, it fails to impress a marketing team as they cannot iterate marketing campaigns or implement Agile concepts.

Q: How big is the PMP community?

A: In 2019 August, there were 932,720 PMP certified managers, and the PMP certification was delivered across 300 chapters in 218 countries globally. The PMP® certification is the most broad-based certification from the PMI or Project Management Institute, with 93.5% of PMP Certified Managers pursuing other certifications like PMITS, Agile, etc.



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