Exploring Agile Certification

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

The Project Management Institute recently announced their new agile certification program. This follows growing interest from its members, of which an estimated 65 percent are engaged on IT projects. As agile methods continue to gain in popularity (Gartner predicts that 80 percent of software projects will use agile methods by 2012) and PMI events see more and more agile content, the demand for agile-related offerings has increased substantially.

Just to be clear, I would like to disclose upfront that I have been helping the PMI shape and steer this initiative. I was personally torn about a PMI agile certification; hardly being the font of agile information, PMI did not seem like the right body to be doing this. However, two things were clear to me:

  1. PMI had an elephant in the room. Many IT projects were using agile methods and project managers were offered little guidance from PMI on how to incorporate such endeavors.
  2. PMI is committed to providing a knowledge base, training options and a certification program with or without me. If it was going to happen anyway, I could be on the outside wondering if it might suddenly take a left turn--or on the inside trying to steer it in the right direction.

The Certification Debate (again)
Any mention of certification reignites good debate about its merits and costs. Certification does not guarantee knowledge (…

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