Agile Certifications: What’s Out There?

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.

Many people believe agile methods and certifications are like oil and water. One is a context-sensitive, adaptive framework; the other is a prescriptive, rigor-based measurement model. Certifying agile methods is like trying to bar-code clouds--a misapplication of quantification in a domain that resists it.

Yet if the research organizations are to be believed (like Gartner’s predictions of agile being used in 80 percent of software projects), there are a large group of people doing it. Whenever an in-demand skill exists in the workforce, a few things happen:

  • Hiring managers and recruiters want a way to screen and identify potential skilled applicants
  • Individuals want certifications to recognize their skills and knowledge within a domain (both to promote themselves for career opportunities and for personal development)
  • Organizations want roadmaps for employee growth and career development

Certifications help address these needs. Of course certifications do not guarantee competency, job suitability, experience or even knowledge. They are not substitutes for interviews, background checks or references, but they are a tool frequently used to pre-screen candidates before these activities occur.

Most people realize that certifications are neither evil nor silver bullets; they are instead an inevitable side effect of a maturing integration of…

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