PMI Launches Agile Certification

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Agile techniques are increasingly important to project managers and the organizations they serve, and PMI® hasn’t been blind to this fact. There was enough publicity about Agile at the Global Congress in Washington, D.C. last year that I don’t think it is much of a surprise the PMI has chosen to embrace agile practices and put out a qualification.

PMI isn’t trailblazing: the APM Group launched their Agile Project Management certification scheme, using the Atern® framework, in October.

PMI, though, will probably have more candidates for its Agile certification than APMG, as PMI has a strong – if somewhat grassroots – Agile movement already.

“By adding an Agile certification to its offering, PMI is enables practitioners to demonstrate their level of professionalism in Agile practices of project management and show that they have the capacity to lead basic Agile teams by holding a certification that is more credible than existing entry-level, training or exam-only based offerings,” says PMI’s press officer. The official announcement goes on:

PMI research found that the use of Agile practices in project management has doubled in the last two years. For project practitioners working in organizations that are using Agile techniques, the Agile certification validates an applicable knowledge base of Agile principles and concepts…This new offering brought together key thought leaders who use Agile techniques for project management. They advised PMI on the most effective way to offer the certification and serve project practitioners and the organizations where they work.

So that should ensure that the new certification is based on actual practice and that the syllabus is robust. A pilot of the certification, which is designed to ensure that the examination is suitably developed, will start in May 2011. If you are interested you will be able to submit an application for this certification in May 2011, with examinations starting later in the year.

“Project managers who are using Agile practices in their projects can broaden their influence and impact in their respective organizations and enhance their careers with the Agile certification, especially those professionals already holding the PMP,” said Mark A. Langley, president and CEO of PMI. “Using these practices in project management is more common than ever and this certification is a natural extension of our commitment to our members, credential holders and stakeholders worldwide.”

“Although organizations have been offering Agile certifications for some time, we now have the largest project management organization in the world taking a leadership role in promoting the use of Agile techniques,” said Jesse Fewell, PMP, founder of the PMI Agile Community of Practice.

Jesse has tirelessly championed Agile at PMI Congress, including dragging me along to one of the Agile area of focus sessions, and making it very difficult for me to leave and attend the session I actually wanted to see.

It looks as if Agile is here to stay – although it has taken the project management community a long time to realise that.

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  1. PMI hasn’t been blind to that fact. Indeed they smelled the money!
    Who certifies the certifiers? The best certification is having been there and done that, and being able to show results for it.
    But then, you aren’t in for a job, you are in for an entrepreneurial life.
    Not a single client ever asked for a “certification”. But they really liked “results,” especially ones translated into cold hard cash flowing in.

    1. The latest Arras People Benchmark report says that 27% of project professionals don’t have an accreditation or qualification, so that certainly shows that many people are making a success of working in a project environment based on their results and not credentials. However, I think many people will want to take a credential in Agile Project Management to show potential employers and colleagues that they understand the principles.

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