Agile Certification Survey Results

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Fewer people fear change more than a traditional Project Manager.  Should I add Agilists to that list as well? Well, now it’s time to accept the facts.  Though some of us in the Agile community knew this certification was in the works for quite some time, it seemed to take some by surprise.  Though I don’t know if the results of my survey could be considered a representative sample, it is what it is.  I only wanted to ask two questions.  Will PMI adding an Agile Certificate be good or bad of the traditional Project Management community and will it be good or bad for the Agile community?  I think the only other question I would have asked was do you consider yourself traditional or agile? As I attempt to read the tea leaves, I looked at my survey results and realized there was a relatively mixed response.  There were no outliers.  I’m just going to publish my findings and let others prognosticate against it.  Though this may not be a correct statement, this is how I see it.  Those with the will and the money have the voice.

The Will

First, you have to want something.  I think PMI sees Agile, not as the future of project management, but rather it recognizes it as a viable practice. On PMI’s homepage, they state their mission:

We serve practitioners and organizations with standards that describe good practices, globally recognized credentials that certify project management expertise, and resources for professional development, networking and community.

PMI can’t rightfully bring the Agile community completely into the fold, unless they offer a certification.  Because the Agile community has not yet offered its own certification, now would be a perfect time to develop one.

The Money

PMI brings in some serious revenues.  First, there is revenue from the membership fees of over 340,000 members.  Add to that the money made for renewal fees of the over 400,000 PMP certifications and you have a nice revenue stream.  For the sake of brevity, I’ll stop there.  The Agile Alliance, on the other hand, basically has the Alliance membership fee.  I have yet to find publicized data on how many members they have or if they have any other main revenue streams.

The Voice

I honestly do not believe PMI is an evil empire or that there is some kind of plot to destroy or pervert Agile.  Hell, some of the best and brightest from the Agile world are involved.  PMI sees an opportunity and they are seizing it.  By offering the APP certification, they just purchased a huge megaphone.  This booming voice will aid in a much more rapid adoption of Agile, compared to allowing it to continue its current organic growth.

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4 Replies to “Agile Certification Survey Results”

  1. Short term useful. Long term bad. Certification does different things for different people but the majority see it as an end, not a beginning. And that’s a problem.

    PMI are beside the point here. They are doing what their constituents and the market demand.

    1. I agree. Many do see the certification as an end and that is the tragedy. I get it. Instead of trying to master their craft, they try to master an exam. In the long run, I don’t see how that helps their customers.

      PMI is merely capitalizing on an opportunity in market demand. But hopefully those out there with the misconception that PMPs are experts will soon consider APP approaches. I write this and hear Mary Poppins singing in my head “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”

    1. Teddy, I would agree, there is a possibility it could slow things down. But, it may also encourage more adoption of Agile practices in organizations which have thought of it more as voodoo. Perhaps this will “legitimize” it in the eyes of those who believe in that sort of thing (certifications or an Agile BOK). As an Agile proponent, I just want more people to be receptive to the idea that agile approaches are an option.

      Are you promoting the URL you listed? $49 seems pretty steep, considering a PMI Agile exam doesn’t even exist yet.

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