The Dark Side of Agile Exams

This morning I read a very interesting post over at the AgileScout website titled Agile exams fact check. Peter Saddington (AgileScout) voiced his concerns about a PMI-ACP exam prep website called  Concerns ranged from questionable pass rates (97%) to testimonials from people who appeared to not be  PMI-ACPs. Now, I believe in capitalism.  I believe in building products that have value and can help people.  So, this morning, I went onto the AgileExams website and took a practice exam.  Per my involvement with the PMI Agile Community of Practice, my involvement with the PMI-ACP exam, and someone who actually took the exam, in my opinion, these questions are not relevant to the exam.  I'm not saying they are not accurate.  They speak very specifically to content within the PMI recommended reading list.  But the exam is not written that way.

If Agile Exams commented on the Agile Scout blog, answering the questions of its readers, perhaps this would have faded into the background rather quickly.  Instead, I was cc'd on an email from Agile Exams Customer Service to Peter.  Rather than, reading "Peter, we hear you and the community and we'll make things right.  We'll be transparent. We'll iterate our product.  We'll be agile",

this is a snippet of what I read

Kindly remove the post or make serious revisions to it to reflect that you were wrong in your baseless attack. I warned you earlier that you were border-lining on defamation/libel. In fact, you aren't just throwing into question the integrity of but also the integrity of Ravi, who does not deserve this negative attention at all! If I do not see satisfactory updates on your site, legal means will be considered.

I just saw Jesse Fewell also posted something about AgileExams.  I'm also getting emails from people I know and respect in the Agile community asking questions.  Curious to see how this plays out.

The Agile Scout blog post now has 29 comments and counting.


Image Source: Pictofigo

AgileScout Discount Code

Agile Scout PMI-ACP Discount CodeAs I'm ramping up my training offerings through LitheSpeed, I realized I would face the same marketing challenges that plagued my start-up back in the 90's.  What's the difference between now and then?  This time, we have tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course blogs. As many of you know, even if you have the greatest idea since sliced bread, if you can't get the word out, you will fail.  With that, I am distributing unique discount codes to different social circles.  I am also sharing unique discount codes with friends and colleagues, like Peter Saddington over at AgileScout. Thank you, Peter! Read more over at that AgileScout blog.

Sign up for the September 26-28 PMI-ACP workshop.



30 Second Agile Pitch

I was just over at the AgileScout website and read an entertaining account of his trip to the supermarket.  It went a little something like this:

This past weekend, like every weekend, I go to Whole Foods with my wife for our weekly food run. While sampling some of the very good wine, I ran into an old neighbor that I hadn’t seen in years.

We ended up having a long conversation about his company doing this whole “Agile and Scrum thing.” I found myself saying things like the following to help clarify his questions:

  • “Yes, that is Agile.”
  • “No, that’s not a Scrum principle.”
  • “Yes, that’s part of iterative development.”
  • “Well, that isn’t explicitly in Agile…”
  • “Well, Scrum doesn’t prescribe you to do…
  • “No, that would be waterfall…”
  • “Can we… I… get back to drinking free wine?…”

30 second Agile pitchThis reminded me of a very similar experience I had when my wife and I met some friends for dinner. One of them asked what I did exactly.  When I offered a 30 second explanation and included Agile, I got a quick “we do that at work” response. I was pleasantly surprised so I asked in what ways they leveraged Agile principles and approaches. Now, I’m no dogmatic Agilist but the follow-up response had me shaking my head. I wasn’t going to outright argue with her but she correlated doing something as fast as possible as being Agile. No collaboration, no planning, monitoring, or adapting. To her, anarchy and Agile were pretty much synonymous.

For all of you project managers, project leaders, facilitators, ScrumMasters, coaches or whatever you may call yourself, what would be your 30 second pitch?  Do you think you could explain what you do (to a layman) in 30 seconds?  I'd love hear some of your pitches.

Image: Pictofigo HT: AgileScout