Do Agile Project Managers Need to Be Certified?

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Last week, PMI announced the launch of its new certification for agile project managers. Those who want to get a PMI agile certificate will have to pass a challenging exam to prove they are able to apply agile methodologies on a professional level. PMI will start accepting applications in May 2011. The Institute reports that the new certification was developed by established agile practitioners and is based on reliable ways to assess competence. You can learn more about the new certification and eligibility requirements at www.pmi.org. Other organizations, like the Agile Alliance, have offered their own agile certifications before. But the Project Management Institute, with more than half a million members and credential holders in 185 countries, is definitely the most influential organization in the project management space, so it’s pleasing to see PMI now officially recognizing agile as a significant and undeniable trend in project management. Indeed, agile project management has come a long way from a novel approach to a mainstream project management methodology. It went beyond its mother field, software development, and is used in an increasingly broader set of industries nowadays. This certainly increases the demand for agile professionals, and employers want to make sure that they are hiring the right person for the job. This is where certifications prove useful. That said, there are still lots of opponents to the whole idea of agile certification. For example, one of the main arguments for Michael Dubakov, an author at the Edge of Chaos blog, is that there are so many factors influencing the management process that they make any certification impossible. “Your company is special. You have special people on the development team. You have special conditions, rules and other external factors,” writes Michael. What do you think of the new PMI certification? Will you consider it for yourself or your employees? Please post your thoughts in the comments below.

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