PMI Agile Certification… The PMI Agile Project Professional

This content is syndicated from LeadingAgile by Mike Cottmeyer. To view the original post in full, click here.

It’s been a long time coming… maybe the worst kept secret on the planet. The kind of news that catches you off guard, but when you think about it… realize it was inevitable. PMI has finally announced it intends to create an agile project management certification. In my opinion this is great news, though I realize that not every one will share my enthusiasm. The agile certification space is something I’ve been involved with since 2006 when I was asked to lead  track on the APLN Learning & Recognition program.  We created a certification that ultimately became the DSDM Agile Project Leader designation. I’ve been fortunate to be involved with the PMI Agile group since it’s inception, and was in Philadelphia with Jesse Fewell over a year ago when this was first conceived. We’ve had a ton of really smart people involved, people you’d know and respect in the agile community.  While I don’t think what we created is perfect, I do believe it is a step in the right direction.  I do believe we will learn from this and get better over time.  I believe this certification is solid enough to put my name behind and fully support its introduction into the market.  I am personally committed to making it better as we learn more.  PMI is committed to making this better as we learn more. Here are some questions I was asked about this certification… I wanted to share my answers with you guys in their entirety… let me know what you think. How is the PMI-APP good for project management practices? I’m a believer that certification can be a useful tool to help people establish a baseline of understanding in a given field. Certification can give us shared language, and shared understanding, around the ideas we think are most important. There is a ton of education that needs to happen in order for project managers to safely and pragmatically apply agile concepts in their organizations. This certification will establish a baseline set of competencies for learning and education, and a way to be recognized as someone who understands the basics of agile project management. How do you view the alignment of agile with PMI standards? There is synergy between PMI standards and the PMI-APP certification, but they are not totally congruent. Agile challenges many of our traditional notions about project management, especially as they relate to our assumptions about uncertainty. In many fields, software product development being a prime example, it just isn’t in our best interest to know everything up front. Sometimes it is in our best interest to let some of our requirements emerge and we learn more about the developing system. We need credible strategies for managing time, cost, and scope, and being able to know what done looks like, in the face of overwhelming uncertainty. Why is this certification important to the project management profession and to Agile? Project managers need to have agile as part of their overall toolkit. It might not be the right answer for every project, or in every problem domain, but agile has become as essential approach for effectively delivering project work in environments where change is the norm. Agile gives us tools for converging on desired outcomes, and working in close collaboration with our customers to maximize the value our projects create. This certification will give us shared language for how to do this… a starting point if you will. It will also help us legitimize agile in organizations that have been resistant to giving these methods a try. What makes this certification different than other certifications in Agile? For a certification to be credible it has to be experienced based and centered around a published set of criteria. The PMI certification requires significant field experience using agile methods, education hours specifically related to agile project management, and the ability to demonstrate knowledge about agile in a controlled testing environment. This is a certification specifically designed to help project managers understand what it takes to competently deliver agile project work, and provide a way for them to be recognized for having that knowledge. Is this good for the agile community, or the end of the world as we know it?  Could it be both?  I sure do hope so!

Leave a Reply

What is 3 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
Please do this simple sum so I know you are human:)

There are 101 ways to approach anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly revolutionised the way our digital department operated. A true advocate of agile principles, he quickly improved internal communication within our teams and our internal clients by aligning our business and creating a much enhanced sense of transparency in the decisions the business was making. Kelly also introduced a higher sense of empowerment to the development teams...”


“Kelly’s a leading program director with the ability to take charge from day one and keep strong momentum at both a program and project level driving prioritisation, resourcing and budgeting agendas. Kelly operates with an easy-going style and possesses a strong facilitation skill set. From my 5 months experience working with Kelly, I would recommend Kelly to program manage large scale, complex, cross company change programs both from a business and IT perspective.”


“Kelly is an extremely talented and visionary leader. As such he manages to inspire all around him to achieve their best. He is passionate about agile and has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in this area. If you're 'lucky' he might even tell you all about his agile blog. Above all this, Kelly is great fun to work with. He is always relaxed and never gets stressed - and trust me, he had plenty of opportunity here! If you get the chance to work with Kelly, don't pass it up.”


“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”


“Kelly and I worked together on a very large project trying to secure a new Insurer client. Kelly had fantastic commercial awareness as well as his technical expertise. Without him I would never had secured this client so I owe a lot to him. He is also a really great guy!”


“Kelly came to the department and has really made a huge impact on how the department communicates, collaborates and generally gets things done. We were already developing in an agile way, but Kelly has brought us even more into alignment with agile and scrum best practices, being eager to share information and willing to work with us to change our processes rather than dictate how things must be done. He is highly knowledgable about agile development (as his active blog proves) but his blog won't show what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he is. I highly recommend Kelly to anyone looking for a CTO or a seminar on agile/scrum practices - you won't be disappointed!”


“Kelly was a great colleague to work with - highly competent, trustworthy and generally a nice bloke.”


“Kelly was engaged as a Program Director on a complex business and technology transformation program for Suncorp Commercial Insurance. Kelly drew on his key capabilities and depth of experience to bring together disparate parties in a harmonised way, ensuring the initiate and concept phases of the program were understood and well formulated. Excellent outcome in a very short time frame. ”


“I worked with Kelly on many projects at IPC and I was always impressed with his approach to all of them, always ensuring the most commercially viable route was taken. He is great at managing relationships and it was always a pleasure working with him.”


“I worked with Kelly whilst at Thoughtworks and found him to be a most inspiring individual, his common-sense approach coupled with a deep understanding of Agile and business makes him an invaluable asset to any organisation. I can't recommend Kelly enough.”


“Kelly was a brilliant CTO and a great support to me in the time we worked together. I owe Kelly a great deal in terms of direction and how to get things done under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thanks Kelly.”