Certification & Training Paths for Agile Practitioners


All About Certification — A Blog Series: Table of Contents

This article is one part in a series I started in 2019 to address questions that I frequently receive about training courses and certifications.


I’ll not hide my bias toward the Scrum.org and ProKanban.org certifications. Other organizations may provide similar courseware and competing certifications and I encourage all readers to explore those options on their own. I’ll add only this word of caution: As interest grows in Agile practices worldwide, certifications are popping up everywhere. Be careful out there! Not all certifications are credible, some are worse than useless.

Contact me anytime if you are having difficulty assessing the credibility and value of training options.

I also recommend everyone in the Agile community look to the 17 names on The Manifesto for Agile Software Development, learn about those people and the experts they endorse, and ask many questions before you pay money for a training course or certification.

Why This Blog Series?

Because people often ask in my classes.

Participants in my classes frequently ask my advice regarding training and certification. “I’m a business analyst. How do I contribute in an Agile team?” or “I’ve been a project manager for years but I really want to change focus. What certifications should I pursue to get a job in a Scrum team?” I hope this series provides ideas and guidance for those individuals.

Because my enterprise clients often ask.

And, as I’ve worked with many of Canada’s largest enterprises, senior members of often ask me to advise their audit and management personnel with respect to professional development and certification for Agile team members. I compiled many of the materials in this blog series at their request.

The reasons for their request are sensible:

  1. As the enterprise invests in Agile ways-of-working and learns more about iterative & incremental development practices like eXtreme Programming and Scrum, it is important they provide their delivery staff with professional development opportunities in those areas.

    This is important both in a practical sense and with respect to audit controls and governance. The enterprise must do, and prove that it's doing everything within reason to ensure staff can conduct the work skillfully.

  2. Enterprises tend to invest in ways-of-working which are teachable, repeatable, and reliable. They believe, and trust deeply, that the Agile community has developed well-established and standard methods which can be taught and learned systematically. And we have! The Agile community is prolific with many excellent practices and patterns to offer. In this series, I will outline the common training courses which are best known to teach those practices and patterns.

  3. Human Resources personnel may struggle to support conventional managers as they adapt to Agile ways of working. The values and principles which help an Agile organization thrive are not typical, often counter-intuitive, and not yet the focus of MBA programs, and so on. (e.g. How does one simultaneously encourage self-organization while operating a legacy system of bureaucratic hierarchy?) In this series, I will recommend specific Leadership training courses to help enterprises ensure their senior staff are equipped to create an environment in which Agile values and principles can thrive.

To enjoy this series, use the “Next Article” button below or the Table of Contents.

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David Sabine
David Sabine
Professional Scrum Trainer
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