BAM! – PMI Agile Certification is Here

Yes. It’s here. The waiting and wondering is over. PMI is launching an Agile certification.

So what does this mean for an AgileBOK?

How is the PMI going to show that they’re doing the Agile certification right?

We’ll see. Full news email below:

Dear PMI Registered Education Providers: 

You may have noticed more discussion in the marketplace from practitioners who are investigating or have already started applying Agile principles to their practice of project management.  PMI is supporting this development with the launch of an Agile Certification.

Demand Is Growing for Applying Agile Practices in Project Management
Many project professionals are seeing the demand for Agile practices in project management, thus are eager to gain Agile techniques to apply on the job. Similarly, organizations that utilize project management to serve both internal and external clients are seeing value in Agile methods to deliver projects for these clients more quickly.

Organizations Are Embracing Agile as a Tool
Organizations who use Agile techniques in managing projects have documented the value they see from its practice:

  • Early and continuous customer feedback— as the customer is involved throughout development, they will end up with an end-product that they want and will use.
  • High visibility and influence over the project progress leading to early indications of problems.
  • Early measurable return on investment—this allows for defined deliverables at the end of each iteration and early in the process.

PMI is Supporting Important Developments in Project Management by Launching the Agile Certification
PMI regularly surveys project practitioners to further understand how they practice project management.  One key statistic that came out of our latest Pulse of the Profession survey is that standardized project management practices result in better project performance.

One of the practices that PMI has monitored over the last several years is the continuing growth and usage of Agile practices in project management.  Many practitioners have added Agile to their “Project Management Toolbox” and use it as one of many techniques in managing successful projects.

Organizations that utilize project management to serve both internal and external clients are seeing value in Agile methods to deliver projects for these clients more quickly.  As a result, more organizations and project management offices are asking their project managers to apply Agile techniques. In fact, PMI research revealed that 68% of the organizations using Agile practices would find value in an Agile certification for project management practitioners. In addition, 63% of hiring managers would encourage their project managers to pursue an Agile certification.

Who Should Pursue the PMI Agile Certification?
Practitioners who are using Agile practices in their projects, or whose organizations are adopting Agile approaches to project management, are good candidates for the PMI Agile Certification. By earning the Agile certification, practitioners can:

  • Demonstrate to employers their level of professionalism in Agile practices of project management
  • Increase their professional versatility in both project management tools and techniques
  • Show they have the capacity to lead basic Agile project teams by holding a certification that is more credible than existing training-only or exam-only based offerings

PMI serves the project management profession by providing practitioners with a toolbox of select tools and techniques—and Agile is one of those tools. For example, those who have the PMP® and are working in an organization that is using Agile techniques, the Agile Certification provides an applicable knowledge base of Agile principles and concepts.

Key Dates for the Agile Certification Launch

  • April 2011 – The Examination Outline and Key Reference texts will be available for trainers to use for updating or building Agile based project management courseware. These resources will also be made available to candidates interested in the certification.
  • May 2011 – Candidates for the Agile certification will be able to submit an application for the pilot.
  • August 2011 – Pilot testing is scheduled to begin.

37 Replies to “BAM! – PMI Agile Certification is Here”

      1. They are talking about a pilot testing, do you have any information?

        I think this is a great oportunity to early adopters to bring Agile to de PMP world.

      2. I think it’ll help – being PMP I think you will get credit for initial 2000 hours of PM experience (as that’s required to keep your PMP credential).

    1. We adapted agile long back (around 2006 time frame) and fine tuned most of the agile techniques. However I kept on waiting for PMI’s certification for agile … but it didn’t come. So finally I took two days workshop for becoming Certified Scrum Master – and literally one day back took the CS exam to become a CSM.
      Now this comes 🙂
      I do believe in agile process and will opt for this certification also.

  1. Looks like a much needed initiative. There will be critics to this movement. Let us see the course content and the vision to make any comments. Fingers crossed…

  2. I’m not one for certs, and certainly see little reason to get one. And I won’t contribute to a community that is more interested in certification money rolling in; I prefer to think we Agilistas can self-organize and act s a community without an “organization” per se.

    With that said, my positive take is it takes away credence to all the nay-sayers who said Agile can’t work.

    The negative side is that it will be the new certification du jour that employers will ask for as opposed to analyzing whether people fully understand what it means. How many Scrum Masters out there can follow rote Scrum, but if a retrospective uncovers a reason NOT to do something that is in Scrum it is blasphemy, even with team agreement?

    Anyway, we’ll see how it plays out. I’m certain people will be talking about it at Agile Coach Camp this year…


    1. Completely agreed … people who attended the CSM class with me were all (well most of them) were there as their company sent them and had very little knowledge / understanding of agile. I don’t think that can be inculcated in someone in two day workshop – it takes at least few projects to even understand why we do things the way we do it. And as Agile adopters, we all went through initial gotcha’s and problems – which I am suppose to solve as a ScrumMaster.
      I would be surprised if we are doing justice by producing whole lot of certified Scrum people !!!

  3. One of the PM in my company sent me that email since he’s a PMP.

    To me a project manager and the person in charge of agile practices are 2 distinct roles with different objectives that doesn’t always goes along.

    A project manager cares about client needs, status report, deliver on time and on budget with the most value. He manage client expectation and also team concerns if he is the coach of the team.

    An agile responsible (scrum master for example) cares about software development processes and deliver quality software. He want the team/department/company to improve in those 2 areas.

    About that certification.
    – Can be a nice introduction or transition to agile
    – PMI as a good influence and it may bring more agility in the software development community, more exposure to public

    – Many discrepancy in with Agile thinking
    – Agile is a philosophy/way of thinking/framework, not a tool you can use as is, you must adapt it to your needs
    – A project manager may not be the best person to be in charge of agile practices (ex: Scrum Master)
    – There is already certification given by the Scrum Alliance, that evolves with the agile community. (maybe I’m wrong on that one) Why have many certifications about the same thing.
    Or maybe they see their certification as a guide for project managers to not be lost in that methodology.
    – Survey question are really ambiguous to me and can be interpreted in many ways.

    The question is how the agile community can profit of that publicity to ensure the appropriate agile principles and values are sent by this action.


    1. Scrum Master and Project Manager are different roles, but it is not uncommon for one person to play multiple roles.

      Note that PMI seems to be contemplating Agile techniques for managing projects, rather than Scrum specifically, as a software development methodology. It may be that Scrum Master skills and knowledge, as evaluated by Scrum Alliance, are completely different from Agile Project Management skills and knowledge, as measured by PMI.

      1. Project Manager is NOT a SCRUM role at all – it’s more an Organization role compared to SCRUM role.
        In most of the companies, Agile is actually treated as one of the SDLC track (e.g. Waterfall, Spiral) and (rightly or wrongly) used for project management.
        I personally think Agile is more a thought process compared to anything else (which also causes huge amount of confusion as people perceive it in their own way). While ScrumAlliance has done commendable job on formalizing some of the best known methods, I would like to see how PMI puts discipline around it (while keeping proper freedom for agile thinking).

        1. No, project manager is not a Scrum role. But it is a role in most organizations big enough to do software development, which is usually just one part of a larger project or program. I regularly see project managers doing business analysis, or testing. They may be different roles, but people with multiple skills frequently assume multiple roles at different times. It’s normal.

  4. Well of course PMI had to get in on the action. Agile is in direct competition with the PMP, and if you can’t beat them – join them!!

    I saw a sample practice exam for the certification. I plan on eventually taking the pilot. Is anyone else?

  5. Pingback: PMI-ACP Exam Explained – Tips and Experiences Taking the Agile Certified Practitioner Test | The Agile Radar

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