Professional certification courses for Agile methodologies is available for IT professionals who have worked in Agile projects or who have worked in complex software projects. These certification courses are designed to test your knowledge and competence of the Agile framework.
Though there are several Agile-related certification courses available in the market, most of them can be categorized under the umbrella of 2 main categories namely, Project management-based or Scrum-based.
This article discusses the details of these 2 categories of Agile certifications and recommends which is the right one to pursue.
About Agile Project Management certification
The purpose of Agile project management is on developing software solutions incrementally to enable project teams to respond effectively to change in customer requirement, while delivering the product in quicker time to the customer.
A certification course in Agile project management is designed to explain the foundation of successful agile projects and on how to manage the project from the start to its completion.
An IT professional, certified in Agile project management, has the following benefits:
- Develops an advanced level of knowledge about Agile and can apply the project management methodology to any software project.
- Differentiate between the project management principles between traditional and Agile project environments, and apply the same to different work scenarios.
- Promote a trustful collaboration between the business owners and the Agile development teams, while providing the management day-to-day visibility into the progress of the project.
- Experienced IT professionals can also combine the learnings of traditional project management methods and Agile methods, thus providing them more control over a fast-evolving business environment.
- Improve the success rate and time-to-market duration of software releases.
Agile project management certifications, such as the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) course from the Project Management Institute (PMI) require students who have real-world experience of being part of an Agile project team and provides the students working knowledge of multiple Agile methodologies including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and others.
Additionally, certified ACP holders must earn 30 professional development units every 3 years to maintain their status.
About Scrum-based certification
While project management-based certification provides a single certification credential, Scrum-based certification is divided into multiple certification courses based on the role being played by the individual in the Agile project.
Scrum-based certification offers courses for the following roles:
- Certified ScrumMaster
- Certified Scrum Product Owner
- Certified Scrum Developer
- Certified Scrum Professional
Scrum-based certification program, such as the Scrum Alliance, is designed for software professionals, who can support the adoption of Scrum framework and its benefits in software development. Scrum-based certification is important for individuals from the software industry, who want to grow in an iterative software development environment. Certified knowledge of the Agile methodology can boost their career prospects.
Which certification program is better?
Gaining certification accreditation for both project management and Scrum can be beneficial for software experts, who want to manage projects for different types of software companies and can benefit from the different project management frameworks. Knowledge of multiple PM frameworks like Scrum, Lean, and XP can only be gained by pursuing both categories of courses.
Besides this, let us look at a comparison of these Agile certification courses in the following parameters:
- Industry orientation
A PM-certified individual is oriented towards being both industry agnostic and product agnostic, meaning their specialization is not restricted to any particular industry, or products that can functions on multiple platforms (example, mobile phone and desktop).
The Scrum-certified individual, who typically was focussed on software development, is now product agnostic.
- Job preference
The PM-certified individuals are looking at a career as a project manager, as many software industry recruiters demand Agile certification in project manager openings.
A Scrum-certified individual is seeking growth and opportunities in the field of software development or to be a Scrum expert in any Agile software project environment.
- Recertification requirements
Individuals certified in Agile PM programs, require to take a recertification (or continued education) on a 3-year cycle.
Individuals certified in Scrum-based programs, require to take a recertification (or continued education) on a 2-year cycle.
Project managers or any team members, who hold any Project manager professional certificate, can benefit the most from the Agile PM certification program.
Software team members, who have working knowledge of the Scrum methodology and have been part of Scrum-based projects, can benefit the most from the Scrum certification programs.
Depending upon the student’s previous experience and future growth map, either (or even both) of these Agile-based certification courses can be pursued for gaining recognition in a rapidly-evolving software development environment.