I need to make a confession, I am a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner, Certified Scrum Professional and SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4). The reality is that I have never done my job better or differently because of certification. I have also never hired anyone because of their certification. No one I know in the Agile space has hired anyone because of a ‘two day certification training course’ on their CV.
Some of the best coaches, trainers, Scrum Masters and Product Owners I know, and have worked with are not even certified, even after doing their role for many years. They got certified due to recruiters not contacting them or for putting them forward for roles.
The way I see it, apart from your CV appearing on a list of candidates when recruiters run their keyword searches, I see no value in certification, for this reason I have decided not to renew my Agile certifications.
I came to this conclusion after many years, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was in an interview I did with a well-known bank. The interviewer asked about my certifications, I told her about them – not the highlight of the interview. She said she was a Certified Scrum Master just like me and knew all about Scrum. Ironically, she didn’t even know the basics and talked about Gantt charts, Microsoft Project and managing Scrum teams!
Certification gives the illusion that you know a topic and passing a test gives people the idea that they know everything they need to carry out the role. I saw this on the Product Owner certification course, people who had no idea about Agile turned up to get certified to find an IT job.
Certifications have lost their meaning over the years, it has become a ‘rubber stamp’ and a lucrative business. I feel like we have forgotten that Agile is about providing value to our customers and the Agile Manifesto’s Values and Principles are not just props to be used at training sessions, they are there for a reason.
I spend a lot of my free time learning about all things Agile; I read blogs, visit websites and listen to podcasts. So, to consolidate and share my learning, and to give my own perspectives, I have decided to start a blog. It will talk about ways to train yourself and be good at Agile without spending a fortune, or lose two days of your life in a training room. My blogs will be posted fortnightly, with links to articles, YouTube clips and anything else that might help people to educate themselves on all things Agile.
I will keep the blog dogma free, I love all and am not picky where I learn from to become better at what I do. Please feel free to share anything you find that you think should be mentioned in my next blog. Finally, remember that you can’t learn Agile from books, you still have to practice Agile to be agile.
P.S I am dyslexic so if you see anything that can be improved in my writing, feel free to message me.