As with anything that changes the way we work, the questions are always the same – what are they good for? Do we need them? Why change what works? And while these are valid points, it is also worth saying that no-one who has gone through something like an agilepm foundation training course has gone back to their old way of doing things.
A changing approach
Agile first came to the world through software development back in the early 2000s. The first outline of the approach was the Manifesto for Software Development. Since then, many different industries have realised that becoming Agile is what they need. Allowing a continuous change and flow to projects that work for any industry, it allows companies to create goals, principles and practices in entirely new ways.
The growth of Agile has led to the creation of a wide range of Agile certifications. These can cost hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds and go into ever since nuance of Agile or cover the main areas that a specific type of business requires. So how do you find the right one?
Foundation to frame your experience
One reason that an Agile certificate can be a great option is when you use it as a foundation to frame the experience you get from your work, the projects or tasks you are undertaking. It can help to supplement your experience and allow you to see the philosophical basis for the whole system.
Does everyone on the team need an Agile certificate? Not always because not everyone needs to understand the whole process. The key is to have one or two people in each team who are responsible for organising how things are done while the rest of the team can simply focus on what they need to do to contribute. In this situation, one or two people would benefit hugely from the right Agile certification.
There is no doubt that as more industries recognise the power and benefit of Agile, people who have trained in it become more appealing candidates. While it is no guarantee that you will land the role, there are many people with Agile certificates who have found it has been the deciding factor when against another candidate with much the same experience and qualifications but doesn’t have the Agile paperwork.
The same can be applied to in-house promotions – your Agile training and certificate can put you ahead of colleagues who haven’t done the training when it comes to getting internal promotions. Or it might make the difference in securing the pay rise you seek because you have these extra abilities you can bring to the project and justify the wage increase.
Getting the right qualification
One point that can sometimes be used against Agile certificates is that they don’t all have a certain guarantee of standard. Lax vetting, poor quality training or exam requirements that are below standard are all concerns that some employers can have about Agile certificates.
That’s why it is important to look for accreditations of the course you are considering. For example, if a course is accredited by the APMG and works with formal approaches such as PRINCE2, CMM1 and the ISO 9001, then you know the end qualification is going to be good quality. This will also be recognised by employers and ensure you get that extra credit for having it.
How to study Agile?
While there are courses you can attend in person, many people choose to study online as it is convenient and can be done around other work commitments. Once you have found an accredited course that covers the topics you want to learn, you often have no set schedule to study and can do as much in each sitting as you want.
If you are completely new to Agile, then a Foundation course is the best place to start. This educates you on the core principles needed to use Agile in a successful project and helps with a range of clear and concise examples to help you see the process in action. It is ideal for anyone starting with Agile but is often used as well by those with experience but want to add a formal certificate to sit with it.
Whether you have already embraced Agile for your job or want to start training in the approach, the right Agile certificate can ensure you have the best foundations and supplementary methodologies to get what you need. While not everyone might want to have this kind of training, if yours is a role where the system can be used, it can help you start out against other candidates or make you a better candidate for promotion.
Even if you don’t want a career specifically using Agile, the techniques and approaches can help in many different industries to improve workflow and productivity and training can be perfect for this.