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Agile Leaders Weigh in on PMI Agile Certification

by Todd Charron on May 19, 2011 |

Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber welcomes PMI's establishment of its own Agile certification program, and has recently posted his thoughts.

I of course welcome this and look forward to PMI shifting from its previous approach to an agile approach. The test of this will be, of course, the success of the projects that adhere to its principles.

He later went on to compare and contrast the traditional PMI approach with an Agile approach to projects.

We have found that the role of the project manager is counterproductive in complex, creative work. The project manager’s thinking, as represented by the project plan, constrains the creativity and intelligence of everyone else on the project to that of the plan, rather than engaging everyone’s intelligence to best solve the problems.
We have replaced the project manager with the Scrum Master, who manages the process and helps the project and organization transition to agile practices.

Later, Ken highlighted what he thought was the biggest challenge the PMI would have to overcome in order for their program to be successful.

How PMI bridges the profound difference in philosophy, thinking, leadership and management between its traditional predictive approach and the new agile empirical approach will be fascinating to watch. How it refashions the role of project manager will be an exercise in agility itself. I for one wish the people at PMI the best.

Tobias Mayer was not quite as welcoming.

Scrum, and the way of thinking that it attempts to socialize in the world of work, has nothing to do with project management.
Organizations like PMI, Scrum Alliance, ICAgile and others who are trying to grab a slice of the Agile market are like parasites feeding off the souls of people who really care about change in the world.
I am not interested in half-measures, or “corporate-approved Agile”. This strikes me as worse than useless. At least the previous command and control culture was honest. This fake-Agile is deeply disingenuous, pandering as it does to those in fear of real change.

Mike Cohn provided the Scrum Alliance point of view.

While the Scrum Alliance and PMI are competitors in some ways, they each serve a common audience, and their real future is together"
People likely to get a certification or training from one of these organizations are likely to be interested in agile training or certifications from the other.

It seems the bar for community acceptance has been set high. Only time will tell if the PMI can rise up to the challenge.

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