Agile Elevated

Certification helped these project professionals boost their careers and become change agents within their organizations.

In a volatile business environment, organizations are looking for agile leaders — project professionals who can revamp how the business runs projects and serve as evangelists who can get teams on board with a new approach.

Moving to agile helps project teams manage changing priorities, increase productivity and boost delivery speed, according to VersionOne's 11th annual State of Agile Report. But organizations will only see those benefits if team members actively adopt a new mindset.

Becoming a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® can give project professionals the skills and expertise they need to accelerate an organization’s agile transformation. Here’s how a PMI-ACP certification helped three project professionals build credibility and show off their leadership skills.

A meeting of project managers

Bird's Eye View

When U.S. big data visualization and analytics company Zoomdata wanted to move to an end-to-end agile software delivery process, the company’s leaders knew they needed an expert to help guide the process. So, in January 2017, they hired Akmal Nasimov, PMI-ACP, PMP, as the director of agile delivery.

His first step was to consolidate existing processes and build buy-in with the team. To communicate the value of agile — and the different ways the teams could optimize their process workflows — he relied on 10 years of experience and the knowledge of different agile approaches that he honed while earning his PMI-ACP certification.

“It helped me understand the ‘big picture’ of agile,” says Mr. Nasimov, Reston, Virginia, USA. “It also boosted the perception of me as a seasoned agile professional in the eyes of my upper management and industry peers at the time.”

Onward and Upward

Agile certification increasingly has become a requirement for some roles. Giorgio Lippolis, PMI-ACP, PMP, senior project manager, Thomson Reuters, London, England, discovered this when he moved from Naples, Italy. His three most recent positions in London specifically requested an agile certification in the job posting.

Earning the PMI-ACP also helped him expand his knowledge beyond Scrum by studying and comparing other agile approaches and frameworks.

“This allowed me to become a better agile project manager, able to pick different bits from different frameworks to tailor the process that works better on the projects I have to manage,” he says.

The Power to Transform

For others, agile certification is more than a smart career move — it’s a confidence builder. Duraideivamani Sankararajan, PMI-ACP, PMP, program manager, IBM India, Bengaluru, India, says his agile certification has given him the tools to deliver complex projects and programs with greater authority.

He recently managed a program to deliver an enterprise software application that drove his team to adopt an agile approach. The program required multiple departments and user groups to work together to migrate data from legacy systems while staying in compliance with government regulations.

To start the transition, he focused on helping teams develop an agile mindset. He leveraged the expertise he developed while earning his PMI-ACP certification to run a half-day training that introduced agile methodologies and built the team’s trust in his leadership abilities.

“The team believed in me more because of the certification,” Mr. Sankararajan says.

As the pace of change continues to accelerate around the world, developing agile knowledge and power through certification helps professionals keep their projects — and careers — up to speed.

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