Disciplined Agile

The Value and Limits of Certification

Disciplined Agile® Certification is for agile professionals working in enterprise-class settings such as banks, insurance companies, retailers, and government agencies. You’re not working in ideal situations – you have legacy cultures, legacy systems, and legacy processes to overcome – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make things better. You take pride in your work and you want to create environments where you can be effective, and you can do that by adopting Disciplined Agile strategies.


Let's explore three questions:

1. Why should individuals get certified in Disciplined Agile?

2. Why should organizations support Disciplined Agile certification?

3. What are the limits of certification?


Why Should Individuals Get Certified in Disciplined Agile?

Are you tired of being embarrassed telling people what agile certifications you have? Are you tired of dancing around what little you had to do to “earn” your certification or what little knowledge about agile that effort actually imparted? Are you tired of explaining that you got certified only because it looks good on your resume, when in fact it only looks good to organizations that really don’t know what they’re asking for?

Disciplined Agile certification takes a principled approach that provides real value to practitioners. Disciplined Agile certifications are respected because they are earned. There are several benefits of Disciplined Agile certification for practitioners:

  • Increase your knowledge. Disciplined Agile certification requires you to have a comprehensive understanding of Disciplined Agile Delivery, which in turn describes how all aspects of agile principles and practices fit together in an enterprise-class environment. 
  • Improve your employability. Disciplined Agile certification indicates to employers that you're dedicated to improving your knowledge and skills, a clear sign of professionalism.
  • Improve your career options. Disciplined Agile certification can help you gain that new position or role as the result of your increased knowledge base and desire to improve.


Why Should Organizations Support Disciplined Agile Certification?

For organizations the primary value of disciplined agile certifications are that they indicate that people have gained a certain level of knowledge and in some cases expertise in Disciplined Agile methods. Our principled approach to Disciplined Agile certification results in respected certifications that you can trust. There are several benefits of Disciplined Agile certification for organizations:

  • It is meaningful. Disciplined Agile certification has to be earned. It is an indication that your people have a comprehensive understanding of enterprise-class development, and not just cargo cult agile.  
  • It forms the basis of measurable skills assessment. Because the certifications build upon each other you can use them as a measure of how well agile skills and knowledge are spreading through your organization.
  • It is trustworthy. Because Disciplined Agile certification is externally managed it is difficult for teams to game the numbers, unlike the self-assessment approach that is becoming all too common.


What are the Limits of Certification?

But there are clear limits to certification. The fact that someone is certified in X tells you they have made it through the certification process for X, but it doesn't tell you whether that person will be a good fit for your organization, how successful at solution delivery they actually are, whether they will be an effective team member, or in some cases whether they are actually proficient at X. Earning and maintaining respectable certifications are an important but small part of the overall effort of being an IT professional.

December 2021