If you’re in a particular Agile crowd, “certification” is a dirty word.

On the other hand, the Human Resources/People department in your organization looks for certifications on your resume, asks about them in job interviews, and you may get promoted or better compensated party through the accumulation of certifications. Getting “certified” as a user of a tool, or as a signal of skill acquisition may give you a personal boost as well.

So, what’s with the dirty word? What’s not to like about certification?

Well, Jim Shore has written about thisextensively. He’s even debated the merits of it in public forums.

We think anyone can agree that having the piece of paper may not accurately reflect your skillset.

The Agile Alliance opinion on the matter is that certifications should be skill-based, difficult to achieve, and not a primary reason to hire.

So in this storm of differing opinions about the upsides, downsides, and current realities about certification. It’s easy to forget the most important missing elements.

  • Where am I on my Agile skill journey?
  • What have I just mastered?
  • What skill do I need to work on next?

Without this fundamental guiding compass, of “where have we come from?” and “where do we need to go next?”, Agile teams stagnate, founder, and drown in the swamp of opinions, skills, practices, philosophies, and so on, that comprise the current state of Agile.

Point being, if “Agile done well” was simple, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Anybody could do it. No problem.

By having the conversation, we can simplify the complex and create a compass for navigating the swamp.

Even better, as more of us make it through, we begin to beat a series of paths through the swamp that work for most teams most of the time, leaving the Agile landscape better than we found it. Safer. More fun. More “this is the best job I’ve ever had.” More able to deliver value.

In five years, the Agile landscape may look more like a garden than a swamp.

When you attend the Agile Fluency™ Project workshop, we won’t certify you, but you will become intimately familiar with the Agile Fluency model and the best of good practices. The model will empower you to evaluate your team and the teams of others according to their behaviors and the results they achieve. You will know just where you are coming from, where you need to go next, and the investment in skills and gear to navigate the swamp. You’ll be able to help other teams find the same knowledge. And the freedom that it brings.

Our goal is to turn the Agile community itself into the informal “certifying” authority. Your peers around you will see the results you deliver. They will look for ways they can help you become better and how you can help them.

Join us in September, and we’ll build this together.

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