Interested in earning an Agile project management certification?
The Agile methodology offers a lot of benefits.
Higher quality products, better project control, increased ROI, and most importantly, happier customers.
So what better way to learn all about Agile project management than earning a certification? You’ll also become a certified Agile professional, adding value to your resume.
But does picking the right Agile certification leave you feeling like this?
Well, it doesn’t have to be!
In this article, you’ll learn what an Agile project management certification is and why you need one. We’ll also highlight seven excellent certifications you can earn and how you can actually use your certification to become an effective Agile project management professional in 2021.
Let’s get started.
What Is an Agile Project Management Certification?
Earning an Agile project management certification not only adds value to your resume but also helps you take a step further in managing projects with agility.
But what is Agile project management?
In Agile project management, you develop a project in sprints.
Wait… ‘sprint’ as in running?
That’s just a clever wordplay by the creators of Agile.
Unlike traditional project management, in the Agile approach, a large project is broken down into smaller developmental cycles called sprints.
At the end of each sprint, you take the customer’s feedback, implement the changes in the next cycle, and then deliver the product.
This continuous improvement keeps the customers actively involved in the development process, helping you develop a product that fits their needs perfectly.
Why Do You Need an Agile Project Management Certification?
Jumping into something without having the proper knowledge might not always lead you towards your desired destination.
To help you avoid that, let’s take a look at three key reasons why you need an Agile project management certification:
1. Enhance your Agile project management skills
To manage an Agile project, you need to know its core concepts, like:
- Agile values as mentioned in the Agile Manifesto
- Agile artifacts and ceremonies
- Agile coach responsibilities
There are two ways to learn these:
- By managing Agile projects
- Enrolling in a dedicated certification program
While learning on the job is great, it can be hard to find opportunities to do that. After all, why would a company hire a manager with no Agile experience to manage an Agile project?
Additionally, limiting yourself to learning on the job could result in you taking months to grasp the required knowledge.
But in a dedicated certification program, you’ll learn these concepts much faster!
By learning these Agile concepts, you’ll enhance your skills and gain a headstart to manage projects in an Agile environment.
2. Shows your dedication towards the role
Obtaining a certification in Agile management shows your dedication toward this project methodology.
As you undergo one-on-one training experience, you’ll learn the Agile techniques to manage and successfully complete projects. This helps boost your skills, knowledge, and enhance your abilities.
This naturally shows employers that you’re dedicated to mastering Agile, helping your chances when it comes to becoming an Agile project manager.
3. Helps you easily deal with Agile projects
An Agile project management professional is expected to cross any hurdle that comes in the path of successful project completion. It can be anything from implementing Agile principles to simply conducting Agile ceremonies.
So how do you overcome these hurdles?
Simple: with an Agile management course!
These project management training courses teach you strategies to tackle challenges the correct way. This also helps you become better equipped to identify problems before they amplify, saving both your time and other resources!
Be sure to check out these top product management certifications as well
The Top 7 Agile Project Management Certifications in 2021
What’s the best way to choose a certification course?
Probably not the best idea here…
You want to pick something that’s going to suit your needs, right?
To help you find a certification that suits you best, here’s a list of seven carefully handpicked Agile project management certifications.
For each Agile certification, we’ll cover:
- Which project management institute offers it
- The domains it covers
- What are its prerequisites
- How much it costs
1. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
Created by Agilists, the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner certification formally recognizes an individual’s knowledge and skills in Agile principles and techniques. It deals with various Agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming (XP).
The Agile Certified Practitioner exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions with a time limit of 3 hours.
Note: To maintain the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner certification, you must earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) in Agile topics every 3 years.
What’s a PDU?
A PDU is a unit established by the Project Management Institute to measure an individual’s professional development.
Project Management Institute.
The Agile Certified Practitioner certification covers, topics like:
- Agile principles and mindset
- Value-driven delivery
- Agile estimating
- Team performance
- Continuous improvement
The prerequisites for this certification program are:
- A secondary degree
- 21 contact hours of training in Agile practices
- 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years
Note: A current PMP certification (Project Management Professional) or PgMP (Program Management Professional) can satisfy this requirement.
- 8 months of Agile project experience within the last 3 years
- For members of the Project Management Institute: $435
- For non-members: $495
2. PRINCE2 Agile Project Management Certifications
The PRINCE2 Agile Project Management certifications are a combination of the Agile methodology and PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2 (PRINCE2). They’re designed to teach professionals how to manage projects when working in an Agile environment.
PRINCE2 Agile offers two levels of certifications:
- PRINCE2 Agile Foundation: a foundation level certification which covers Agile techniques and frameworks
- PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner: teaches individuals how to combine project structure, governance, and control with Agile methodology and techniques
The PRINCE2 Agile Foundation certification exam consists of 50 objective type questions with a time limit of 1 hour. For the Agilepm Practitioner certification exam, it’s a 50 question open book exam with a time limit of 150 minutes.
This certification course is composed of modules like:
- PRINCE2 Agile overview
- Themes and processes in an Agile setting
- Scrum, Kanban and Lean start-up
- PRINCE2 Agile case study and activities
There are no formal prerequisites for the Agilepm Foundation certification.
However, for the Agilepm Practitioner certification, you need to have one of the following certifications:
- PRINCE2 Foundation (or higher)
- PRINCE2 Agile Foundation
- Project Management Qualification (PMQ)
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- IPMA (International Project Management Association) Levels A, B, C, and D
- For online PRINCE2 Agile Foundation & Practitioner: $1555
- For blended pack: $1860
3. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
The Certified Scrum Master certification is ideal for individuals who want to manage a Scrum team.
This certification teaches you the entire Scrum framework: various project team roles, events, and artifacts. This Agile course can assist you in becoming the perfect individual for managing a Scrum team.
To earn a Certified Scrum Master certification, you need to attend a classroom training. At the end of the training, you need to take an open book exam. The exam contains 50 multiple choice questions with a time limit of 1 hour.
The Scrum Alliance.
Certified Scrum Master certification covers topics like:
There are no prerequisites for this Agile certification.
4. Certified SAFe Agilist (Scaled Agile)
Certified SAFe (Scaled Agile framework) Agilist is a foundation level certification that teaches an individual how to implement SAFe to scale Agile development in an organization.
The certification exam is a 45-question closed book exam with a time limit of 90 minutes. Before taking the examination, you’re required to attend a 2-day Leading SAFe training course.
This Agile project management certificate covers domains like:
- Fundamentals of the Scaled Agile framework
- Business agility
- Program increment planning
- Lean portfolio management
- 5+ years of experience in software development, testing, business analysis, product, or project management
- Experience in Scrum framework
Starts at $725.
Note: The first exam attempt is included as part of the course registration fee, provided you take it within 30 days of course completion. Each retake costs $50.
5. Professional Scrum Master Certifications (PSM)
The Professional Scrum Master offers three levels of certification:
- Professional Scrum Master I: to validate the knowledge of the Scrum framework and its application
- Professional Scrum Master II: learn to use the Scrum framework for real-world application
- Professional Scrum Master III: for those who have cleared the PSM I and II assessments and plan to master the Scrum approach
The certification exam for:
- PSM I contains 80 questions with a time limit of 60 minutes
- PSM II contains 30 questions with a time limit of 90 minutes
- PSM III contains 33 questions with a time limit of 120 minutes
The Professional Scrum Master certifications cover areas such as:
- Scrum framework
- Mentoring teams
- Continuous improvement and delivery
- Portfolio planning
There are no formal prerequisites for these certifications.
- For Professional Scrum Master I assessment: $150
- For Professional Scrum Master II assessment: $250
- For Professional Scrum Master III assessment: $350
6. Certified Agile Project Manager (IAPM)
The Certified Agile Project Manager certification is for managers who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in Agile project management.
To take the certification exam, you need to register with the International Association of Project Managers. Upon successful payment and registration, you’ll receive an email with the login credentials to take the exam.
Note: These credentials are valid only for six months.
International Association of Project Managers.
This certification is based on the Agile PM Guide 2.0.
What’s the Agile PM Guide 2.0?
It’s a comprehensive guide that covers the concepts of each Agile framework (Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming).
There are no formal prerequisites for this Agile project management course.
Previous experience in project management can be super useful.
The pricing is calculated according to your nationality:
- For the US: 650,00 CHF ($689.414)
- For the UK: 562,00 CHF (£475.85)
7. ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Certified Coaching (ICP-ACC)
The Agile Certified Coaching certification helps individuals learn the fundamentals of being an Agile coach. It also covers the concepts to help you manage an Agile team easily.
There is no specific certification exam to earn this certification. Upon successful completion of this ICAgile-accredited training class, you’ll be awarded the certification.
These training courses impart the required knowledge and learnings for this certification. A training course is usually 21 hours of instructional activities across a period of three days.
The International Consortium of Agile.
This Agile certification primarily focuses on:
- Agile principles and methodology
- Agile mindset
- Role of an Agile coach
- Responsibilities of an Agile coach
There are no prerequisites for this certification.
The price of the certification depends on the training course provider.
How to Put Your Agile Project Management Certification to Use
You picked the right certification for you and have now become a certified Agile project manager.
But is that enough?
Managing an Agile project is no easy task.
You have tasks, meetings, milestones, documentation, and quite a lot more.
While a certification prepares you to handle these, you also need a platform for seamless execution.
All you need is a powerful tool like ClickUp that can make managing Agile projects a breeze!
But what’s ClickUp?
Whether it’s managing projects and collaborating with your Agile team, ClickUp’s got e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g covered!
Here’s how ClickUp makes managing projects super easy for you:
1. Custom Task Statuses for different project needs
A project’s status helps you determine what stage your project is in.
But when you’re limited to only a set of default statuses, you can end up with quite a few irrelevant ones.
That’s why ClickUp lets you create Customized Task Statuses which helps you reflect your project stages accurately!
For various projects, you can create various statuses. “Bug Testing”, “Document Review”, and“Grammar Check”! You can get as detailed and creative as you want!
The best part?
All you’ll need is a glance at a task’s status to know what stage it’s in!
Each ClickUp task comes with a dedicated comment section.
This cool space helps you:
- Discuss your tasks’ approach
- Easily share relevant files and links
- Address concerns and questions within the right context
- Tag project team members for definite follow ups
- Convert comments into action items and assign them to specific team members
With ClickUp’s Comments, you can avoid miscommunication and boost your teamwork.
Nope, think again.
As ClickUp saves all your comments, mentions, links, and attachments, you can easily access them later.
In ClickUp’s Chat view, you can review those important conversations later to clear any confusion or disputes. It provides a full view of all the conversations you’ve had with your project team.
3. Multiple Views that suit varying project styles
ClickUp’s Multiple Views help reflect any of your project needs accurately.
Whether it’s Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, or any project management methodology, ClickUp can easily adapt to it.
Here’s a closer look at what ClickUp offers:
A. Required Task Views
ClickUp offers two required task views to adapt to your Agile project:
If you like the Kanban approach, then this is the view for you. You can quickly move individual tasks around with the drag and drop interface in alignment with the principles of the Agile method.
The List view lists down tasks as GTD-style to-do lists, one below the other. You can attempt the tasks in a sequence and check them off as you progress through this simple checklist.
B. Box view
An Agile project manager can use the Box view to instantly get high-level overviews of everything going on in their organization.
As all the tasks are sorted by assignee, you can quickly take stock of everyone’s workload and assign tasks accordingly.
Does managing your project schedule feel like a tedious task?
With ClickUp’s Calendar view, you can plan and manage your project schedule in no time.
You can even toggle between each Calendar view, such as:
- Days: to view all scheduled project tasks on a given date
- 4-Days: to view your tasks that are scheduled over a rolling four day period
- Week: for a look at your weekly project schedule
- Monthly: for a bird’s eye view of your what’s coming up over the next month
D. Me Mode
With ClickUp’s Me Mode, you can quickly view all the tasks, comments, and subtasks assigned only to you. This helps you block out distractions and focus better on your project workload.
You can even customize your personalized space by simply checking the items (comments, subtasks, checklists) you want to see in your Me Mode.
4. Workflow Automation to automate repetitive tasks
Ever wished for some magic spell to help you automate repetitive manual tasks?
Well, that’s exactly what you get with ClickUp’s Automation feature!
(No Harry Potter stuff here, just sheer software brilliance.)
ClickUp lets you automate repetitive and recurring tasks, helping you save time to focus on essential tasks.
Here’s how ClickUp’s workflow Automation works:
While ClickUp offers 50+ prebuilt Automations, you can also easily create your own Custom Automations.
Here are some of the prebuilt Automations:
- Change the assignee automatically when a task’s status changes
- Automatically assign new tasks to specific team members
- Apply a template and tags to save time while creating a task
- Update task priority automatically when its checklist is cleared
- Post a comment when all subtasks within a task are marked closed
For more information on our preset Automations, click here.
5. Agile Dashboards for a visual overview of your projects
ClickUp’s Dashboard gives you a clear idea of everything happening around in your workspace. Sorta like a spacecraft’s mission control center.
Dashboards provide a high-level view of your entire project. You can monitor them to ensure things are progressing smoothly.
- Burnup Charts: display the tasks that have been completed so far
- Burndown Charts: see the work yet to be completed in a project
- Cumulative Workflow Charts: track your project’s progress over a period of time
- Velocity Charts: help determine the average completion rate of your tasks
Wait… these aren’t all of ClickUp’s features!
This versatile Agile tool offers tons of other features, like:
- Team Reporting: detailed reports for insights into your in-house or remote team’s performance
- Multiple Assignees: quickly assign multiple team members to any task
- Pulse: view your workspace’s hourly activity for any day
- Priorities: prioritize tasks according to their urgency
- Dependencies: know the correct order of the tasks to be attempted
- Docs: create and share project documents with your project team members
- Goals: keep your Scrum or Agile team motivated with goals and targets
You’re now familiar with different Agile project management certifications.
So choosing one shouldn’t be a tough decision, right?
Just go through the certifications we’ve listed here and pick the one that suits you best.
But remember, earning a certification isn’t enough.
You need to put it to good use as well!
And as tools like ClickUp assist you with Agile project and team management, why not sign up for it today?
It has all the features to help you become an Agile project management rockstar!