Shibabrata Mondal - 23/Dec/2016

Agile Certifications: Why they are broken

These days I see lot of 3 letter acronyms next to people’s names. Turns out these are some certifications in project management. Going through the literature on the internet it feels like: there are these religions and the certified personnel are the high priests. Just for curiosity I went through some sample questions for one such certification. I am convinced the knowledge gained by these certifications can be easily learned by a machine (if there is any need). The machine then can augment the project manager who can focus on the real work.

So I answered 10 questions. Got 2 wrong and 8 right. I would consider that I failed the exam. I have been managing projects and people and building products for way too long to not have gotten all of them right.

Let’s first look at the 2 I got wrong


Okay, so in my world things are “done done” when they are released. But in this particular religion it’s “done done” when “exploratory testing” is done. Holy cow! Look at the explaination with a chapter and page number referenced. So clearly memorizing some idiotic things like these would definitely make me a better project manager! BTW, I am interested in knowing if there is a “done done done” and that is when Release testing is done dana done?


So I did not know what “Specification Breakdown” is and how that is different from “Strategic Alienation”. Honestly, I was thinking there should have been an “none of the above” option. Note the source here is a different book. Such a shame no page number mentioned.

Let me bore you with the other 8 that I got right. See how useful and profound they were.

ten seven six five four three two one

I am sure people who have these certifications are smart and intelligent and hardworking people. Clearly the project manager’s role requires deep people and analytical skills along with domain expertise. Knowledge of a bagful of jargons is the last thing one needs. I feel these certifications should be abolished and recruiters should stop looking for certified folks when hiring.

Shibabrata Mondal