Perspective: Does the Myriad of Agile Certifications Create a Path for Something More?

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

By Susan Parente, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PSM I, CSM, CSPO, CISSP, CRISC, RESILIA, ITIL, GCLP


I recently read an article called “The Circus of Agile Certifications…And a Challenge” by Anthony Mersino. This article pointed out a total of 256 agile certifications provided by 41 certifying bodies! (Mersino, 2019) No wonder why the most prevalent question I receive from professionals interested in agile is, “Which certification should I obtain?”. I currently have 5 agile certifications from 4 certifying bodies – this is not even the tip of the iceberg. My agile certifications include:

  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® from Project Management Institute (PMI);

  • Professional Scrum MasterTM I (PSM I) from Scrum.org;

  • Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) from Scrum Alliance®, Inc.;

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) from ScrumAlliance®, Inc.; and

  • Scrum Fundamental Certified (SFCTM) from SCRUMstudyTM

These certifications represent only 2% of today’s agile certifications, and 10% of the certifying bodies. Given this landscape, one can understand why people are lost in the deluge of certifications.


Certification validates one’s knowledge and skills in agile. Naturally, seeing all of these certifications has one think, which is the right one to obtain? As any good project management consultant would answer, I say "It depends!” Perhaps a better question is, “Which is right for me and what do I want to do with it?”


My Agile Certification Journey

I will attempt to answer this question by sharing my experience and why I obtained the certifications that I have. The first certification I obtained was the PMI-ACP from PMI and the reason I prioritized it was because of my current association with PMI, my existing Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification, and my desire to teach the PMI-ACP certification. I believed that agile was an approach that was going to become more po