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Welcome to the Agile Interview Series. As part of this series, we ask agile practitioners 7 questions, focused around agile and agile related certifications. Our goal with this series is to give you multiple perspectives from a variety of practitioners within the agile space.
How did you get into the agile space?
I started with Agile RUP, maybe one of the few? Anyway, we agilified a Govt contract I was the ‘PM‘ for and released apps every couple of months.
What is your focus area/area of expertise related to agile?
Personally, executive & middle management now that I have become a coach. For teams, I have a desire to help those that help legacy maintenance.
What is your view on certifications? Should people get them or not?
Certifications are a marketing tool; they are used to differentiate the unititiated. Here’s an anecdote. While I worked for one USDA organization, I saw an interesting job pop up on USAjobs within another part, so I considered applying. However, I noticed that they wanted a PMP, so I called the HR person and asked if it had to be current and whether an equivalent would work. (I had the Department of Defense equivalent, which actually was more rigorous to be honest.) They responded it had to be current or there was no chance of an interview. I thanked her and mentioned that it told me that they considered the knowledge flushed out of people’s heads as soon as expiration occurred I suppose. At the time, it was an administrative burden to keep up the PMP and yet most just cared you had received it at some point, years of experience mattered more.
What certifications do you have and why?
I have 3 certs: CSM, ICP-ATF, and ICP-ACC, mostly because I had the opportunity. I don’t site them in my LinkedIn profile or any other way as I think of them as by products, not actual certs that mean anything.
What is your favorite agile related book?
Very tough… One of the first I found useful as a practitioner was Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby.
I also like Lean from the Trenches by Henrik Kniberg
and Ship It! by Jared Richardson and William Gwaltney for being so down to earth pragmatic.
Any final thoughts for other agile practitioners?
As you start the Agile Journey, pay attention to what Organizational Psychologists, Cultural Anthropologists, and Sociologists have to say; it is VERY relevant to the change management you will be embracing, much more so than typical change management approaches.