As the rate at which our world changes increases, traditional education has struggled to keep up. It’s incredibly difficult for something like an MBA program to constantly stay on top of all the latest changes in the business world, let alone a traditional four year degree.
That’s why certifications have become more vital than ever. They can change and evolve far faster than those traditional programs. They’re also shorter, enabling someone working full-time to obtain one without needing to take leave from work or make huge sacrifices elsewhere.
But the increasing importance of certifications also means that there are more out there than ever. But whether you’re in marketing, HR, or even just management, a business agility certification is one of the most powerful tools for your success.
Strong Agile Foundations Are Key to Success
Around the world, everyone from small startups to massive multinationals are using Agile to become more responsive, efficient, and transparent. A recent McKinsey study found that Agile transformations have enormous impacts on efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and operational performance. More and more organizations are seeing these benefits and looking for ways to begin their own Agile transformations.
Looking at just one function, companies like Dell, IBM, General Mills, and Cornell University all use Agile in their marketing. Elsewhere, Agile is becoming popular in sales, procurement, HR, and project management.
However, the key to being able to adapt Agile to all of these areas is a strong foundation in Agile principles. This is what enables you to know what will work and what will put you on the path to “fake Agile”, where you think you are being Agile but in reality you’re missing out on its benefits.
This is why a business agility certification is so useful. By giving you a solid foundation in Agile fundamentals, it empowers you to adapt and use Agile in a wide variety of contexts. If, on the other hand, you jump straight to trying to use Agile ways of working like daily standups or visualization boards without a strong foundational understanding, you’re far less likely to find success.
A Business Agility Certification Makes you More Attractive to Employers
All the benefits Agile brings are wonderful, but it’s hard to access them if you can’t get hired in the first place. Fortunately, certifications play a critical role in communicating to hiring managers. Studies have long shown that recruiters spend just seconds looking at your resume, so a strong first impression is vital.
Certifications are a fast way to communicate the skills you have as well as the fact that you’ve invested time, and likely money, in finding ways to concretely demonstrate those skills. Recruiters know that including a reference to Agile experience in a resume is easy and somewhat unclear, but instead saying that you have a business agility certification tells them something far more specific and compelling.
So, instead of burying your Agile experience in a description of a past position, simply listing it prominently as a certification makes it far more likely for a recruiter to spot it in those brief seconds. It makes the recruiter’s job easier and helps ensure your resume creates a strong first impression.
Agile Teams Prefer to Hire Experienced Agile Practitioners
With so many organizations adopting Agile ways of working, hiring people with existing Agile experience is becoming more important. The latest State of Agile Marketing report, for example, found that by far the biggest barrier to implementing Agile was a lack of training or knowledge about Agile approaches.
This points to why it’s so valuable to hire people with existing Agile experience, as it means you can arrive already having overcome the greatest barrier most organizations face. Whether you’re being hired by a team interested in trying Agile or an existing Agile team that would rather skip the step of educating you on how they work, that foundation of experience is immensely useful.
Ultimately, Agile isn’t just a set of steps in a process, it’s a mindset. While teaching hard skills is usually more straightforward, cultivating a different mindset is another matter altogether. So making it clear that you already have that critical Agile mindset makes you a far more attractive hire.
A Certification Is an Easy Way to Gain Agile Experience
If you’re interested in trying out Agile ways of working, you’re often not lucky enough to already work in a place where that’s possible. That means, outside of searching for an entirely new position, you can easily end up stuck wondering how you can develop an Agile mindset.
Simply doing some of the common activities associated with Agile, like trying out retrospectives, is great but definitely not enough on their own. In fact, starting to use elements of Agile without a strong basis in its fundamentals is how many end up in the “fake Agile” trap. This often results in teams thinking they’re Agile while wondering why they’re not actually getting the benefits they expect.
This is why obtaining a business agility certification is one of the easiest ways to get that first bit of critical experience. Once you have a strong basis in those fundamentals, you’ll be equipped to adapt and use Agile more effectively.
An Agile Certification Is an Investment in Better Work
Most of us have experienced the feeling of deep frustration over unclear work requirements, responsibilities, and processes. Work can end up done poorly or not done at all, leading to entire teams getting mired in frustration and wondering who to blame.
Fortunately, this is precisely the kind of harmful dynamic Agile is designed to avoid.
As the McKinsey report mentioned earlier makes clear, Agile holds a wealth of benefits for teams and organizations that use it. The greater empowerment, transparency, and accountability it brings can transform how teams function, resulting in better performance alongside happier team members.
This is because Agile makes it clear who is doing what, who is responsible for work, and integrates opportunities to reflect on what’s working and find ways to improve. The results can be transformative. The internet is full of examples of people writing about how Agile changed their work and life. You can certainly ask someone who’s experienced a well-performing Agile team and they will tell you it’s night and day compared to what they experienced before.
Start Your Path Towards Agile Success Today
If you’re curious to see just what a business agility certification looks like including the time and cost commitment as well as typical course structure, read more about our fundamentals of business agility course. It’s designed to allow anyone to work their way through the fundamentals, ensuring they finish with the foundation they need for Agile success.