6 Popular Agile Certifications in 2023

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Agile certifications can focus solely on broad Agile principles, be specific to Scrum or other methodologies, or solidify your Agile scaling skills.

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An Agile certification recognizes your expertise in Agile concepts, and signals to employers that you’ve taken the time to study and earn a credential. Agile certifications can level up your career in project management, position you as an Agile professional, and help you bring Agile practices into your work environment and empower cross-functional teams. Though Agile practices originated in software development, the fluid project management style continues to be adopted by other business sectors, including IT, operations, marketing, and HR [1]. 

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Agile Project Management

This is the fifth course in the Google Project Management Certificate program. This course will explore the history, approach, and philosophy of Agile ...

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Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum

The following Agile certifications include broad ones that cover the Agile philosophy as a whole, certifications specific to Scrum (the most common Agile methodology), and a certification for scaling Agile in organizations.

1. PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)

Administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the PMI-ACP is designed for those in Agile teams or organizations adopting Agile practices. The PMI-ACP covers several different Agile methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP), and test-driven development (TDD). To be eligible for the exam, you’ll need to have at least eight months of Agile project experience in the last three years, and twenty-one hours of training in Agile, among other factors.

Cost: $495 for non-PMI members, $435 for PMI members

Read more: What Is Agile? A Beginner's Guide

2. ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP)

The International Consortium for Agile’s (ICAgile) broadest certification offering is the ICAgile Certified Professional, a foundational certification that serves as a gateway to other certifications administered by the organization. The certification focuses on Agile concepts and principles, without targeting any specific methodology like Scrum or XP. This makes it a good option for those who are looking to understand the fundamentals behind Agile. ICAgile administers other Agile certifications at various levels, like the ICP Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF) certification, which can help if you hope to become an Agile coach. You’ll have to take an online or in-person course with a certified training provider in order to earn the ICP.

Cost: Depends on course, starts at around $700 for US offerings. Courses include ICP certification, no exam is required.

3. AgilePM Foundation - APMG

The AgilePM Foundation certification is administered by APMG International. The certification is designed for current project managers, Agile team members who want to become Agile project managers, and those who want to go on to get the AgilePM Practitioner certification. You’ll be tested on the broad philosophies and principles of Agile, as well as more specific techniques, roles, and responsibilities with an Agile project. You’ll have to pass an exam to earn the certification; coursework is optional and will be an added cost.

Cost: $650 for the exam and certification

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Agile Leadership

Develop Agile Leadership Skills. Develop agile leadership skills by implementing change management, social psychology, and Agile principles and philosophy in business.

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Agile Leadership, Agile Management, Scrum (Software Development), Change Management, Project Management

4. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Scrum is the most popular Agile methodology, and being certified in Scrum can give you the specific tools to actually bring Agile concepts to life in the workplace. Becoming a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) means taking the corresponding course and passing the exam. Scrum Alliance, which administers the certification, recommends the CSM for a variety of professionals across industries, including Scrum Masters, business analysts, and new Scrum team members.

Cost: Depends on course, starts at around $450 and $1,150. Courses include exam costs.

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Introduction to Agile Development and Scrum

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to embrace the Agile concepts of adaptive planning, iterative development, and continuous ...

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Average time: 1 month(s)

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Agile Software Development, Scrum Methodology, Zenhub, Kanban, Sprint Planning

Read more: What Is a Scrum Master (and How Do I Become One)?

5. Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I)

Scrum.org, which administers the PSM I certification, was founded by the co-developer of Scrum Ken Schwaber. The PSM I shows a mastery of the fundamentals of Scrum, and how to apply Scrum in teams. A course is not required (but recommended). The exam concentrates on interpreting the Scrum Guide (available for free download in thirty languages at the time of writing) and applying Scrum principles to a team.

Cost: $150

Read more: Agile vs. Scrum: Which Should You Use, and Why?

6. SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager (SAFe POPM)

SAFe POPM, administered by Scaled Agile, is a certification that helps to solidify your expertise in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), which was the most popular framework used to scale Agile practices within organizations in 2020 [1]. The POPM in particular is designed for project managers, Scrum masters, and others in managerial positions. Key areas you’ll be tested in include the Lean-Agile mindset, SAFe principles, identifying customer needs, and prioritizing work for an enterprise. You’ll need to enroll in a corresponding course and pass an exam to be SAFe certified. 

SAFe POPM is one of thirteen certifications offered by Scaled Agile that range from foundational to advanced levels. Others include SAFe Agile Product Manager, SAFe Scrum Master, SAFe Program Consultant, and SAFe Agile Software Engineer. 

Cost: Depends on course, starting at around $595. Courses include exam costs.

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Agile Development

Drive to Value with Agile Methods . Master an adaptive approach to product development

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Average time: 4 month(s)

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hypothesis-driven development, Design Thinking, User Experience (UX), agile, Lean Startup, agile user stories, User Experience Design (UXD), Agile Software Development, Product Management, Software Development, Usability Testing, Continuous Delivery, agile product management, backlog management, Kanban, XP

Benefits of Agile

Many have touted the benefits of incorporating Agile into their teams—including adaptability, increased transparency, and quicker delivery speed. Whether you’re learning the essentials of Agile or diving straight into mastering Scrum, getting a grasp of what makes Agile unique can make you a better project manager and professional.

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Preview the four values of the Agile Manifesto, one of the lectures inside the Google Project Management Professional Certficate.

Get started in Agile project management

Ready to learn? Consider the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate, which includes an entire course on Agile Project Management. You’ll earn a professional certificate after completion.

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Google Project Management:

Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.

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Average time: 6 month(s)

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Skills you'll build:

Organizational Culture, Career Development, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Business Writing, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management, Task Estimation, Procurement, Quality Management, Project Execution, Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum, Effective Communication

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Article sources

  1. Digital.ai. "14th Annual State of Agile Report, https://stateofagile.com/#." Accessed December 28, 2021.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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