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Some recommended Agile certifications

Agile has many different process . For the certifications I will limit the scope to Kanban & Scrum because these are the most popular agile practices

There are many companies providing these certifications so the cost will vary. I am listing few companies which provides these. They are leaders/pioneers in this space & I have undergone/reviewed their training.


  • Foundation – Kanban Practitioner , System, design, Management ( scaling)
  • Trainer – Kanban trainer
  • Advanced – Coaching & advanced Kanban
  • Strategic  - enterprise services planning


Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber together created scrum process. They maintain the scrum guide which is the “Bible” for all scrum based training, coaching and the actual work done across the planet. ( started by Ken Schwaber the co-founder of Scrum process)  -

  • Foundations/Roles based certifications - Scrum Master, Product Owner, Scrum Developer
  • Scaling – Nexus (Scaled scrum for multiple teams/programs)
  • Scrum with Kanban
  • Agile leadership  ( started by Jeff Sutherland the co-founder of Scrum process)  -
There are few others but these two are the most recognized and popular certifications companies.

Scaling Frameworks

The frameworks provide instructions , best practices for almost all the scenarios the team/company may encounter. These are popular in big traditional organizations where the culture and organizational structures constrain what people are able to do. They can quickly get benefit of agile/scrum. In long term if no  proper org transformation or training is given then the scope of improvement and transformation will be limited. Without constant review there is also a risk of this becoming another checklist driven process.

  • Provide a detailed process layer in top of Scrum to provide better predictability. Many traditional companies were able to quickly get benefit of agile /scrum practices using this framework. This might result in few transformation but the key focus is on program execution  using lean agile principles.  
  • Certification -

Organic non-prescriptive
These frameworks abides by the Agile manifesto and provide the general structure and guideline to make organizational/program transformations. They are organic  in nature and demand support from everyone involved. These frameworks results in a better long term transformation to create a culture which can sustain itself.

Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)
  • The acronym indicates less artifacts, less process, and fewer roles
  • Popularized by Craig Larman & Bas Vodde. Their books are still the de facto standard for scaling agile - Scaling Agile & Lean DevelopmentPractices for Scaling Lean and Agile Development
    LeSS is scaling Scrum teamwork up and out without adding layers or processes. The key focus is on customer centric learning for better product development

Lean startup

“Lean Startup” is a system for developing a business or product in the most efficient way possible to reduce the risk of failure.
It is an approach for launching businesses and products that treats all product and business ideas as assumptions (or hypotheses) that must be validated by rapid experimentation in the marketplace.  The approach relies on scientific experimentation, iterative product releases, and customers feedback to generate validated learning.
There are no certification yet but this is the most popular model used in new product development.

Spotify model

Event though there is no “coaching” or certification from another company ( or from Spotify)  many companies are using Spotify model to scale their  companies. The key success factor of Spotify model was to create a learning culture which was open to continuous  improvement without too much hindrance from management / bureaucracy.

My recommendation is to have the scrum/Kanban certification first and then if needed spend $ on scaling frameworks certifications

Based on my experience and exposure to LeSS , SAFe and Lean startup I will recommend Lean startup for all new product development + any non-prescriptive scaling framework for organization transformation.

Some additional reading material


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