ICAgile is an accreditation organization and a certification body that strives to help the world’s best agile teams thrive. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t actually offer any training or courses themselves. Instead, you can choose from a diverse and growing list of providers who have been granted ICAgile approval.
How can you get your own ICAgile certification? How can you find the right class? What is required to get ICAgile certified?
This blog post will describe what types of courses exist and how to find one that best suits your needs. It will also outline the differences between getting an ICP and an ICE certificate.
Find the Best ICAgile Course for You
To obtain an ICAgile certificate, you need to take an ICAgile course.
The best way to find one and ensure that it is an ICAgile-accredited course is to visit the ICAgile website and search through their directory.
It is possible to find courses offered over a range of distances, in almost any corner of the globe. All you need to do is select the class time that works for your schedule and what type of class you want – in-person or online.
A significant benefit of attending class in person is the ability to network with other students and instructors.
Plus, you’ll have access to all of the course materials in person. This is an excellent option if you want an intensive learning experience. Some people thrive in a classroom environment where they can get one-on-one attention from an instructor.
If you’re in a big city, there are likely plenty of accredited agile methodology classes to choose from that fit your schedule and preferences.
Alternatively, some people prefer online courses for convenience or because they cannot attend classes in person.
Online courses allow you to attend from your time zone so that you can take the class in a different time zone. It also provides flexibility – you can take the course from your computer, tablet, or phone, no matter where you are.
Online courses are also convenient because you don’t have to worry about travel time and find parking for classes on a different side of town.
However, some find it challenging to keep up with online discussions due to technology limitations (e.g., they cannot attend a webinar or live chat).
Choose the type of class that best suits your lifestyle, current needs, and preferences.
The actual structure of the course – how many days it lasts, how many sessions, the length of the sessions – depends on the course provider. You can find a course spread out over two or three days and any number of sessions that seems logical to that provider and instructor.
ICAgile recommends that ICP courses last at least two full days of class activities and instruction. They encourage their instructors and course participants to take even more time to properly go through the material and ensure that all questions are answered. New ideas are better adopted if they have time to “marinate” and sink in.
Course structure is determined by the provider. Agile courses accredited by ICAgile will have some type of capstone assessment as their final step to offer participants tangible proof they’ve completed and passed the class. A certificate is given out after completing this process successfully.
Some providers offer courses broken down into two parts: a training and assessment phase.
Assessment is offered through participation and activity levels during the course to determine your readiness to take the certification exam.
Courses are taught by experienced professionals who combine their practical knowledge with academic expertise to provide students with experiential learning in an engaging environment that helps them apply what they learn immediately on the job.
ICP vs. ICE
ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP) are knowledge-based certificates, meaning that they are both time and effort-intensive. They take the same approach as foundational certificates, focusing on the agile mindset and not on a specific methodology.
Earning an ICP certification is not only a gateway to further training and certifications; it can give you an understanding of how to use this knowledge effectively in your unique working environment.
There are over twenty available knowledge-based ICAgile certifications in which students can develop expertise, ranging from software developers to marketers to leaders and coaches. Each of these areas results in an ICAgile Certified Expert (ICE) certification at the end of the full learning track.
ICE is a competency-based certification. It is issued to the person who has demonstrated mastery in an area through their work, not just by taking a course.
Once you have completed all knowledge-based certifications within a learning track and proven to have relevant experience in that field, you are ready for an ICE certification. Each ICE challenge is different and will push you to showcase exceptional competence along the way.
Make the Most Out of the Course
The ultimate goal in any ICAgile training, whether it is an Agile Fundamentals course or one tied to a learning track, is to adopt the agile mindset and for participants to be able to take what they have learned and apply it immediately.
The course is designed for you to leave with the necessary confidence to start using agile practices immediately.
Here is what you can do to make the most out of your class time.
- Prepare the study material beforehand.
If your instructor provides you with the materials ahead of time, take the necessary steps to prepare yourself. This includes going through the slides and reading or skimming through any material to familiarize you with the basic outline and learning objectives. Once class starts, it will all be fresh on your mind, and you will have a better understanding of the learning journey.
- Think about what knowledge gaps you have before the course begins.
If there is something in particular that you don’t understand or want more clarity on, ask your instructor. They are always happy to answer any questions you may have before the course begins to make it easier for them and you when they teach.
Talk to others in attendance about their experiences with agile practices or the challenges they might face in adopting new agile values into a working environment.
- Take notes on everything new you learn in class.
Your instructor may cover something essential to your business, and it’s best if you are able to retain this information for future reference instead of having to go back through materials again later. You can also use these notes as a reference if you are trying to apply what you learn in a different way or with different teams.
- Work on team exercises throughout class time as well as outside of class time.
Actively participating in group exercises is a great way to put what you have learned into practice.
Encourage other members of your team or department to learn new ways of working together and developing their skills for the future.
Take advantage of all opportunities in class, such as asking questions about topics on which you want more clarification or discussing concepts with your instructor or peers.
- Focus on embracing the agile way of thinking.
Instead of memorizing the theory, focus on what it feels like to be an agile practitioner. How does the mindset affect your work? How would you change if you were doing things in an agile way?
You will find that the time and energy spent thinking about how business should be conducted without worrying about manual processes and action plans is well worth it. This type of thinking is not only valuable for your business but also healthy in general.
Your road to Agile certification begins with finding the best course for your needs. Choose between in-person and remote or online classes, and find a course provider that is right for you.
During class, do your best to engage in the material and be active in discussions. Keep notes on any new concepts you learn, and work with your team outside of class to put it all into practice.
Once certified, make sure that your certification is updated with any new knowledge or skills that may have been acquired since the time of your original certificate.
Finally, make sure that you embrace agile thinking so that when you complete your certification process, even more doors will open for you!
Feel free to take a look at ICAgile-accredited courses by The i4 Group. We offer a range of classes to get you started in your agile journey or expand on what you have already learned. Join us virtually, or in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.