Thursday, April 26, 2012
Kanban - What are we Certifying?
When we announced the Accredited Kanban Training program in Lean Kanban University in February some people initially believed we were announcing a certification scheme for individuals taking Kanban training. We were not! Instead we were introducing standards into Kanban training by introducing a defined curriculum and accredited training material against that curriculum. We were also providing a professional designation of Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) to those individuals that we believed to be qualified to teach the curriculum adequately. We were “certifying” trainers.
Certification of a Role
Certification schemes tend to attach to roles played by individuals. Certified Scrummaster is an acknowledgement of some level of knowledge for playing the role of Scrummaster. Scrum has two roles, Scrummaster and Product Owner and two widely offered certifications - Certified Scrummaster and Certified Scrum Product Owner. There are also Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer. I’m picking on Scrum as an example but many other methods and professions certify roles played at some level of proficiency or capability.
Certification in Kanban
There are members of LKU who wanted to introduce a certification scheme for individuals. In the current economy, all of our businesses need something to make it a little easier. Certifications do attract customers. People like to have professional recognition and a certification and some letters to put after your name, is one way of achieving such recognition. Under pressure in the meeting at the Hilton Royal Parc in Netherlands, I simply replied, “What are we certifying?” And that was the end of the discussion. Kanban defines and prescribes no roles. As I explained last week, this lack of roles is a strength. So, I will not be adding roles for the convenience of creating a certification scheme to make training companies money. Without roles, how do you create a certification scheme for individuals taking Kanban training?
As I stated last week, there is a role to played in the change management approach called the Kanban Method - the role of change agent - the person who leads the Kanban initiative and either facilitates or takes responsibility for the kanban system design. Might we be able to certify change agents who use the Kanban Method? Food for thought!