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Author  Kinga Matysiak – President and co-founder, Mindstream

December 22, 2022 |

 8 min read

  • Blog
  • Agile
  • DevOps
  • Lean
  • ITIL MM
  • ITIL4
  • soft skills
  • PPM
  • ITSM
  • P3M3
  • AgileSHIFT
  • MSP
  • RESILIA
  • ITIL
  • M_o_R
  • MoP
  • MoV
  • P3O
  • PRINCE2 Agile
  • PRINCE2
  • Axelos ProPath

Warsaw-based accredited training organisation (ATO), Mindstream, conducts internationally recognized training and certified exams in best practice methods including PRINCE2® and ITIL®. Here, co-founder and president, Kinga Matysiak explores the value of certifications in unlocking creativity and flexibility among businesses and individuals.

Central Europe has a long tradition of a centralised, authoritative management style. When I began, the attitude toward Agile from educators, consultants and training providers was highly sceptical.

Frustrated by the hold this traditional approach had over a business’s potential, I decided a new brand was needed: one dedicated to Agile and to unlocking the potential of a decentralized, iterative approach.

The time was right for a change. In the 2010s, not only were application developers enjoying the benefits of Agile transformation, but other businesses were beginning their journey, too. Whether in HR, operations, finance, or manufacturing, there was a growing desire for the flexibility and creativity that Agile allows.

I had a deep belief in the benefits of Agile methods; that the move toward a decentralised, flat, and self-directing structure was a force to be reckoned with.

Adopting an Agile approach

As organizations grow, they’ll often try to maintain their traditional pyramid-shaped, centralised decision-making structure. As a result, they can struggle for agility and responsiveness.

Whether a business is in app development or toothpaste manufacture, its people – in sales, in HR, on the factory floor – must be able to make decisions independently. Projects need to be delivered iteratively, reliably and on time, without being caught up in overextended planning processes. This is where Agile comes into its own.

The Agile umbrella covers several practical solutions, such as iterative project management, process optimization, the lean ideology and Agile approaches to services with ITIL 4 which can help a business save money, increase performance, or elevate its flow.

Adding an Agile approach to training and certification

In the context of organizations starting to see the benefit of adopting Agile methods for their own improvement, it’s unsurprising that they are also looking for a tailored approach to Agile training.

For training sessions and syllabus-driven courses, clients are increasingly looking to fine-tune the training content with an Agile training solution that suits their uniqueness, nuances, and distinctive features. This is exactly how it should be and I can’t remember the last time we sold a “standard” training session. Therefore, our sales team, trainers and subject matter experts are constantly refining their offering to meet our clients’ needs.

Ultimately, the endgame is achieving the universal benefit of internationally recognized certifications, which keep employees motivated and eager, offer stable and concrete proof of a company’s excellence and serve as quality and knowledge checks across a range of projects. Also, when interdisciplinary, self-directing teams are formed, certifications will help detect strengths and areas for improvement within those teams long before any issues arise.

Proactive preparation

I’ve always believed that the methodologies you use in project management aren’t sacrosanct. There are huge benefits in putting together a team of mixed talents rather than pursuing a specific Agile or cascade-only development path. It assures an environment for creativity and adaptivity. A colleague with Agile certification will be an excellent sounding board for others and a valued guide into the field.

But the best answer probably lies somewhere in between. Having a workforce with a variety of skills and certifications is a similar principle. It’s proactive preparation, with the potential to be a blessing.

Most importantly, a diversity of skills and certificates will lead to flexibility in a business. And as the past few years alone have proven, flexibility has never been more important – and a certified and skilled workforce is an asset for any business today.