When Alistair Cockburn decided to get his CST license, he did so with a broader goal in mind. With his involvement in Agile he was watching Scrum develop along side a great deal of confusion about just what Srum was, how to use it, and when. It seemed like a shame for such a promising methodology to go to waste over something as easily rectified as confusion over implementation. He felt compelled to help define the methodology of Scrum and give some concrete foundation to this new approach. However, to be a legitimate contributor to the process Alistair felt he must hold the proper credentials and thus he garnered his CST license in 2008.
Alistair then went on to pour himself into his training courses. He was offering Agile training courses, and even adopting the CSM certification when his client based started demanding that outcome from their coursework. A significant difference that set Alistair’s courses apart from his colleagues, was the genuine care he put into his work. Due to the fundamental shift in thinking and approach to project management that agile often brings, Alistair was concerned that two days was simply too short of a time period to allow new-comers to really “adjust to the different mindset of agile” (Alistair Cockburn’s article). So instead, Alistair offered (And still offers) a 3-day course, for the price of only two. While plugging away as contentedly as ever, he was approached in 2010 with the idea to create an International Consortium on Agile where a learning roadmap might be established to concretely layout the process of agile itself. Already a proponent of his infamous “hill top” analogy for describing Scrum, Alistair was hooked.
He started work on the soon to be formed “ICAgile” which would include “a 3-stage learning roadmap for each specialty (business analysis, project management, coaching & facilitation, software design and programming, testing, UX, and so on” (again, quoting from Alistair’s own words there). This creation was a great idea for Alistair, and one that would greatly benefit the project management community. Everyone on board was thrilled. There was only one problem: this new ICAgile was a competitor of the CST approach to agile, and contractually that constitutes a conflict of interest for a CST.
Therefore, in order to move forward into his new venture without harming the reputation of CST, Alistair graciously gave up his license as a CST to both preserve the integrity of the ScrumAlliance, and support their brand, by backing out of his contract as a CST and instead moving forward into the new venture of ICAgile. In his rather open and candid article on the subject, Alistair shares his belief that CST is a great option for project managers, and that indeed many options helps PMs diversify the field, and engage in certifications that meet their needs on personal and professional levels unique to each person. However, just as any creator would, Alistair felt his ICAgile was worthy of his exclusive time and he did not want to be simultaneously promoting other certifications that he personally felt did not match up with ICAgile. So while concludes by wishing the best to anyone who chooses to go with alternate certifications, he himself has made a personal choice to pour his efforts into ICAgile. So as 2011 is winding down, and 2012 on the horizon we wish Alistair the best and are excited to see where this new path leads him and the grand adventures we may expect from him in the future.
To read more about Alistair’s story, check out his article he wrote on the subject here.