How to Earn Kanban Certification

Instructor: Bill Sands
A number of private companies and organizations offer Kanban certification programs, and candidates may choose from among several different types of credentials. Keep reading for an explanation of how these programs work and what subjects they cover.

Choose Which Certification to Pursue

Perhaps the most important part of the certification process occurs before you even take a single class. Under the Kanban umbrella are a number of specializations, and it's vitally important that you choose a certification program applicable to the industry you work in. Some institutions offer credentials that focus on Kanban's applications within the IT industry, while others might offer certification programs that provide a broader approach to using this system.

You'll also want to select the certification that's the best fit for your career goals, whether they're to enhance your resume, improve your project management skills, or increase the productivity of your team. Outlined below are just some of the certification options available to you.

Team Kanban Practitioner (TKP)

The TKP credential is considered to be an entry-level certification and is a good starting point for employees who are interested in getting an introduction to essential concepts in the Kanban model. Offered by Lean Kanban University, this program covers the four types of team systems and provides important guidance on how to proceed once this basic certification has been acquired.

Kanban Management Professional (KMP)

Another Lean Kanban University offering, the KMP is a more advanced certification intended for professionals at the management level. Courses in this program cover essential leadership and development topics, such as Kanban systems design, internal workflows, service orientation development, and the phases in a Kanban initiative's rollout.

Certified Kanban Coach

This credential is offered by the International Business & Quality Management Institute (IBQMI) and focuses on both fundamental concepts, such as the origins and histories of the Kanban school of thought, as well as more advanced topics, such as cumulative flow diagrams and WIP limits.

Complete Program Coursework

Though the exact length of your program will vary depending on who's offering it and what certification level you're pursuing, you should spend no more than a few weeks earning your Kanban certification. Certain programs offer training in a single marathon workshop, while others space out instruction over several different course sessions.

Some programs (mostly those of the online variety) are self-paced and allow candidates to work at their own speed, meaning programs can be completed in a matter of weeks or months. However, these types of institutions (such as IBQMI) may only make materials available for a predetermined amount of time, and candidates who do not finish the program quickly enough will be required to purchase the course a second time.

Certification is awarded at the completion of all coursework. In some cases, this could entail earning passing scores on a final exam.

Consider Pursuing Advanced Credentials

Lean Kanban University also offers advanced credentials to individuals interested in teaching the Kanban method to their coworkers or working as consultants. The Kanban Coaching Professional (KCP) program is available to applicants who have six months of prior experience working with a Kanban initiative. Candidates must also already hold KMP certification in order to qualify for this level.

Supplement Your Training

Whether you're planning on earning Kanban certification or have already started a program, has several resources to help improve your skills. These lessons on Using Kanban in Business Management contain a comprehensive review of important Kanban principles and their applications in project management, software development, and inventory management. The following lessons can also be used to compare and contrast Kanban with other methodologies you might be considering:

Lastly, this Project Management Training course is a great way to review fundamental concepts and ensure that you're familiar with all stages of the project management process.

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