Today, the Agile journalistic blog AgileScout.com posted a discovery that testimonials for the PMI-ACP exam prep service, AgileExams.com, may be engaging in some false advertising.
Controversy 1: Several of the testimonials come from people NOT listed as PMI-ACP certificants. PMI offers a public registry on its website, which allows employers to verify whether someone has the PMI certification they claim to have. Curiously, several of the customers quoted on AgileExams.com are NOT listed as certification holders. For example, the site quotes Jonathan Daly saying “…your site made the real exam a breeze”, but Daly is not listed in the PMI-ACP registry. Granted, PMI offers certificants the option of NOT being listed in the registry, for privacy reasons. But granting permission to be quoted, and then not granting PMI to list you in the registry seems odd.
Controversy 2: The advertised customer success rate is a bit naive. The post also reveals that AgileExams.com asserts that of their customers who actually took the the PMI-ACP exam, a full 97% passed. Unfortunately, PMI provides no way to tabulate failing candidates. Instead, AgileExams.com offered an open call for its customer to self-report whether they passed or failed. Not surprisingly, only 3% of his survey respondents admitted to failing the exam. As a trainer myself, I have received 0% of my own customers saying they failed the exam. Yet, I’m not naive enough to assume that nobody failed. I can only know for sure that nobody is willing to admit to their trainer that they failed.
Controversy 3: The site offers little in the way of Agile reputation . The site owner, [name omitted], is a relative unknown in the agile space, and some skeptics want some information as to who is involved in the product’s creation, and how it was put together. However, other people have commented directly on the blog post that they care less about this, and more data about the product’s effectiveness.
Summary: In the end, what looks like a juicy controversy may just be some circumstantial misunderstandings. Here’s how AgileExams.com can clear all this up:
- Update the website with testimonials from candidates who are listed in the PMI-ACP registry.
- Update the website to focus on the LinkedIn testimonials: http://www.agileexams.com/linkedin-group-testimonials/
- The site owner can post an open letter on his website explaining who worked on the product (including the associated AgileBOK.org), whether they bring any agile expertise to bear, and the methodology they use for building the site.
In my opinion, some simple website edits can quell this controversy, and also build the product’s reputation at the same time.
What about you? What do you think of the website’s product, and the claims it makes about the product?