Friday, September 24, 2010

My Lessons Learned for PgMP MRA

This post is for sharing my lessons learned for PgMP® 's Multi-Rater Assessment (MRA) process. This is the final phase after Panel Review and the Exam.

MRA phase starts the day prometric center sends the pass result to PMI. Phase starts with PMI customer care ( sending a mail with Subject: You have passed the PgMP examination and moved to the third evaluation and mail body

Dear Sridhar Peddisetty,

Congratulations! You have successfully passed the Program Management Professional (PgMP)SM credential examination.

Your Multi-rater Assessment (MRA) has begun. During this phase you will receive an invitation to complete a self-assessment survey rating your performance as a program manager.

The 12 reference contacts that you provided on the application will receive an invitation asking them to review your competence as a program manager. They will have three weeks to respond to the survey.

All candidates passing the Multi-rater Assessment will be granted the credential immediately, and notified by e-mail. Certificates will be printed and mailed to the candidates preferred mailing address within six to eight weeks of scoring the MRA.

Please contact us at if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you,

PMI Customer Care

and followed by another mail with Subject: PMI MRA Invitation from "" . This mail includes Web URL with login and password for candidate to enter his/her own MRA. Similar mail would go to all your

Even though it seems to be an easy phase compared to first two phases, one cannot take this phase for granted. There are precedences where people have failed in this process too. There are few points to be noted

#1. One needs to provide at least 1 Supervisor, 4 Peers & 7 Direct Reports references (Totaling 12 assessors).

#2. The name of supervisors who were given in your Project Management experience are by default included under supervisor as your assessors. This is important to remember since there are folks who had given names of supervisors in their project management experience, who were very old references and either not in touch or email ids not valid. So when PMI sends MRA mail to these contacts, they would not respond and this would constitute negative feedback.

#3. MRA questionnaire consists of 71 multiple questions comprising of 6 options
1. Outstanding Strength
2. Strength
3. Competent
4. Needs work
5. Not competent
6. No basis to rate
I understand that ratings below 'Competent' constitute negative. understand that in some cultures 'competent' is considered good enough but for PMI its NOT good enough.
There are also 3 questions, which are subjective and optional. So total 74 questions that needs to be answered, which takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes
#4 If assessor does not response to a question, that also constitutes negative.
So its very important to set expectations with your assessors. Its expected that most (if not all), would not be familiar with PMI terminologies included in questions like
Produces a program scope definition by integrating stakeholder requirements
Archives lessons learned by entering them into the program management information system
#5 There is a possibility that some contacts might get the mail in SPAM folder, so its important to set expectations like asking contacts to keep a tab on their respective spam folder or add the two email addresses and to their safe email list
I sent out following mail to all my assessors
Subject: Program Management Professional (PgMP®) Certification

Dear XYZ,
I am very happy to share with you that today I cleared the PgMP® exam. With this I have cleared all the main stages for Program Management Professional (PgMP®) certification by Project Management Institute (PMI) including Panel Review and Exam. Certification process for this credential has been an exhaustive process. So far, the process has included:
1. Documentation of 6,000+ hours of Program Management experience
2. Documentation of 6,000+ hours of Project Management experience
3. Submission of my application online
4. Application reopened requesting to resubmit with some minor recommended changes
5. Re-Submission of the application
6. Acceptance of my background information & eligibility criteria
7. Application randomly selected for audit. Audit process then required getting all information in application signed by COO , sealed in an envelope with a signature on the seal (To avoid tampering)
8. Acceptance of audit forms
9. Application returned requesting more strategic answers on Program Management
10. Re-Submission of my application with more strategic and empirical data
11. Acceptance of application and qualifications (through a PMI panel review comprising of 3 PgMPs) and finally
12. Today I passed the 4 hour exam (covering all program phases, processes, and knowledge areas)
The only step remaining is a Multi-Rater Assessment (MRA). So as a final stage, I would need you to rate me by answering 74 objective questions in different areas of program management. The six rating choices would be:
1. Outstanding Strength
2. Strength
3. Competent
4. Needs work
5. Not competent
6. No basis to rate
Please note that most of the questions are based on PMI standards of program management and there is a likely chance that you might not be able to understand few questions. In such cases, please reach out to me and I will be able to help clarifying the question(s).
NOTE: Please note that you will be getting a mail Project Management Institute (PMI) with a subject like “PMI MRA Rater Invitation” and email address from or There is a very likely chance because of nature of subject and email, you might end up getting this email in your spam folder so please keep a tab on your spam folder too or add the two email addresses and to your safe email list.
There are less than 500 people who have achieved this credential till date all over the world. Value of Certification and its recognition is not only for the individual but also for the Organization. I really appreciate your time and help for making me join the elite group
You should be receiving an email from PMI shortly (in a day or two). Please let me know once you have finished the MRA. Once again appreciate all the help.
I had given 31 names including 5 supervisors, 7 peers and 19 direct reports. I kept following up with these folks till all submitted their MRA. I understand from other's experiences couple of points
1. There is a likely chance that IP addresses and other things are tracked so as to avoid any kind of fraud (like one person filling out on behalf of others)
2. For some, MRA phase finished prior to 3 weeks if all contacts finished their MRA. In my case, all 31 contacts finished in 2nd week. I then sent a mail to PMI ( requesting closing of MRA phase but I was asked to wait for 3 weeks to finish.
In my case, I passed the exam on Sep 17th (Friday) and MRA phase started from Sep 20th (Monday), since thats the day my pass score was sent to PMI from Prometric center. So from Sep 20th, my MRA phase was till Oct 11th (Monday). And FINALLY on Oct 12th 2010 @ 7:45 AM PDT, i got the much awaited mail

From: PMI Customer Care
Subject: You have obtained the PgMP credential

Dear Sridhar Peddisetty,
Congratulations on obtaining the Program Management Professional (PgMP)® credential.

The certificate will be delivered to your preferred mailing address in our records within six to eight weeks. You may confirm or correct your address online at

Please visit our website at to download a document which you may use to verify that you have passed the three evaluations and to view the policies and procedures needed to maintain your credential.
Please contact us at if you have questions or concerns.
Thank you,

PMI Customer Care