John visited a doctor for a regular health checkup. After examining him, the doctor asked him to go for a medical test. John took the test next morning, and the report was delivered to him in the evening. As he was reading the report, his body started trembling, heart started pounding and senses went numb. He had tested positive for a dreaded disease. He called the doctor, but the doctor wasn’t available. After spending a long night in agony and distress, he got a call from the lab next morning. They told him that the report he received actually belonged to another patient!
Imagine if this had happened to you. What would be your reaction? It would not be an exaggeration to say that something similar happened to dozens of PMP® aspirants last week.
The PMP exam changed on Aug 31, 2011. PMI® made the following announcements before the change:
- PMP candidates who take the updated computer-based examination on or after 31 August will not receive immediate results at the Prometric testing center.
- All candidates who take the exam 31 August or shortly thereafter can expect to receive their examination results by mid-October.
Many PMP aspirants, who were brave enough to take on the new exam, and patient enough to wait several weeks for the result, sat for the new exam in September and early part of October. On October 7th, they received their exam result from PMI through email. Guess what, for being the “early adopters” of the new exam, they were rewarded in a special way - with a false examination report. Surprisingly, many of them failed the exam despite scoring good proficiency levels (Proficient, Moderately Proficient, and Below Proficient) across all domains. To make matters worse, the results were delivered on Friday. So, people had no way to get any official clarification, at least for the next 2 days.
Many of them turned to online forums for answers. Some reported their results on this blog PMP Passing Score Myths. Within a few hours, I got several such reports and decided to setup a survey form to track the results. I told people not to lose hope, and follow the PMI Appeals procedure to request re-verification of their result. But some seemed to have resigned to their fate.
After spending 2 days in distress, they finally got an email from PMI on Monday. The email read:
We apologize for the concern and trouble this incorrect exam report may have caused you. An error in exam processing occurred because exams were originally scored by an erroneous scoring process so that some candidates’ pass/fail result was calculated incorrectly.
Now what do you make of this blunder? PMI claims to be “the World’s Leading Professional Association for Project Management”. Are such mistakes going to do any good to that claim? Given that they have a history of such issues, shouldn’t they have made a special effort to avoid a repeat of previous mistakes? Could these issues not be avoided by implementing the same project management best practices that PMI preaches?
Please use the comments section below and share your thoughts on this matter.
Image credit: Flickr / chrisgriffith