#msProject #msPartners working towards Silver #PPM Competency? Here are few tips…

I have I decided to write a series of posts to help partners “formally” achieve Silver and Gold PPM competencies, this article talks about Silver PPM, the Gold PPM will be out in few weeks Smile The silver PPM requirements officially published on MPN (Microsoft Partner Network) – https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/us/pages/membership/project-portfolio-management-competency.aspx. This article focuses on working with the MPN tool (further “system”), it does not cover the best practices being a great partner nor best practices conducting great deployments.

I assume you are already registered on MPN (further “system”) – if you have not done so do it http://partners.microsoft.com. You need to use your Windows Live ID (newly called Microsoft Account) to sign-in. MAKE SURE your legal name and “doing business as” (DBA) name is correct. You can change DBA, but changing Legal name requires contacting MPN Support and may take few days to change.

Silver PPM REQIUREMENTS (as or April 2014):

    1. THREE CUSTOMER REFERENCES – I highly advise you to talk to you customer and explain the whole process. The customer has to confirm the reference you submit by opening e-mail sent by Microsoft. The e-mail is sent from “microsoft@e-mail.microsoft.com”, and if your customer is not receiving this e-mail – you need to make sure customer has this e-mail on safe sender list… You are not CC’ed on this e-mail, so you have to trust that the “system” sends the e-mail and validate receipt with your customer. Sometimes you may get “Notification of Customer Reference Request” to your inbox when you send the reference e-mail but sometime you may just get the “Customer Reference Approved”… If you customers is not receiving the e-mail – you can’t re-send it right away (you can after 5 days) and if you need to re-send immediately (e.g. customer added the sender to safe list) you have to contact the MPN Support to sort it out. When you are submitting the reference, make sure you have all details, including the use case and detailed description of the reference. Validating the reference could take anywhere from minutes to days, depending on multiple factors – from speed of e-mail systems, anti-spam filters, time zones – all the way to eruptions on the sun. It’s wise to shoot for one or two more references to be safe that you meet the requirement.
    2. ONE SALES ASSESMENT – the sales assessment is relatively straight forward, Microsoft provides full training and the assessment is based on that training. I have recently published an article on how you can speed-up the training – in this post. Please DO print/PDF the certificate you get at the end in case your assessment does not show as completed. My feeling is that there is a lag after you complete the assessment and before you will see the assessment as completed in the “system”. I have seen anything from several hours to several days.
    3. TWO MCPs with TWO PROJECT EXAMS – you need two MCPs and BOTH have to take the exam 74-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 and 74-344 Managing Programs and Projects with Project Server 2013. Make sure to add the right MCP ID of your Associated People with your Organization.
      1. For exam prep – check http://www.procert.com/finder/ Microsoft –> Microsoft Project 2013. Also Amazon.com has series of good books. Your local fellow training partner may have other ides too Smile
      2. 74-344 Managing Programs and Projects with Project Server 2013 is NO LONGER Technical – the biggest “surprised” feedback I heard. Check the Skills Measured section here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-74-344.aspx.
      3. 74-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 requires knowledge of the Project desktop, including deep dive in scheduling and usage views. Check the Skills Measured section here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-74-343.aspx.
    4. Once all above is satisfied – accept the legal agreement (it is 40 pages when pasted to Word so it may take some time to read through it) and pay the Silver fee (plus tax).
    5. Done

The “formal” process and work with “system” might take an extra time, plan for it. Patience. Patience. Patience.

Good luck!


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