I’ve spent the majority of my career committed to improving the project and program management competency of my federal clients. Whether by training, process improvement, or project/program management (PMO) support, the intention is always the same: how can my federal clients perform their project work faster, better, cheaper. Capital Hill is beginning to share my value system! Two identical bills were introduced in both the House and the Senate to improve project and program management within the federal government. The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Acts 2015 (H.R. 2144 and S. 1550) is bi-partisan legislature that the Deputy Director for Management or designee shall:
-adopt government-wide standards, policies, and guidelines for program and project management for executive agencies;
-oversee program and project management for the standards, policies, and guidelines established under under the previous point;
– chair the Program Management Policy Council (defined below);
issue regulations and establish standards and policies for executive agencies, in accordance with nationally accredited standards for program and project management planning and delivery issues;
-engage with the private sector;
-conduct portfolio reviews to address programs identified as high risk by the Government Accountability Office;
-not less than annually, conduct portfolio reviews of agency programs in coordination with Project Management Improvement Officers designated under section 1126(a)(1); and
-establish a 5-year strategic plan for program and project management.
Both bills call for the development of a Program Management Policy Council with the mission of improving agency practices related to program and project management. In addition these bills call for the appointment of Program Management Improvement Officers to implement program management policies established by the agency under section 503(c); and develop a written strategy for enhancing the role of program managers within the agency that includes the following:
-Enhanced training and educational opportunities for program managers.
-Mentoring of current and future program managers by experienced senior executives and program managers within the agency.
-Improved career paths and career opportunities for program managers.
-Incentives for the recruitment and retention of highly qualified individuals to serve as program managers.
-Improved resources and support, including relevant competencies encompassed with program and project management within the private sector for program managers.
-Improved means of collecting and disseminating best practices and lessons learned to enhance program management across the agency.
-Common templates and tools to support improved data gathering and analysis for program management and oversight purposes.
Finally, these bills give agencies 270 days after the date of enactment to identify key skills and competencies needed for a program and project manager in an agency; establish a new job series for program and project management within an agency; and establish a new career path for program and project managers within an agency.