Program Organization Structures: Defining Common Classifications in Federal IT Contracting that Goes Beyond Standard Organizational Structures

Lin Rajan PMP, CSM

All of us that are familiar with project management concepts know about the basic types of organizational structures. The models provided work well for most product-based companies. However, in federal software contracting, the models offered do not adequately represent the organizational structures followed. While the composite organizational structure covers a wide range of structures, several federal contracts—especially small- to mid-sized contracts—have structures that merit new classification.

Traditional Organizational Structures
Traditional organizational structures based on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition are outlined below as a reference to use when describing the new organizational structure. (PMI, 2013). The standard structures provide a comparison for the new organizational structure.

Standard Program Organization—Analogous to Projectized Structure
A program organization is very similar to a projectized organization. The definition of a program is a group of projects. Program managers typically report to an executive. In federal IT contracting, contracts can be awarded in several manners. A contract can be a vehicle with several task orders. A large task order contract calls for its own program manager. If contracts are smaller, a program manager may manage …

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