PMIAA: What Does it Mean for Project Management?

PMI Washington, DC Chapter +1

Michael O’Brochta, PMI-ACP, PMP, is a retired CIA project manager who currently works as President of Zozer Inc., a project management consulting company, and volunteers as Chair of the Project Management Institute's Ethics Member Advisory Group.

I am a big fan of recognition, and I am delighted to see that project management—my profession of choice for more than 40 years—has taken another step forward. I can see how this step can directly benefit many project managers and their projects.

The U.S. Federal Government has passed the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA). Note that the use of the term “program management” in the federal government is not unlike the term “project management” in the business world. This legislation[1] creates, for the first time, a formal job series and career path for program managers in non-Department of Defense agencies in the U.S. federal government.

It calls for, among other things, the development of a standards-based model for program management, the establishment of a Program Management Policy Council and the creation of a Program Manager Improvement Officer position in each agency; assessment and reporting responsibilities are included as well.

The main reason I can see this undertaking in a positive light is because I have personally been involved in efforts—somewhat smaller in scope—akin to this one. And each of those efforts produced strikingly positive results for the project managers involved, as well as for the project outcomes upon which organizational missions were dependent.

As an employee, …

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