Transitioning from the Private Sector into Government PM

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

If you are new to project management in the government sector, then you no doubt need to get up to speed with the culture in the agency you will be working in. But if you are coming from years in the private sector, how do you do that?'s Government topic page has many discussions and presentations where you will see certain characteristics of this sector addressed.

What is discussed there is not necessarily true for all agencies, of course—nor should some of the obstacles described be seen as absolutely negative. The work environment is simply different than you are used to—and you may even find advantages in some of the circumstances. The consulting approach you take will help you with a constructive transition.

Transition Tactic: Gauge the culture for project management.
When you introduce yourself to those in the agency or department where you will be working, ask them questions that are general but still useful to your understanding of the culture—and that gauge their readiness to work on your project.

Some presenters and commenters in the Government topic page have described cases where the workforce, work procedures and work processes have not been set up to make the project run as efficiently as with private sector cultures. In your consultative role, you can ask questions to determine what the culture is, setting …

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