Navigating PM Challenges in Government Projects

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

Projects are explorations into new territory. The benefit of having a project manager means the exploration can be helped by a knowledgeable guide. They manage the complex risks of dangerous environments, insufficient supplies and resources, and even surly or disagreeable people.

As much as these project managers are pioneers with a skill set that helps them and their teams through each difficult journey, the unexplored territories of government projects can add significant layers of confusion and effort.

Stability with Size
Just as with small and large enterprises, project managers may discover that government projects work in a similar fashion—with ranges from little or no formal requirements and procedures in place to constant and persistent controls, with an eye toward upgrading and refining their approach. Size of an operation and its affiliated project work can help drive its maturity, but there are no overarching standard formulae for federal, state or city jurisdictions—let alone any other government type of entity, despite the administrative and bureaucratic layers that oversee the work that needs to be performed.

For large organizations in the government however, the adoption of project management principles is vital. The National Air and Space Administration (NASA) is one such shining example in the United States, with mission-critical (and life…

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