Implementing the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

August 2017 –At the request of the Project Management Institute, a four-member Panel of Fellows supported by a study team of the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) produced a white paper focusing on key human resources issues connected with PMIAA.  Given the important roles of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in implementing the statute’s requirements, the Panel’s recommendations are offered primarily with the intent to contribute to their deliberations.  The white paper addresses the skills and competencies needed by program and project managers, factors to consider when establishing a new job series, practices for establishing a new career path in program and project management, program and project manager recruitment issues, and application of standards in program and project management in the federal government.

Key Findings and Recommendations

The Panel issued recommendations to strengthen human resources and to guide  statutory implementation.

  • Human Resources. The Panel recommends: (1) the creation of a new job series for program and project managers; (2) identification of foundational competencies; (3) preparation of a new career path guide; (4) incorporation of voluntary consensus standards into program and project management; (5) usage of flexible hiring authorities; and (6) evaluation by the Project Management Policy Council on how PMIAA can be implemented within the context of existing policies.
  • Implementation Strategies. The Panel recommends: (1) development of strategies to advance a new job series; (2) identification of focus areas when developing a career path guide; (3) consultation between agencies with different experience levels in program and project management; (4) use of a methodology to update program and project management competencies; (5) establishment of lead agencies in program and project management; and (6) use of effective communication practices.