Jan 16, 2017

With the Passage of the PMIAA, Project Management Says, Hello Tomorrow

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Project & Program Management, Governance, Strategy Execution | 1 Comment

The PMIAA is a welcome and long overdue strike at waste in government programs.

A month ago today, President Obama signed the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) into law after it completed a long slog through Congress. The profession could not have received a more timely holiday gift. On the Project Management Institute website, CEO Mark Langley cited PMI’s 2015 Pulse of the Profession report findings that only 64 percent of government strategic initiatives ever meet their goals and business intent — and that government entities waste $101 million for every $1 billion spent on project and programs — as a compelling argument why government is long overdue in standardizing project management practices.

But the push for transparency and accountability precedes the 2015 Pulse report by many years. Program managers in government have led the way, often working to inculcate project management culture and methodology from the bottom up. In fact, we probably have a great many nameless program managers to thank for the fact that managing programs well has finally received notice at the highest levels.

This isn’t the first effort to bring better management and accountability to Federal programs, of course. We wrote a piece on the accountability and transparency language of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009 that urged agencies to set up ARRA portfolio oversight within a dedicated PMO. This new legislation far outstrips the guidance that ARRA suggested, however. And perhaps its most important aspect is the emphasis on creating career paths for project and program managers.

PM Solutions President, Dr. Al Zeitoun, a veteran of many government projects and programs both in the U.S. and elsewhere, expresses a great deal of positive excitement.  The announcement of signing that act into a Bill reminded him of a previous Emirates Airlines branding campaign “Hello Tomorrow.” “I believe that this is the beginning for a much brighter tomorrow for the profession of program and project management.  The US government has such a sizeable portfolio across its agencies.  Enhanced excellence in running the government’s programs will open the door to great benefits to our economy, infrastructure, and ultimately directly enhance the effective use of taxpayers' money.”

Zeitoun, an outgoing PMI Board Member,  added that he was honored that this has passed just weeks before the end of the PMI Board of Directors 2014-2016 term, as it aligns well with PMI’s and the profession’s aspirations for the impact of the value of this discipline.

Zeitoun added, “As we peel the onion further for this amazing milestone, we can see immediate focus areas of relevance, whether in the form of concrete guidelines for portfolio reviews, having five-year strategic plans for program and project management across agencies, and the associated efforts to improve career paths.  “Hello Tomorrow’s Programs!”

Read more at these links for insights on how the PMIAA might impact government procurement and agile methods on government projects. And for a model career path, check out the PM Solutions template in our book Optimizing Human Capital.

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1 Comment on PMIAA-Hello Tomorrow

Dr. Z says:

Well done in articulating this great milestone ...

Posted on January 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

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