New legislation was introduced late yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives that will make significant improvements to program and project management policy in the U.S. government. Presented by Congressmen Todd Young (R-IN) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the “Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015” (HR 2144) is a key initiative that will enable the Government Efficiency Caucus of the U.S. Congress to implement leading practices in project and program management across the U.S. government.
Working as a resource and advisor to the Co-Chairs of the Caucus and respective sponsors of this legislation, a team from the Project Management Institute (PMI) provided research, insights and feedback from the profession on leading practices that the U.S. government should adopt and implement to reform federal program management practices. Among those reforms included in the legislation are:
Creation of a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government.
Development of a standards-based model for program management consistent throughout the federal government.
Recognition of the essential role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in each agency to be responsible for program management policy and strategy.
Alignment of cross-government approaches to program management through an interagency council on program management.
Many of these reforms are influenced by PMI’s research, which shows that organizations that invest in formal approaches to program management improve outcomes, accountability and efficiency. Specifically, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® indicates that engaged executive sponsors, standardized approaches and certified professionals are fundamental building blocks to achieving high level performance. By adopting program management standards organizations increase collaboration, improve decision making and reduce risk. The research also shows that utilizing proven best practices and standards reduces wasteful spending and increases the efficiency of managing a program. In addition, organizations can expect to see significant improvement in their project completion rates and do so within budget.
"PMI applauds Congressmen Young and Connolly for their bi-partisan leadership to address the issues in federal program management,” said Mark A. Langley, PMI President and CEO. “Passing this legislation takes a significant step toward addressing fundamental policy challenges that lead to cost overruns and schedule delays in government programs and projects. Professionalizing the workforce, standardizing practices and inspiring leaders through this bill brings efficiency and reduces waste. We encourage all members of Congress to support this legislation.”