The defense PMBOK® guide extension and CAQ development--an overview

Fred L. Ayer, PMP

Introduction

This technical paper provides an overview of initiatives by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to improve the project management of DoD Acquisition Management Processes through education, training, and professional development; as recorded in PMI technical articles authored in ’92 and ’97 by Fred Ayer and Bill Bahnmaier. This paper records the status of the DoD Extension to the PMBOK® Guide, as developed by DoD's Defense Systems Management College/Defense Acquisition University (DSMC/DAU) and sponsored by the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) SIG. The paper also records the status of the DoD Certificate of Additional Qualifications (CAQ), which was initiated after issue of the DoD Extension to the PMBOK® Guide and the receipt of a CAQ development process.

Why are the DoD Extension and CAQ so important? The Extension and CAQ will be directly applicable to the daily work of hundreds of U.S. DoD military and civilian personnel involved in all factions of the DoD Acquisition Management Programs for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines and for all the contractor personnel supporting them (billions of dollars and thousands of professionals who support the DoD acquisition programs); as well as the friendly foreign government defense acquisition programs. In 2002, the DoD budget is $331 billion of which $61 billion is for continuing acquisition programs and $48.4 billion is for RDT&E programs. In 2003, the DoD budget being discussed in congress is $379 billion, of which $68.7 billion is for continuing acquisition programs and $53.9 billion is for RDT&E acquisition programs. Our national defense and security is dependent upon the success of the projects and programs included in their acquisition programs. In addition, a high percentage of technology advances discovered by our military services in one way or another result in improvements in our standard of living. The applicability of the DoD PMBOK® Extension and the CAQ will be further enhanced if the DoD determines that DoD acquisition program contractors will be required to have their project and program managers CAQ certified, based on yet to be determined contract criteria. Such discussions have occurred but not resolved by submittal time.

The Early History of Efforts to Improve Government Acquisition Processes

In the U.S., the project management education, training and professional development for U.S. government controlled acquisition management processes are a matter of law. Early 1990s U.S. legislation, coupled with DoD initiatives to improve its acquisition workforce, have had a profound, positive impact on the ability of government project managers to manage multibillion-dollar defense system acquisitions. Project Management processes, as a distinct managerial approach, has been employed by the DoD since soon after World War II. Organizational structures finding widespread use in industry in the early 90s, such as the matrix form and its many permutations (very lean to very strong), had been used in DoD for decades.

With all this, one would expect project management education, training, and experience requirements to be clearly defined and adhered to by DoD. Yet program managers had historically been selected with little regard for these attributes. Rather, individual's “operational” experience—time spent in the cockpit, ship, or tank—had been a more important factor. The following legislation and initiatives are very significant in that they changed the fundamental orientation toward project manager qualification and selection processes to one that recognizes project management as a business discipline, best managed by those with the requisite education, skill and experience to get the job done.

An Overview of DOD Mandated Acquisition Professional Development

Congress was very active in mandating actions DoD should take to improve its procurement process. DoD typically trying to anticipate and diffuse congressional action by implementing its own “reforms” during congressional investigations, developed its own Career Development Program for Acquisition Personnel (CDPAP) that closely resembled an emerging bill. The CDPAP was formally implemented by DoD in November 1991, after passage of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA).

 These twelve specialties together comprise “acquisition management,” and are covered by the CDPAP program:

  • Program Management
  • Manufacturing and Production
  • Communications/Computers
  • Quality Assurance
  • Test and Evaluation Engineering
  • Acquisition Logistics
  • Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering
  • Business, Cost Estimating, and Financial Management
  • Contracting
  • Purchasing
  • Industrial Property Management
  • Auditing

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA)

With the passage of DAWIA and the advent of DoD's CDPAP, the demand for specialized acquisition training increased geometrically—far surpassed the ability of all the DoD schools combined to meet the demand. The obvious need existed to pull the loose system of institutions together under one structure. Congress did that when it directed the Secretary of Defense to establish and maintain a Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and to implement the approved DAU structure by the end of fiscal year 1992. This was accomplished by the Secretary of Defense in that time frame, and DSMC then became a College within the DAU structure, which was to provide:

  • Professional educational development and training of the acquisition workforce
  • Research and analyze defense acquisition issues from academic perspectives.

Origin of the Concept

The U.S. Defense Systems Management College (DSMC) has been the center of education, research and consulting services in program (project) management for the DoD since the mid ’70s. Until the mid-1980s, the college provided courses and services (most notably the 20-week Program Management Course) without any requirement for them other than the general desire of the members of the workforce for improved capabilities. Also, during the 1980s, a few faculty members at the college became interested in the activities of the PMI, who joined and cooperatively sponsored some symposia of mutual interest.

In 1990, the DSMC College and the PMI agreed to conduct an experiment involving the selection of recent graduates of the DSMC Program Management Course to take the PMI professional certification examination with only minimal additional preparation. Twenty-one took the exam, and 17 passed on the first try. The remainder passed on the re-take of one or two sections of the eightpart examination. The exam results convinced managers in both institutions that the competencies underlying DSMCs curriculum and the PMBOK® Guide Knowledge Areas (KAs) were applicable in both arenas, with the only significant differences lay in DoD-peculiar requirements and practices.

The results of that experiment led the authors to the idea that a codification of the defense-peculiar material along the lines of the basic PMI® PMBOK® Guide might be a useful tool in the qualification and certification of program/project managers in the DoD and among defense contractor personnel. A formal research project was subsequently established at DSMC to support definition and development of such a tool.

At the 1992 PMI symposium, the A&D SIG agreed to lend its support to the research centered at DSMC. Also at this symposium, a paper on developing of qualification requirements for project managers in the U.S. DoD resulted in considerable discussions, which revealed that there was also impetus in other application areas for application-specific sections of the PMBOK® Guide. As the PMBOK® Guide was undergoing a rigorous update process, it seemed appropriate to determine how best to address this perceived need. After much discussion over a period of more than a year, the PMI Standards Committee adopted the concept of a generic PMBOK® Guide with application area extensions. The 1996 update to the PMBOK® Guide includes a section in Appendix E for such extensions.

Developing the DoD Extension to the PMI PMBOK® Guide

There are several key areas where a PMBOK® extension may not fully meet the needs of a specific application area. This is certainly true in the case of the Defense Extension to the PMBOK® Guide. While the PMBOK® Guide KAs all apply to the management of defense materiel acquisition projects, there are peculiar KAs that must also be mastered by DoD Acquisition Management Project and Program Managers. These include Systems Engineering Management, Software Development Management, Test and Evaluation Management, Logistics Management, Manufacturing Management, Acquisition Strategy Management, and a general understanding of the defense and aerospace industry. So it was determined that the final product would reflect some discrete KAs separate from the PMI KAs.

In February ’96, the PMI Standards Committee initiated a project to develop the process to implement the provision for extensions. The final report and proposed process were formally transmitted to the Director of Standards in March ’97, which launched the development by the DSMC of the DoD Extension to the PMBOK® Guide. The DoD Extension to the PMBOK® Guide began to take shape in 1999, when the work of 23 Government and Defense Industry contributors coalesced into a coherent usable document. At that point it was anticipated that the Extension would be published “in the public domain.” In fact, each contributor signed a statement to that effect. However, at that point, PMI determined that “intellectual property” contained in the PMBOK® Guide itself would be jeopardized since the Extension followed and supplemented the Guide's material. PMI made it clear that PMI's copyright to the PMBOK® Guide needed to be protected, and that the Extension—as a PMBOK® Guide derivative work—also needed to incorporate protection of PMI “intellectual property.”

The matter was locked in limbo over the period 1999–2001, during which time both the PMBOK® Guide and the DoD defense regulations were revised. The DoD Extension was concurrently upgraded as changes to both the PMBOK® Guide and the DoD defense regulations became available. Mr. Norm Bull, a consultant to the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) formatted and re-wrote parts of the Extension to keep it in tune with the new material.

In late 2001 Mr. Dave Scibetta of DAUs staff opened negotiations to achieve a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DAU and PMI regarding the Extension and PMI rights. Mr. James Paris, the DAU General Counsel, from the DAU West Regional Campus in San Diego, CA, assisted Mr. Scibetta in these negotiations. The result was an MOA that spelled out both the Government and PMI's rights in regard to material contained in the Extension.

These rights provide that “…PMI does not object to publication of the U.S. DoD Extension in the public domain”, but that…” such consent in no way waives PMI's underlying copyrights to the PMBOK® Guide”. Further, “While the public may freely reproduce the U.S. DoD Extension, any new work which is a derivative of the underlying PMBOK Guide and any publication of excerpts from the PMBOK Guide contained in the U.S. DoD Extension in a manner which is separate from or otherwise independent of the reproduction of the U.S. DoD Extension may violate PMI's copyrights. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed a waiver of any right PMI may have to enforce its copyrights, except for the limited license given to the DAU as expressly provided herein.”

The MOA also provides that the DoD Extension be submitted to PMI HQ for purposes of review with an intent of designating the Extension as a “PMI Standard.” On January 4, 2002, the MOA was signed by Mr. Frank Anderson (President of DAU) and Mr. Vigil Carter (Executive Director of PMI) at a signing ceremony conducted at the DAU. A copy of the MOA is provided as an Appendix to this paper.

PMI's CAQ Development Process

The new piece to this lengthy process of DoD's acquisition management process improvement is the initiation of the DoD CAQ development process. As the CAQ development process was restrained from the planned initiation, which was to be in August 2001, by the loss of the Director of Certification; the initiation is now planned for a new start in late April 2002. The process is planned for a 10-month duration; therefore the development completion and approval by the PMI Certification Board Center would be pending shortly after the time of the PMI ’02 San Antonio Symposium. The paper will then able to define the CAQ development process status. By the time of the Symposium, the actual presentation and an updated version of the paper will be able to define the results of the job analysis study, the knowledge base references from which exam questions will be extracted, a summary overview of the exam, when final approval would be expected and when the exam would be available for the certification process to begin.

As the extensions to the PMBOK® Guide will be authorized and developed under the purview of the Board of Directors of the Certification Board Center (CBC), the issued documents will have followed the operational aspects of PMI's Certificate Product Development Process and will be managed by the PMI Certification Program Staff. The methodology used to develop CAQs will follow similar steps used to develop the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification examination. The CAQ is designed to measure a PMP's knowledge about the industry they work in, which may not be how project management is currently practiced in the industry. Therefore, the reference materials might not be project management texts, but could be other accepted Industry references.

The following summarized steps represent the process that were expected to be used to provide the CBC Directors with information on a recommendation to approve the developed CAQ, subject to an expected revision by the CBC:

1. The Certification Department receives requests from PMPs who work in a specific industry and/or functional practice area to develop a CAQ. (Completed)

2. The Certification Department conducts an environmental scan. Factors considered in such scan are the global nature of the industry or functional area; number of PMPs practicing in this area; expressed interest by one or more component groups to participate; and most importantly interested volunteers. (Completed)

3. This information is assembled for the CBC directors for their review and subsequent approval. (Formal approval not yet received.)

4. If approval is granted, an organizing team is assembled. The organizing team size is to be from 8–12 and a team leader is identified.

5. After the team is assembled, a meeting will be called to conduct a job analysis study. The study will identify the major work areas that PMPs practice project management and the industry-specific knowledge associated to each area of work. The job analysis study will be facilitated by the Certification Department staff. (Initially scheduled for August ’01 and was subsequently cancelled by the Director of Certification.)

6. After this step is completed, the study results on the identified work areas and knowledge base is sent to a sample of PMPs who practice in this industry for validation. (A second set of PMPs yet to be identified.)

7. While the validation is underway, PMPs and industry-experts are assembled to begin developing questions that will be used on the CAQ examination. (Can be in parallel to the PMP validation.)

8. As the work of the organizing team ends—we transition to another team called the Core Team. This team works with the certification department on the product's continuous improvement activities. The members of this team can be carryovers from the organizing team. This team size is about five to eight.

9. After steps 1-8 are completed, a recommendation is made to the CBC to begin deployment. The product development cycle is normally 10 months.

At the time of this writing, a new Certification Board Center BOD and a new PMI Certification Manager are in the process of formalizing a new procedure for selecting and developing of CAQs. The CBC is expected to issue these new procedures by the end of April 2002, whereas this paper is submitted as required on April 13. As it is likely the DoD PMBOK® Extension will be formally published by PMI and the DoD CAQ will be selected for development in the second quarter of 2002, this paper will assume the development process will proceed. By the time of the PMI ’02 Symposium, the actual presentation and an updated version of the paper will be able to define the results of the job analysis study, the knowledge base references from which exam questions are extracted, a summary overview of the exam, when final approval would be expected, how to study for the exam, and when will the exam be available for the certification process to begin. A revised paper will be available on the A&D SIG web site at that time.

Conclusion

The above paper is both a summary of data from previous papers and articles (’92, and ’97) defined in the references as well as a tribute to the efforts of Frederick L. Ayer, PMP, Executive-in-Residence @ DSMC, William Bahnmaier, and others at DSMC. Mr. Ayer was also very active in the Standards Committee, headed by William Duncan—Director of PMI Standards, which provided for the development, justification and the recommendation to authorize Appendix “E” in the ’96 PMBOK® Guide that defines the structure and authorizes development of Application Area Extensions. Mr. Ayer is a charter member of the A&D SIG, the first Chair, and though retired from the DSMC he remains very active in the SIG. A big salute to Mr. Ayer. I also suggest any project, which takes over 10 years to complete, required a great deal of patience and fortitude of which Fred demonstrated both. We might want to ask ourselves, why must things of this nature take so long and how can we shorten the time required in the future.

References

Ayer, F.L. & Cook, C.R. “Program Management In The U.S. Department of Defense: Acquisition Workforce

Improvement” Proceedings, 1992 PMI Seminar/Symposium Pittsburgh, PA (Oct ‘92)

Ayer, F.L. & Bahnmaier, W. “Toward a DoD Extension to the PMBOK.” Proceedings, 1997 PMI Seminar/ Symposium, Chicago, IL (Oct. ‘97).

Appendix I

SUBJECT: Department of Defense Extension to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

1. Purpose: This Memorandum of Agreement between the Defense Acquisition University (DAU)) and the Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) provides for the development, publication and maintenance of the Department of Defense (DoD) Extension to “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” © (hereinafter referred to as the “PMBOK® Guide”).

2. Licenses:

a. DAU acknowledges PMI's registered copyright to the PMBOK® Guide. Nothing in this Agreement is intended in any way to affect PMI's copyright to the PMBOK® Guide. DAU shall include such acknowledgement in the U.S. DoD Extension, in a clear and prominent manner, as described in paragraph 3.g., below.

b. PMI hereby agrees to the publication of a work tentatively entitled The Department of Defense Extension to PMI's “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (hereinafter referred to as the “U.S. DoD Extension”) by DAU under the terms and conditions stated herein.

c. To the extent that the U.S. DoD Extension is a derivative work from the PMBOK® Guide, PMI hereby grants DAU a limited, nonexclusive, non-transferable royalty-free license (the “License”) to prepare and publish the U.S. DoD Extension as a derivative work based upon the PMBOK® Guide and to publish excerpts from the PMBOK® Guide in the text of the U.S. DoD Extension, as the parties may agree pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein.

d. The U.S. DoD Extension will be a “work of the United States Government” under the provisions of 17 U.S.C §105. However, while PMI does not object to publication of the U.S. DoD Extension in “the public domain”, such consent in no way waives PMI's underlying copyrights to the PMBOK® Guide. While the public may freely reproduce the U.S. DoD Extension, any new work which is derivative of the underlying PMBOK® Guide and any publication of excerpts from the PMBOK® Guide contained in the U.S. DoD Extension in a manner which is separate from or otherwise independent of the reproduction of the U.S. DoD Extension may violate PMI's copyrights. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed a waiver of any right PMI may have to enforce its copyrights, except for the limited license given to the DAU as expressly provided herein. To extent that the United States Government may be deemed to hold a copyright to any portion of U.S. DoD Extension, it hereby grants to PMI a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty free license to publish and sell all such copyrighted materials, including but not limited to comments obtained by PMI in the exposure draft stage of its Standards process, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein.

3. Publication Processes:

a. DAU contemplates that it will publish the U.S. DoD Extension as part of its course material and for other uses in support of the normal and ordinary mission of DAU.

b. The U.S. DoD Extension will be submitted to PMI for purposes of review pursuant to the PMI Standards Setting Policy and Procedures with the intent of designating the U.S. DoD Extension a “PMI Standard.” All comments received in the exposure draft stage of the Standards Setting process shall become the property of the DAU. PMI reserves the sole right to make the determination of whether to designate the U.S. DoD Extension as a PMI Standard in accordance with its established policy and procedures.

c. PMI will have the right to publish and sell the U.S. DoD Extension, and any revision or new edition thereto, with or without the designation that it is a PMI Standard.

d. DAU will be responsible for maintaining the U.S. DoD Extension, including updating and keeping the U.S. DoD Extension current.

e. When significant additions or other changes to the content of the U.S. DoD Extension are made, DAU will notify PMI of those changes and submit the revised U.S. DoD Extension for review pursuant to the PMI Standards Setting Policy and Procedures for purposes of updating the U.S. DoD Extension as a PMI Standard. Only after those changes in the revised U.S. DoD Extension have been approved through the PMI Standards Setting Policy and Procedure will the revised U.S. DoD Extension be labeled and identified as a PMI Standard. PMI reserves the right to make the sole determination of whether to designate any future editions or revised versions of the U.S. DoD Extension as a PMI Standard in accordance with its established policy and procedures

f. When significant additional or other changes to the content of the current edition of the PMBOK® Guide are made, DAU agrees to take the reasonable steps necessary to revise the U.S. DoD Extension, to reflect the changes, and to forward to PMI a copy of the revised U.S. DoD Extension. Terms of paragraph d, above, apply to all revisions for which designation of a PMI Standard is desired.

g. In publishing the U.S. DoD Extension, and all future editions thereof, the DAU will set forth the following legend on the first page of the U.S. DoD Extension:

“This U.S. DoD Extension was developed, is published and will be maintained under agreement between the Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) and the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) as an Application Area U.S. DoD Extension to PMI's A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (“PMBOK® Guide”). Nothing in this U.S. DoD Extension is intended to affect the rights of PMI to the PMBOK® Guide or any trade mark, copyright or other intellectual property right of PMI or PMI's enforcement of those rights. Although this work is a “work of the United States Government” under the provisions of 17 U.S.C §105 and may be reproduced by the public, only PMI may advertise and publish or authorize the advertisement and publication of this U.S. DoD Extension as a PMI Standard.™ . Any portion of the PMBOK® Guide quoted herein is done so with the permission of PMI. While the public may freely reproduce the U.S. DoD Extension, any new work which is derivative of the underlying PMBOK® Guide and any publication of excerpts from the PMBOK® Guide contained in the U.S. DoD Extension in a manner which is separate from or otherwise independent of the reproduction of the U.S. DoD Extension itself may violate PMI's copyrights.

“PMI retains its full copyrights to the PMBOK® Guide, which is available from the Project Management Institute. Individuals, organizations and businesses interested in the licensed use of the PMBOK® Guide or portions thereof may request such a license on the PMI web site, www.pmi.org.”

h. If for any reason the U.S. DoD Extension, or any revision or new edition thereof, does not become a PMI Standard under the terms of paragraphs 3.b. and 3.e. respectively, then DAU agrees that the work shall not be entitled or referred to as an “Extension” of the PMBOK® Guide in order to avoid confusion with PMI's use of the term Extension which connotes a PMI Standard. DAU may refer to the work under such circumstances as a “companion” or an “addendum” to the PMBOK® Guide.

4. DAU Representations:

a. DAU has confirmed that it sent a document entitled “Certification that Defense U.S. DoD Extension to the PMI PMBOK® Guide is Free of Copyright and in the Public Domain” (hereinafter “Certification”) to various individuals who contributed to the authorship of the U.S. DoD Extension.

b. DAU agrees that it has communicated to each person who received the Certification that PMI was not aware of or a party to the Certification at the time it was sent to them; that it has always been and remains the intent of DAU to publish the U.S. DoD Extension with the full agreement and cooperation of PMI; that PMI and DAU have entered into an agreement whereby DAU will develop, publish and maintain the U.S. DoD Extension and PMI has the right to publish the U.S. DoD Extension as a PMI Standard.

5. PMI Representations:

a. PMI represents that it is the owner of the PMBOK® Guide and that it has the authority to make the promises and to grant to DAU as set forth in this Agreement.

6. General Provisions:

a. The undersigned hereby states that he has the authority to enter into this Agreement on behalf of his respective organization.

b. The terms and agreements set forth herein may be changed at any time by mutual consent of both parties.

c. This MOA becomes effective upon signature by both parties and will be reviewed triennially.

The parties have signed this Memorandum of Understanding on January 4, 2002, as established on the Original.

_______________________
FRANK ANDERSON
President
Defense Acquisition University
_______________________
VIRGIL R. CARTER
Executive Director
Project Management Institute
This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI or any listed author.

Proceedings of the Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium
October 3–10, 2002 • San Antonio, Texas, USA

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