PMIAA – Did you miss it?



by John Vivian

PMIAA – Did you miss it?

With the excitement and confusion of the US Presidential Election it was easy to have missed one of President Obama’s last official acts, signing into law PMIAA (Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 – S.1550)

PMIAA is potentially so important to the Project Management community worldwide, it is difficult to fully grasp its significance.

What does it mean?

The PMIAA reforms federal program management policy in four important ways:

–           Creating a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government.

–           Developing a standards-based program management policy across the federal government.

–           Recognizing the essential role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in federal agencies to be responsible for program management policy and strategy.

–           Sharing knowledge of successful approaches to program management through an inter-agency council on program management.

Who is responsible?

The overall responsibility goes to the Office of Management and Budget, led by Mick Mulvaney. Then there’s the Office of Personnel Management, Government Accountability Office, and finally each of 14 Executive Agencies. The OMB are responsible for setting up the program and chairing the Program Management Policy Council.

When will it happen?

–            December 2017: Standards sent to the 14 Executive Agencies responsible for implementation.

–            March 2018: Regulations necessary to implement the standards sent to Executive Agencies.

–            June 2018: Executive Agencies issue Regulations that focus on skills and competencies and career paths for program and project managers within the Agency.

–            December 2018: Executive Agencies deliver specific project management improvement strategies.

–            December 2020: the Government Accountability Office (GAO) must report on the effectiveness of all of the Standards.

Will President Trump reverse it?

Probably not. The Act has strong support in both Congress and the Senate and strong support from both sides of the US political scene – the Act was approved unanimously by both houses. There seems to be little disagreement about the need and the solution (possibly “the devil is in the detail” – we will see…)

What does this mean for Project Management standards?

Cupe has a growing but significant presence in the PMI marketplace and in the USA. PMIAA should increase the interest in the USA in structured/standard  methods, such as PRINCE2 and MSP. We are increasingly seeing a recognition in PMI circles that PMBoK is not the answer to everything and that more holistic approaches to project management can be appropriate (PMP is very project-manager centric and is weak in the governance that structured methods provide).

Keen to learn more? Let’s have a chat!