The Need-to-Know Facts about PMIAA

The changes prescribed by the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) will impact Federal Civilian project and program management professionals across the entire workforce. How much do you know about PMIAA? Here are some basic answers to the most common questions.

What is PMIAA?

PMIAA was signed into law with bipartisan support on December 14, 2016, in order to significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of project and program management of executive agencies throughout the Federal Government.

Why was PMIAA enacted?

  • Unfinished Business – According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2018: Success in Disruptive Times, “only 64 percent of Government strategic initiatives ever meet their goals and business intent — and Government entities waste $101 million for every $1 billion spent on project and programs.”
  • Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Mismanagement – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued High-Risk Series: Substantial Efforts Needed to Achieve Greater Progress on High-Risk Areas, revealing that there has been little change in more than half of the areas identified in 2017 as having been vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement that led to deficiencies in economy, efficiency, or effectiveness.
  • Lack of Consistency – In the past, agencies had been free to develop agency-specific project and program management policies and procedures.
  • Infrequent Feedback – In many cases, project and program reviews have previously been limited to agency leadership at milestones or project completion.
  • Opportunities for Career Advancement – Until now, there has been no clear career paths for project and program managers in the Federal Government.

Who is affected by PMIAA?

PMIAA applies to the 24 Federal Agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990 except for the Department of Defense (DoD).

Who is responsible for ensuring that agencies comply with PMIAA?

  • The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of an agency provides organizational leadership to improve program performance by ensuring organizational and staff expertise.
  • The Program Management Improvement Officer (PMIO) develops strategies to enhance and implement agency project and program management policies to improve performance.
  • The Program Management Policy Council (PMPC) is made up of five members of OMB, PMIOs from each agency, one representative from the DoD, the Federal program, and Project Management Community of Practice (FedPM CoP). The PMPC oversees the implementation of the act’s major provisions and strengthens agency program management by developing capacity, facilitating cross-agency learning, improving cooperation, and sharing best practices identified by agencies and the private sector.
  • Federal project and program managers are accountable for applying PMIAA standards to ensure effective and efficient results of their projects and programs.

Who oversees PMIAA compliance across the Federal Government?

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) assesses performance through regular engagement and portfolio reviews of agency projects and programs, particularly those that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) considers ‘at risk.’  Agency managers are accountable for addressing areas identified for improvement during the reviews.

How should PMIAA be implemented?

On June 25, 2018, OMB issued a memorandum that provides a 5-year strategic outline for improving project and program management. The memo contains key strategies and a phased-approach timeline for Federal project and program managers to follow when implementing PMIAA.

How will implementing PMIAA help you achieve your mission objectives?

  • Better alignment with agency strategic objectives
  • Reduction or elimination of waste and cost
  • Increased effectiveness and greater efficiency
  • Shorter time to completion of mission-critical projects to support American taxpayers
  • Lessons learned from the challenges and successes of other projects and programs
  • Standard policies that simplify data sharing can potentially shorten response cycles to satisfy critical public issues

How has PMIAA impacted the career paths of Project and Program Managers?

The updated Job Series 0340 and its Interpretive Guidance formalizes the role of project manager for the entire civilian workforce and in conjunction with the new OPM Program and Project Management Competencies (PMPC) and hierarchy that has been created by PMIAA provide a clear definition of the skills needed for the role. Gap analysis and training support Federal project and program managers on their career paths for advancement within and beyond the Federal Government.

Where can I go to learn more about PMIAA?

Management Concepts offers a variety of ways to ensure that your development, including project and program management skills, aligns with PMIAA. We offer courses in conveniently-located traditional and virtual classrooms, develop custom curriculum, and deliver courses on-site upon request.

Written by:
Natalie Komitsky
Project & Program Management
Media Type:

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