16 Chapters
Medium 9781567262759

Chapter 2 - Fitting Project Management into the Organization: round Peg/Square hole

Weinstein, Jonathan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.

—PRESIDENT LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON

The town of Parkersburg, West Virginia, sits at the confluence of the Little Kanawha and the Ohio rivers. This small, comfortable city of 35,000 is home to the Parkersburg High Big Reds, the Sentinel newspaper, and the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt. A glass and concrete building houses the bureau’s Administrative Resource Center (ARC), which provides administrative support services to other government agencies. ARC is one of those unusual quasi-governmental business units: a franchise department that is allowed to operate as a self-sustaining business. ARC provides its customers—other federal agencies—financial and administrative support services.

By signing up for ARC’s services, a federal agency is able to streamline its financial reporting process and ensure that its financial reporting requirements are met. In a typical arrangement with customers, ARC staff converts the data stored in the client’s databases to ARC’s hosted services. These projects are process-and change management-intensive, causing the customer to standardize its typical business functions. In 2004, recognizing that it needed a more structured path for customers, ARC created a project management office (PMO) to manage customers through the conversion process. For the past five years, the PMO has been quietly at work transforming the way ARC operates.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781567262759

Chapter 8 - Engaging Stakeholders: Establishing Effective Project Relationships

Weinstein, Jonathan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

… I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.

—ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE1

The Office of the Chief Architect at GSA’s Public Buildings Service (PBS) is a busy place. With such mandates as improving border security checkpoint structures, creating innovative new workspaces, and retrofitting government buildings to increase energy efficiency, there is no shortage of work to do. Whether constructing new buildings or refurbishing existing structures, PBS interacts with a wide range of stakeholders across a complicated mix of regulations, laws, industry standards, historical precedents, and other constraints. PBS project managers must deliver construction projects on time and on budget, and often in the face of conflicting demands from stakeholders. With each new project comes a new set of local, regional, and federal partners that must support the project, at least nominally.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781567262759

Chapter 9 - Project Management Competencies and Skills: Success through Experience

Weinstein, Jonathan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our job as a federal agency is management and oversight, to be responsible stewards of the public’s trust and resources. Therefore, we must have a highly qualified and technically proficient management team and staff. My aim is to have a high performing organization, sustained by a career oriented workforce, driven to produce results that are important now and into the future.

—JAMES A. RISPOLI, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY, U.S. DEPARTMENT of ENERGY1

Numerous surveys and assessments conducted by OMB, GAO, and individual agencies in cooperation with industry have shown that project management, and in particular the skills associated with being a successful project manager, are critical to agencies achieving their missions.2 The practice and discipline of project management has been institutionalized on the defense side of the federal government for years. The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and the Defense Acquisition Workforces Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification in a variety of project-and program management-related areas are clear examples of this commitment to the development of project management skills and competencies. In the past few years, the practice and discipline of project management have been expanding by leaps and bounds across the civilian side of the federal government as well.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781567262759

Chapter 16 - The Promise of Project Management in the Federal Government: Looking Ahead

Weinstein, Jonathan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There is no quick road to project management maturity, but with perseverance and a thick skin, much can be done.

—ALLAN ROIT, ASSISTANT PMO DIRECTOR, FINANCIAL CRIMES ENFORCEMENT NETWORK, U.S. DEPARTMENT of the TREASURY

Among the things Americans expect, today more than ever, is effective government. Regardless of methods or tools, fundamental project management structures and individual skills are the key drivers to project success in the federal government. On a more macro level, the discipline of project management is a primary means of creating more effective government. What lies ahead for project management in the federal government?

The state of project management in the federal government varies from agency to agency. Yet, several trends are evident in the federal project management arena. While these trends do not represent the sum total of the future of project management in the federal government, they do indicate the direction project management is taking. Those on the front lines offer some insights and ideas for improving the discipline of project management across the federal government.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781567262759

Chapter 1 - The Evolution of Federal Project Management: Then and Now

Weinstein, Jonathan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We need to internalize this idea of excellence.

— PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Throughout history mankind has labored to achieve amazing feats that defy our imagination: the great pyramids of Giza, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the D-Day invasion. Human beings—and governments—naturally seek to apply resources toward the creation of monuments, public works, and war. Although such efforts have spanned thousands of years, only in the past 60 years has the discipline of project management come to be formally recognized and defined.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) describes the federal government as “the world’s largest and most complex entity.”1 In terms of scale, the federal government expended about $3 trillion in fiscal year 2008 on operations and myriad projects to develop and provide new products and services—from bridge construction to aircraft development, from AIDS awareness to nuclear material disposal. The expenditure of these funds represents the single largest government marketplace in the world, employing many millions of people directly or indirectly. Federal project dollars are spread across state and local governments, often defining entire industries such as defense.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters