New Legislation to Bolster Program and Project Management Policy

June 30, 2015 Updated: June 22, 2016

Technology along with the global economy dynamics have forced organizations to rethink their workplace strategies and efforts. In an attempt for one particular sector, the U.S. government, a new piece of legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate called the “Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015” that would seek to improve the overall program management practices and boost the development of the workforce, according to Project Management Institute (PMI) press release. 

The legislative initiative called S. 1550 was presented by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Mirrors H.R. 2144. In addition, Congressmen Todd Young (R-In.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) also introduced the similar effort in the House of Representatives in May, 2015.

The measures are an attempt to streamline project management (PM) policy and also provide a clear path towards reducing costs by the federal government. The reason the measure came to be is because of the findings by the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s. According to the report it highlights flaws in the management of Veterans Affairs healthcare programs and the shortcomings in federal IT acquisition processes.

What was emphasized further was the background or the thinking behind the bill comes from decades of research by the nonprofit organization PMI.

“PMI commends Senators Ernst and Heitkamp for the leadership they’ve demonstrated by introducing this bipartisan and now bicameral legislation,” said Mark A. Langley, PMI president and CEO.  “This level of Congressional engagement will go a long way in improving programs and projects in the federal government.  We encourage all members of Congress and Senators who support improving efficiency and reducing unnecessary waste to join Senators Ernst and Heitkamp in supporting this legislation.”

The legislation is drafted upon four of the principles mentioned below:

  1. “Creation of a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government.”
  2. “Development of a standards-based model for program management consistent throughout the federal government.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “Alignment of cross-government dialog on program management practices through an interagency council on program management.”

Previously reported PMI had conducted a survey on project management (PM) in the U.S. with varying results, yet with positive results from those who were surveyed. It´s essential for enterprises, small businesses and startups to build an effectively established structure and culture around project management programs.

Timeline of Project Management (Past, Present, and Future)

Project management has been around for centuries, and it’s evolved over time with human recorded history. An infographic published by comprehensively looks at how PM methods, principles and developments have evolved up until now.

So how far back can we find traces of PM within human civilization? According to the visual graphic the first findings of these work strategies were in Egypt with the great pyramids (Great Pyramid of Giza) in 2570 B.C.

Fast forward to when the Great Wall of China was built in 221-203 B.C. With this Chinese project there was a basic PM system with the following three elements formulated at the time: people management, time management, materials management.

Now, between the 19th and 20th is when PM really starts to take off with the industrial revolution and thereafter.

At the present time, the global PM outlook was looked at for the following countries: Australia, India, Brazil, Mexico, China, United Kingdom (U.K.), and U.S. Each country includes a brief analysis of the sectors to watch out for, how much investment is going towards PM amongst other aspects.

The impact of PM is vital and affects practically every professional industry. It allows for organizations to continue to develop, innovate, grow, expand, etc. Those PM Managers will be instrumental to institutions and need to have in place the necessary resources to help fund these projects for the company´s long-term goals.

Upcoming PM industry trends

As you may have guessed technology tools are reshaping how PM processes take place. You will see productivity go up and an entrepreneurial environment are core to have for these sort of ventures developed.

What you will see, according to the graphic previously cited, is more remote project teams working remotely thanks to the sophisticated technology. Furthermore, more cloud-based services and providers, mobile apps, big data as a PM too.

Cloud services will be expanding very rapidly over the next decade and mid to large-size businesses for any industry will be turning to these platforms. If you are unsure of the right platform or leading cloud-based solutions you can check out the “20 most Promising BPM Technology Solution Providers” by CIO Review.

Among those companies to stand out as a solutions option was Comindware because of the product’s delivery of innovative business operations management solutions. Among the different sources, reviews, sites, or blogs give the company´s product a solid score.

Conclusions and Takeaways

PM as a practice for the private or public sector will be here to stay. In the U.S. government it is clear that funds for these sectors for continual development have to be allocated properly and reexamined giving the money that goes to waste.

What governments, small businesses, enterprises, medium-sized businesses, institutions, organizations or just any other entity cannot ignore the benefits that PM can bring. As it was proven through the PMI research it not just adjusting resources and reducing costs to improve efficiency for the sake of revenue or profit.

It is about really revamping the system as a whole and as a positive consequence improve the working conditions of project managers including their collaborative teams.

The introduction of the bill is a great start and will take some time to see what kind of transformational effect it brings in this case to the American federal government. Whats important is the streamlining of these work processes, cultivating skills that are relevant in the competitive global market.