There are thousands of program managers / project managers in the federal government! If you are one of them (or want to be one of them), you should know about the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act (PMIAA). The PMIAA requires, in part, that most federal agencies designate a senior executive as their Program Management Improvement Officer (PMIO); in turn, the PMIO should implement a program for enhancing the role of program managers.

That program includes improved career paths and training.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently issued guidance that identified the key skills and competencies for program managers. The competencies were created based on focus groups that included more than 7,000 employees across government. These competencies are expected to form the frame for training and development of program and project managers going forward.

As an existing or aspirational program / project manager, think about your existing skills and experience in this framework; if you have gaps, and these competencies are relevant to your specific position, you may want to address any gaps through your Individual Development Plan (IDP).

I would also encourage you to think about these competencies as key words to be sure to include in your resume!

General Competencies

• Accountability
• Attention to Detail
• Conflict Management
• Creative Thinking
• Customer Service
• Decision Making
• External Awareness
• Flexibility
• Influencing/Negotiating
• Information Management
• Integrity/Honesty
• Interpersonal Skills
• Leadership
• Legal, Government and Jurisprudence
• Manages Human Resources
• Manages Resources
• Oral Communication
• Organizational Awareness
• Partnering
• Planning and Evaluating
• Political Savvy
• Problem Solving
• Reading Comprehension
• Reasoning
• Strategic Thinking
• Teaching Others
• Team Building
• Teamwork
• Technical Competence
• Technical Credibility
• Technology Application
• Writing

Technical Competencies

• Acquisition Strategy
• Business Process Reengineering
• Capital Planning and Investment Assessment
• Change Management
• Compliance
• Contracting/Procurement
• Cost-Benefit Analysis
• Financial Analysis
• Financial Management
• Knowledge Management
• Performance Measurement
• Program Management
• Project Management
• Quality Management
• Requirements Management
• Risk Management
• Schedule Management
• Scope Management
• Stakeholder Management

More information about the program and project management competencies can be found here: https://www.chcoc.gov/sites/default/files/PMIAA%20Competency%20Memorandum%20Attachment%20for%20CXO%20Councils.pdf.

Nancy Segal is a federal human resources training and job search expert. Following her own 30-year federal HR career (much of it at the senior level), she founded Solutions for the Workplace LLC in 2003 to provide an HR management perspective to both federal managers and astute applicants to U.S. government positions. Nancy has unmatched federal career management insight, high standards, and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.