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Construction : Communication Feature | October 2015 | Source : Infrastructure Today

PMI: Milestones to efficiency

Although formalised project and programme management practices are yet to be embraced with equal rigour across all government entities, data reveals that implementing Organisational Project Management (OPM) leads to higher rates of project and programme success.

To identify the success factors that will serve to inform other government entities, and ideally lead to greater adoption of OPM, PMI initiated three case studies to illustrate what successful OPM looks like in government. These case studies explore programme management within the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Each of the case studies examines a different aspect of programme management within government:

  • The SSA: the value of a career development programme to develop highly skilled, trained and qualified programme managers
  • The BIA: the successful implementation of project management in a programme to reduce violent crime, and
  • The FAA: a solid project/programme management foundation to provide the necessary experience and skills to streamline the creation and implementation of new air-safety technology.

Strong Leadership Capabilities:
In all three programmes, the programme manager was hands-on and involved at every level of the operation, but especially at the implementation level. His focus on the benefits kept the programme on track.

Commitment to OPM: Each of the leaders, as well as many of the individuals, assigned to the programmes had project or programme management experience, and many had formalised training with certification.

Executive and Senior Level Support: Executive and senior level support brought continued investment in training- essentially guaranteeing that training remains a priority through the project/programme.

Effective Training Programmes, Ongoing Coursework and Certifications:
Training, coupled with experience, leads to a clearer understanding of project and programme management. Transparent and Effective Communication: A commitment to regular, effective communication proved essential to the success of the three programmes. Team building and Stakeholder Engagement: Although discussed in part in the communications section, team and stakeholder engagement from the planning stage leads to a sense of ownership, a shared sense of responsibility, and a vested interest in programme success.

While the majority of obstacles that threatened success were specific to each context, two common challenges were limited funding and a lack of understanding on the part of some to the value of project and programme management.


  • SSA: Project and programme career development benefit the entire organisation.
  • BIA: Project and programme management practices can be implemented to fight crime and promote better understanding between police and the community, creating efficiency and lowering the violent crime rate.
  • FAA: Greater reliance on standardisation of processes transforms programme management at the FAA.
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