Tag Archives: Project Management

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My Oar Keeps Breaking – How to Move Your Part of the Program Forward


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Author: Chad Millette

As an instructor for the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Intermediate Project Management class (IPM 301), I sometimes hear students express deep frustration with their seeming inability to make any positive progress on their programs. In a recent presentation, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Ward fielded several questions from junior program managers (PMs) about what they could do to make a difference in their programs. Ward’s responses echoed good advice I received during my career, which I was inspired to share.

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Top Performing PMs: How DAU Develops Them


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Author: Owen C. Gadeken

The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) has been training Department of Defense (DoD) program managers (PMs) for more than 40 years. During that time, the training requirements have changed considerably. Most basic courses are now done online, while intermediate courses feature a combination of online prerequisites followed by classroom training. Advanced PM courses use teams of students to discuss current acquisition issues, analyze and prepare case studies, share lessons from their experience and provide feedback to their colleagues.

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A Contract Requirement Rule for Program Managers


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Author: Paul Solomon

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 (NDAA) includes many acquisition reforms. The Senate version included a provision that would have required the Secretary of Defense to develop standards, policies and guidelines based on nationally accredited standards for program and project management as well as policies to monitor compliance. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) is the only qualifying standard. The provision was not adopted during conference with the House. However, if the PMBOK Guide were made a contract requirement to replace the Earned Value Management System (EVMS) standard (ANSI-748), any program manager (PM) finally would be able to identify and pinpoint emerging problems on a timely basis and act as early as possible to resolve problems. This article discusses the content and benefits of the PMBOK Guide but also includes guidance for integrating systems engineering (SE) and risk management with EVM independently of the PMBOK Guide.

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Dynamic Consequences of Cost, Schedule, and Performance Within DoD Project Management


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Authors: Patrick R. Cantwell, Dr. Shahram Sarkani, and Dr. Thomas A. Mazzuchi

Project management has been a constant challenge for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition community. While most DoD projects are technologically advanced, the tools and methods to manage these projects are the same as for simple, repetitive projects. The authors argue that traditional approaches fail because they only evaluate the relationships between two of the three elements of cost, schedule, and performance. Instead, they have developed a system dynamics model that allows cost, schedule, and performance to interact and influence one another. This model is complementary to other research and intended to be usable by the practicing project manager. The results from model runs will provide consequences for three potential control alternatives in DoD project management.

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Services Acquisition in the DoD: A Comparison of Management Practices in the Army, Navy, and Air Force


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Authors: Rene G. Rendon, Uday M. Apte, and Aruna Apte

This article presents the results of empirical studies of current practices in services acquisition in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The authors studied the management practices in areas such as contract characteristics, acquisition management methods, use of the project management approach, acquisition leadership, and ownership of requirements. They also studied areas such as the ability of personnel responsible for acquisition, adequacy of acquisition billets and their fill rates, and training provided to services acquisition personnel. The data confirmed that the Navy uses a regional contracting approach, while the Army and the Air Force use an installation-level approach. These differences have important implications for other acquisition management practices, such as the use of project management and contractor surveillance.

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