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Original Forum Question

Original Forum Question:

you can answer this question, you must understand what program
management is. Your textbook takes a shot at defining this concept but
providing the definition from the Defense Acquisition University (DAU)
glossary. What is clear from this definition is that program management
has a centralized leader (the program manager) who is ultimately
responsible for an entire effort, down to the minute details. Think of
anything that you are responsible for in your life and think about how
every aspect of that responsibility is accomplished; it doesn’t have to
be job related. Now think about how that responsibility is taken care
of or accomplished. There is numerous steps in a harmonious process,
many of which rely on a previous step to complete. The accomplishing of
that responsibility is likened to managing the “program.”


Please respond to at least 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions.

Student1 (April): Program management is the process of managing
several related projects, often with the intention of improving an
organization’s performance. Many times, the projects that are being
manager are similar in nature and the goal is to streamline the mission
of the agency. Whenever you are talking about a program manager, there
are several traits that make for a successful program manager. One trait
or perspective that is important for a program manager is the ability
to see the big picture. Program managers oversee many different and
moving pieces so they need to be able to see all these pieces at once
and understand and make sure all these pieces fit together and work.
Program managers also must possess a strong sense of responsibility or
accountability. Program managers must be able to decide who is
responsible for tasks being done in a timely manner and hold them
accountable if things aren’t done in a timely manner. Program managers
must also be able to track finances. All projects are held to limited
resources so the program manager must be able to ensure resources are
allocated to the maximum extent possible. Program managers must also be
risk takers and have the ability think outside the box. This innovative
ability will help keep program managers on the cutting edge and help
them improve the program they are working. Finally, program managers
must be very organized not only for themselves but to ensure the program
is successful. Program managers must ensure schedule are being met and
many moving parts are all functions together. You can’t achieve this
goal unless you are very well organized.

Student2 (Sully):

As stated in our course materials, Introduction to Defense Acquisition Management, the job title of “program manager (PM)” is used very broadly. Every company may use a different phrase or title, and every DoD component may assign a more specific title i.e. program director, project manager, product manager, etc. The
designated individual with responsibility for and authority to
accomplish program objectives for development, production, and
sustainment to meet the user’s operational needs. The Program Manager
shall be accountable for credible cost, schedule, and performance
reporting to the Milestone Decision Authority. (DoDD 5000.01, 2017).

With such a vital position as the PM, the job holds some serious
prerequisites, and the global industry recognizes the importance of
certain skills necessary to perform efficiently in such a billet.
Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers
(FAC-P/PM) became the U.S. standard, and in order to maintain those high
standards, the Government consistently created new policies through
the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). This resulted in a
special board of advisors. The OFPP’s Acquisition Workforce Development
Strategic Plan for Civilian Agencies, a multi-agency Functional Advisory
Board (FAB), was established to refresh the P/PM competencies and
recommend improvements to the certification standards. The initial FAC
for P/PMs was issued in April 2007 and while many important steps toward
strengthening P/PMs have been taken since then, more work remains
(Jordan, 2013). The revised program is designed to strengthen civilian
agency P/PMs to improve program outcomes, and reflects the need to
improve the management of high-risk, high-impact program

Two major agencies that help with certification requires are the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Project Management Institute.
There are civilian agencies as well as DoD however, the skills of the
P/PMs are the same. They are critical in developing accurate government
requirements, defining measurable performance standards, and managing
life-cycle activities to ensure that intended outcomes are achieved
(Brown, 2010). They should have the ability to manage and evaluate
moderate to high-risk programs or projects that require significant
acquisition investment and agency knowledge and experience, apply and
utilize earned value management, apply advanced management and
acquisition practices, and any related activities (FAI, 2018). To sum up
these qualities one could argue that Time Management and Adaptability
are tied for first.

Time management comes into play as the top skill required because only
through proper organizational skills and strict dedication to one’s self
can a program remain on time, or on schedule for extended periods. To
further drive this point one must recognize that projects end shortly
where programs usually take much longer, or are an overarching premise
of many projects. Thus, there are an unfathomable amount of discrepancies that may occur throughout the timeline of a project and
the PM needs to have a third person perspective of everything. Without
project leads reporting on time or conducting appropriately timed
meetings and hitting milestones the program can be thrown askew. Without
understanding how to control personal time, project times, and every
other aspect of time, the PM will more than likely become overwhelmed.
Completed projects will, one after another, fall behind schedule until
the entire program is derailed. Too early or too late can have adverse
effects on other pieces of the puzzle, combating this becomes one of the
most essential aspects of program management.

I only mention adaptability as a sister quality because changes happen
so quickly. Without the ability to adapt to those changes the PM’s other
skills are moot. Not only does this involve time and processing things
quickly but it also applies to environments. Whether dealing with
vertical communication within the company, or addressing officials of
another forum, adaptability and the complexities involved with that
attribute become one of the most important qualities as well- right
alongside the PM’s quintessential time management techniques.




Brown, B. (2010). Introduction to Defense Acquisition Management. Fort Belvoir, VA: Defense Acquisition University.

DoDD 5000.01. (2017, January 17). DoD Directives Division. Retrieved from Executive Services Directorate:

FAI. (2018, January 17). Program and Project Managers (FAC-P/PM). Retrieved from Federal Acquisition Institute:…

Washington, D.C.: Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved from

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