President Barack Obama signed the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) just 1 month before he leaves the White House. What does Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) mean? What will Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) bring to project management profession and U.S. federal government?

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

During this article, we will go through the important aspects of Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) that affect federal program management policy.

4 Important Points About Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA)

It is a fact that project management profession grows rapidly and one of the most recognized professions around the world. With the PMIAA, best practices in project management and program management will be enhanced throughout the federal government.

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act has been associated into law with S.1550 with contributions of Project Management Institute (PMI) on December 14, 2016.

Now, we will go over 4 important aspects about PMIAA that affect federal program management policy.

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) Impact #1:

“Creating a formal job series and career path for program managers in the federal government.”

This will ensure recognition of project management and program management professions and positions among federal government. Project Managers and Program Managers will be able to get formal positions in federal government with this Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA).

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

Federal government will also propose a career path for project managers and program managers as well. For instance, they will have different grades and levels for project management and program management professions as following:

  • Junior Project Manager
  • Senior Project Manager
  • Expert Project Manager
  • Program Manager – I (e.g. 10+ years of experience in project management and program management)
  • Program Manager – II (e.g. 15+ years of experience in project management and program management)
  • Program Managers – III (e.g. 20+ years of experience in project management and program management)

Note that, these are sample grading and levels. We wrote down here to illustrate the impact of PMIAA on federal government and does not reflect what they will be exactly.

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) Impact #2:

“Developing a standards-based program management policy across the federal government.”

This impact will affect how program management will be executed in federal government. Policies describe when, how and what to do about a topic. With this impact, there will be a standard policy on federal government on how project management and program management will be executed on federal government projects and programs.

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) Impact #3:

“Recognizing the essential role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in federal agencies to be responsible for program management policy and strategy.”

This impact ensures that there will be a sponsor in federal agencies that will be accountable for the project management and program management policies and strategies. These sponsors will be responsible for the development of project and program management policies, improvement and execution in federal projects respectively.

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) Impact #4:

“Sharing knowledge of successful approaches to program management through an interagency council on program management.”

Best practices need to be shared and applied on other projects as well to improve project management and program management. With the establishment of an inter-agency council, best practices and know-how on project management and program management among federal government works will be shared. This will improve efficiency and effectiveness of project and program management in federal government.

PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley stated that “We are thrilled that this significant piece of legislation has been signed into law by President Barack Obama. PMIAA will help maximize efficiency within the U.S. federal government, thereby generating more successful program outcomes and increasing the value that Americans receive for their tax dollars”

Organizations and Companies invest in project and program management talent and standards improve effectiveness, efficiency and quality respectively. PMI provides several certifications in the field of project management and program management including but not limited to Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Program Management Professional (PgMP). These certified professionals will have an advantage in taking positions in federal government positions in future, with this Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act. Because, standardized policies, executive sponsors and certified professionals help organizations achieving their strategic goals and improve their performance. (Source: PMI’s Pulse of the Profession®)

Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act


Based on PMI’s report, only 64% of government strategic goals meet their target and government entities waste $101M USD for every $1B USD spent on projects and programs. This makes a 10.1% waste of the spent budget. With the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) it is expected to reduce this waste in future federal government projects and programs.

Source: President Barack Obama Signs the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act – Project Management Institute (PMI)


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Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act