The Zen of Government Program Management (aka Lessons Learned from a Defense Program Manager)
DEFENSE ACQUISITION UNIV FT BELVOIR VA
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In 1986, I started keeping a list of profound lessons I had learned as an operational test director, defense contractor, government project engineer, and government program manager PM for mostly non-major acquisition programs i.e., ACAT Acquisition Category III, IV and a couple of ACAT I programs. I would jot them down on a special page in my paper brain as they occurred to me, sometimes in the heat of the moment, but usually during quiet periods of retrospection. In defense acquisition, we get a lot of education and training in managing research and development, much of which is the best in the world. But most of it is nuts and bolts, driven by the numerous laws and regulations that govern federal programs and contracts. The lessons below aren t necessarily driven by anything more than common sense, experience and, as W. Edwards Deming put it, Profound Knowledge of the system. These lessons generally fall into four areas Program Teams Contract Architecture Design and Engineering and Sponsors and Money. Over the years, I ve provided these to my colleagues, both inside the government and outside such as at the Marine Technology Society s Underwater Interventions conference, and usually received positive reviews. So I m providing them here in the hopes that readers will be able to glean some nuggets of value.
- Administration and Management
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies