IT Reform: OPM Creates IT Program Manager Title

CIO Council


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has released a draft proposal that creates a new, official federal title: IT Program Manager. This title will round out the IT Management 2210 series, which currently includes the IT Project Manager and IT Specialist titles. The proposal was distributed to Federal agencies and is available for public comment through April 14, 2011. Federal agencies should coordinate comment submission through their HR offices. OPM is also working with subject matter experts to develop a competency model for IT Program Managers and will be gathering additional input through a survey of Federal employees in April.

Per the draft policy, “The IT Program Manager coordinates, communicates, and integrates IT projects and program activities. They ensure that the work effort achieves the outcome as specified within the IT business strategies.”

The creation of the IT program management title marks another milestone in the 25-Point Implementation Plan To Reform IT Management, released by the Office of Management and Budget in December 2010.

Part 2 of the plan, “Effectively Managing Large-Scale IT Programs,” outlines how the Federal Government will shore up program management talent: “Steps include creating a career path to attract and reward top performers, establishing integrated, multi-disciplinary program teams with key skills before beginning major IT programs, requiring program managers to share best practices at the close of each program, launching a technology fellows program, and encouraging mobility of program managers across the government.”

As discussed in the 25-Point Plan, the government is taking steps to recruit talent with deep experience in IT management, who can take ownership and “steward IT programs from beginning to end.” The IT Program Manager title is a step toward recruiting the best of the best for these critical roles.