In a recent story I wrote for Project Expert on employee retention, our first key point to retaining IT project managers was to create a clear career path for projects professionals.
To quote myself (as my favorite journalism professor spins in his grave), “Experts say one of the biggest complaints among projects professionals is a lack of a career path. This may not be surprising, given how projects professionals can often float between more traditional functional organizations.”
And clearly that message is being taken to heart by CIOs far and wide, even at the highest levels of our government. Yes, the CIO of the United States government, Vivek Kundra, addressed this point specifically in his 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management.
Clearly Kundra is a devoted reader of Project Expert (okay, given the release date of this report, he’s more likely listening to my interviews via wiretap, but tomato, tomaaahto), and is taking our advice. It’s right there on page 13, under section 7, “Design a formal IT program management career path”:
“In the next six months, OPM, with input from
agencies and OMB, will create a specialized career path for IT program managers (PMs). This will likely require creating a separate Occupational Series specific to IT program management within the current IT family with career advancement paths that are more competitive with the private sector.”
Great idea Vivek. Kudos! I’ll be in touch during election season to line up that interview for a case study on how it all worked out!