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Emergence of the Chief Program/Project Officer (CPO)?

March 22, 2017

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Emergence of the Chief Program/Project Officer (CPO)?

March 22, 2017

It's been awhile coming, but the research is in and savvy leadership is buying-in.  Recognition of the Project/Program Management Profession is coming into its own and reaching the corporate C-suite.  In many corporations significant expenditures are spent on projects and warrant seasoned, educated executive level project  management professionals that can establish and manage the organization’s  policies  and practices for project stewardship and strategic alignment.

Recently passed S.1550 – Program Management Improvement Accountability Act,  establishes a one year deadline for the  Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to issue the standards, policies, and guidelines to be adopted by federal executive agencies.  It also establishes Project Management Improvement Officers and a Program Management Policy Council.


This is reminiscent of years earlier legislation that brought Chief Information Officers (CIO) to the table with a significant role in information technology (IT) decisions,  planning, programming, budgeting, execution, reporting, management, governance, and oversight functions.

CIOs are now ubiquitous in most organizations with responsibility for IT functions and IT projects.  IT projects are often IT centric requiring IT domain expertise.  With a broader scope of the organization's strategic projects to meet strategic objectives and goals, IT projects are typically a subset of the bigger project and should still be managed by an IT Project Manager, but as a member of a Project/Program Management Team.  Managing these broader scoped project require a broader skill set involving more stakeholders and communication and require Program/Project Management domain expertise.  Certified Program/Project Management Professionals have this expertise..

Are we going to see Chief Project/Program Officers (CPO) sitting at the leadership table with responsibility of integrating all the domain expertise necessary to successfully and efficiently manage these broader scope programs/projects?

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