New designation for federal IT managers

Obama's IT reform plan calls for recruitment of experienced program managers

Federal employees who manage one or more large IT programs might soon have a new official title: IT program manager.

The Office of Personnel Management released a draft proposal for public comment March 16 that would create the new title. The proposal includes a position description.

“The IT program manager coordinates, communicates, and integrates IT projects and program activities,” the proposal states. “They ensure that the work effort achieves the outcome as specified within the IT business strategies."


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The establishment of an IT program manager career track, starting with the new title, is one aspect of the Obama administration’s 25-point IT reform plan released in December 2010. IT program managers will be responsible for managing projects from beginning to end and ensuring on-time delivery and functionality.

The plan calls for federal IT program managers to have career advancement paths that are competitive with the private sector. “The path should require expertise and experience for advancement,” the plan states. “It will also require the development of a competency model for IT program management consistent with the IT project manager model.”

OPM will work with the Office of Management and Budget to provide agencies with direct hiring authority for IT program managers as needed, according to the plan.

The administration sees the new title as a step toward recruiting the best candidates to fill the role of IT program manager, officials wrote March 29 on the CIO.gov website.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has said the public can expect a status update on the reform effort sometime this month.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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