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OPM.gov / Policy / Training & Development / Career Development / Appendix D: Program and Project Competency Model and Competency Definitions
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Appendix D: Program and Project Competency Model and Competency Definitions

The following present the 32 general competencies and 19 technical competencies that have been identified on a government-wide basis for program and project management work. Agencies are responsible for conducting job analyses for work within their agency (5 CFR Part 300.103). Similarly, agencies must determine the applicability of these competencies to positions within their agency. Please refer to OPM's Delegated Examining Operations Handbook for more information on conducting a job analysis. 

Program and Project Management General Competencies

Accountability - Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.

Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.

Conflict Management - Manages and resolves conflicts, grievances, confrontations, or disagreements in a constructive manner to minimize negative personal impact.

Creative Thinking - Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable.

Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.

Decision Making - Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.

External Awareness - Identifies and understands economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization.

Flexibility - Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity.

Influencing/Negotiating - Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.

Information Management - Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.

Integrity/Honesty - Contributes to maintaining the integrity of the organization; displays high standards of ethical conduct and understands the impact of violating these standards on an organization, self, and others; is trustworthy.

Interpersonal Skills - Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others; develops and maintains effective relationships with others; may include effectively dealing with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed; relates well to people from varied backgrounds and different situations; is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.

Leadership - Influences, motivates, and challenges others; adapts leadership styles to a variety of situations.

Legal, Government and Jurisprudence - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, legal practices and documents, Government regulations, Executive orders, agency rules, Government organization and functions, and the democratic political process.

Manages Human Resources - Plans, distributes, and monitors work assignments; evaluates work performance and provides feedback to others on their performance.

Manages Resources - Selects, acquires, stores, and distributes resources such as materials, equipment, or money.

Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.

Organizational Awareness - Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the organization.

Partnering - Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.

Planning and Evaluating - Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.

Political Savvy - Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.

Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

Reading Comprehension - Understands and interprets written material, including technical material, rules, regulations, instructions, reports, charts, graphs, or tables; applies what is learned from written material to specific situations.

Reasoning - Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.

Strategic Thinking - Formulates effective strategies consistent with the business and competitive strategy of the organization in a global economy. Examines policy issues and strategic planning with a long-term perspective. Determines objectives and sets priorities; anticipates potential threats or opportunities.

Teaching Others - Helps others learn through formal or informal methods; identifies training needs; provides constructive feedback; coaches others on how to perform tasks; acts as a mentor.

Team Building - Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

Teamwork - Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.

Technical Competence - Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.

Technical Credibility - Understands and appropriately applies principles, procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies related to specialized expertise.

Technology Application - Uses machines, tools, instruments, or equipment effectively; uses computers and computer applications to analyze and communicate information in the appropriate format.

Writing - Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience.

Program and Project Management Technical Competencies

Acquisition Strategy - Knowledge of the principles and methods for developing an integrated acquisition management plan that describes the business, technical, and support strategies, including the relationship between the acquisition phases, work efforts, and key program events (for example, decision points, contract awards, test activities).

Business Process Reengineering - Knowledge of methods, metrics, tools, and techniques of Business Process Reengineering.

Capital Planning and Investment Assessment - Knowledge of the principles and methods of capital investment analysis or business case analysis, including return on investment analysis.

Change Management - Knowledge of change management principles, strategies, and techniques required for effectively planning, implementing, and evaluating change in the organization.

Compliance - Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.

Contracting/Procurement - Knowledge of various types of contracts, techniques, or requirements (for example, Federal Acquisitions Regulations) for contracting or procurement, and contract negotiation and administration.

Cost-Benefit Analysis - Knowledge of the principles and methods of cost-benefit analysis, including the time value of money, present value concepts, and quantifying tangible and intangible benefits.

Financial Analysis - Knowledge of the principles, methods, and techniques of financial analysis, forecasting, and modeling to interpret quantitative and qualitative data; includes data modeling, earned value management, and evaluating key financial indicators, trends, and historical data.

Financial Management - Prepares, justifies, and/or administers the budget for program areas; plans, administers, and monitors expenditures to ensure cost-effective support of programs and policies; assesses financial condition of an organization.

Knowledge Management - Knowledge of the value of collected information and the methods of sharing that information throughout an organization.

Performance Measurement - Knowledge of the principles and methods for evaluating program or organizational performance using financial and nonfinancial measures, including identification of evaluation factors (for example, workload, personnel requirements), metrics, and outcomes.

Program Management - Knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools for the coordinated management of a program to include providing oversight of multiple projects, integrating dependent schedules and deliverables, and related activities (for example, benefits management, life cycle management, program governance).

Project Management - Knowledge of the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance.

Quality Management - Knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools of quality assurance, quality control, and reliability used to ensure that a project, system, or product fulfills requirements and standards.

Requirements Management - Knowledge of the principles and methods to identify, solicit, analyze, specify, design, and manage requirements.

Risk Management - Knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools used for risk assessment and mitigation, including assessment of failures and their consequences.

Schedule Management - Knowledge of the strategies, techniques, and processes used to plan, develop, and control project schedule and track project milestones, activities, and deliverables, including timeframes and assigned resources.

Scope Management - Knowledge of the strategies, techniques, and processes used to plan, monitor, and control project scope; includes collecting requirements, defining scope, creating a work breakdown structure, validating scope, and controlling scope to ensure project deliverables meet requirements (i.e., features, functions).

Stakeholder Management - Knowledge of the concepts, practices, and techniques used to identify, engage, influence, and monitor relationships with individuals and groups connected to a work effort; including those actively involved, those who exert influence over the process and its results, and those who have a vested interest in the outcome (positive or negative).

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