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Data and Methodology

This Career Path Guide was developed using quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the career progression, success factors, critical competencies, key work behaviors, and recommended training and development for effective program and project management. These methods included:

  • Environmental Scan - OPM completed a review of best practices from Federal agencies and private industry, literature, agencies’ program and project management position descriptions, agencies’ program and project management career paths and competency models.
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME) Focus Groups– OPM facilitated three full-day focus group sessions with over thirty Federal classifications and program and project management SMEs, representing twenty Federal agencies (see Appendix B: Subject Matter Expert (SME) Workshops - List of Participating Agencies), in November 2018. SMEs reviewed and further refined the job duties and competencies, providing valuable input on the new Program Manager and Project Manager career path effort.
  • Program and Project Managers Workforce Survey– OPM issued a survey to identify incumbents and positions performing program and project management work in the Federal government. OPM reviewed the data collected from the survey to better understand the nature and scope of program and project management work government-wide, including who is performing the work and where the work is performed within agencies.
  • Program and Project Manager Job Analysis Survey-OPM issued a survey to the Federal non-supervisory employees identified in the workforce survey to identify program and project management work in the Federal government. OPM used the data collected to validate the program and project management competencies and tasks identified by Federal agency subject matter experts as essential for performing program and project management work Government-wide.

This comprehensive assessment serves as the basis for the Federal Program and Project Management Guide.

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