Large, complex Defense Department weapons system acquisition programs have been plagued by cost overruns, delayed schedules, and subpar performance. Much of the blame has been placed on government program managers (PM). This study provides a new perspective on government PM competencies by surveying defense industry managers who work with the government PMs on a day-to-day basis. 146 industry managers rated the importance of PM competencies and assessed how well, from their perspective, their government PM counterparts met those competencies. The data gathered from this survey revealed several surprising insights, including a conclusion that government program managers’ performance on several key technical skills may need improvement. The results of this study may be useful in updating training and development strategies for government PMs to improve program outcomes.
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