The three levels of risk in IT project management

Dan Matthews, vice chairman of the CIO Council and the Transportation Department CIO, says requiring a full-time manager for every project is 'unrealistic.'

The CIO Council's IT Workforce and Human Capital Committee approved a draft of project management guidance for agencies to better determine the skills needed for IT initiatives.

Level 1'Projects with low-to-moderate complexity and risk, such as a bureau-level initiative. The manager must have at least one year of technical or project management experience, plus the skills and competencies outlined by OPM for project managers.

Level 2'Projects with high complexity and risk, which are critical to an agency's mission, such as a departmentwide initiative that affects cross-organizational functions. The manager must have two to four years of project management and technical experience, and have advanced knowledge and skills outlined by OPM. The project manager also must have developed systems using lifecycle management, and capital investment and investment review controls.

Level 3'Projects with high complexity and risk, and governmentwide impact, such as Quicksilver or homeland security initiatives. The manager must have two to four years of project management and technical experience, including experience in managing a Level 2 IT project. The project manager must have specific skills and knowledge as well as all the abilities mentioned for previous levels.

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