Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John Ritz

Committee Member

Michael Kosloski

Committee Member

William Owings


The purpose of this study was to determine if the Project Management Professional credential requirements encompass the knowledge for project managers required to effectively manage defense industry projects. This study used a four-round Delphi methodology to solicit opinions of defense industry project management professionals about current project management credential curriculum and if that curriculum reflects the realities of the current project management environment.

Two research questions guided this study: 1) Do government contractors working on defense projects use project management knowledge and abilities that are different from what the Project Management Professional credential requires? and 2) Are there additional skill sets needed for project managers to successfully work in the defense industry?

Participants in this study were selected from a project management training company based in the southeastern United States. Project management training professionals were selected due to the unique credentials required of participants in this study. From a population of sixteen defense industry project management training professionals, fourteen agreed to serve on the Delphi panel. The first round asked an open-ended question about knowledge and abilities required by defense industry project management professionals. The panel identified thirteen knowledge and abilities as additions to the Project Management Professional credential for project managers to effectively manage defense industry projects. In the second round, participants evaluated the knowledge and abilities identified in the first round, assigning varying ratings from limited relevance to significant relevance. In the third round, the participants compared their evaluations with the evaluations of the other participants in aggregate. Consensus was built on the identified knowledge and abilities which ranged from limited relevance to significant relevance. In the fourth round, the participants were given a final opportunity to decide if the knowledge and abilities are either necessary, supplemental, or neither. Five knowledge and abilities were found to be necessary, six were found to be supplemental, one was identified as neither, and one was identified equally as necessary and supplemental by the panel.

The findings of the study identified competencies unique to the defense industry project management field, including Management of Contracts, Developing Positive Relationships with Stakeholders, Knowledge of Customer Organization, Leading a Team of People with Diverse Backgrounds, Knowledge of Communication with Government Customers, and Knowledge of DoD 5000 Series Regulations. Thus it is recommended that the defense industry needs an appropriate project management certification to fit its unique operational requirements. These findings provide knowledge for the project management field that should be included in training programs provided by colleges, companies, and consultants.


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