Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Dennis D. Strouble, PhD


The purpose of this research is to analyze competencies needed for successful program management of Research and Development (R&D) programs -- also known as Science and Technology (S&T) programs -- within the Department of Defense (DoD). Current competency models are in development for the DoD Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L) functional areas. Using an interim competency model developed for the Program Manager career field comprised of 36 technical competencies and 27 professional competencies, the research compares competencies' criticality scores rated by traditional acquisition program managers (PMs) with those rated by S&T program managers. In 42 out of 63 instances (67%), the criticality scores had statistically significant differences. Only four of those 42 competencies were rated "more critical" by S&T PMs; the other 38 of the 42 (90%), were rated "less critical," with statistically significant lower scores than those of their acquisition PM counterparts. The analysis of the open-ended interview questions suggests that although the AT&L PM competency model may seem to have face validity, the descriptions currently defining the PM competencies may not have adequate content validity for an S&T program management competency model, thus warranting further resources towards defining an independent competency model for S&T PM workforce management initiatives.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number