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What steps can a NASA project manager or systems engineer take to increase the value of contributions in a current job and prepare for new opportunities? One’s future at NASA depends on a number of factors. Participation in professional development activities that complement and enrich one’s work experience is particularly important. The Academy of Program, Project, and Engineering Leadership (APPEL) provides leadership, advice, direction, and support for career development and learning within the NASA program/project management and systems engineering community. The Academy has much to offer!

What is APPEL’s PM&SE Development Program?

The technical program includes the following components:

  • A PM&SE Development Framework that consists of four career levels reflecting increased responsibilities and performance expectations. Within this framework, the Academy describes the appropriate assignments, activities, education, coaching and mentoring, and training necessary to attain appropriate levels of capability. See the Project Management and Systems Engineering Development Planning Matrix for guidelines.
  • A Project Management and Systems Engineering Competency Framework, which links the professional roles that members of the programmatic and engineering workforce assume at different times in their careers with the competencies and levels of proficiencies they need for high performance.
  • APPEL products and services to meet the needs of individuals, teams, and communities of learners, including the courses, knowledge-sharing activities, and team support.
  • Individual Career Planning resources, such as guidelines and tools for self-assessment, goal setting, supervisor/employee discussions, and individual development plans to plot development activities. Creating personal development portfolios as a method to record individual accomplishments and assess progress is also an important element for career planning.

What is the purpose of the program?

  • The purpose is to facilitate NASA project management and systems engineering practitioners career development so they may acquire the capabilities needed to advance NASA’s mission.

What are the advantages for participants?

Participating in the program

  • Increases job competency and supports career-planning activities for program/project managers and systems engineers.
  • Assists in increasing capabilities needed for achieving success at different levels of a practitioners technical career at NASA.
  • Provides a systematic set of criteria, requirements, and competencies for career progression.
  • Describes desired capabilities at every career phase.
  • Provides the capability to meet mandatory requirements for OMB Federal Acquisition Certification for Program/Project Managers.