Building Program and Project Management Muscles


The Key to Excellent Operating Models


The Connected Future Business Culture:

The Great Project Management Accelerator


By Dr. Harold Kerzner

Senior Executive for Project Management
The International Institute for Learning (IIL)
New York and Florida, USA


Dr. Al Zeitoun, PgMP, PMI Fellow

Global Future of Work Executive
Siemens DISW
Ohio and Maryland USA


The future belongs to organizations that are able to continually stretch.  It has become evident with intense disruptions, that the only operating models that could survive and sustain growth in the future are the adaptable and resilient ones.  Value-focus has been widely discussed in research and practiced for the past few years.  In addition, the need to find better and more effective ways for implementing strategy has been in the forefront of what executive teams continued to be concerned with.

We learned a lot over the years about what works and what does not in the utilization of program and project management.  Strategically, organizations have finally started realizing the true value of structured, yet highly adaptable, practices for driving the major change missions they face.  The next decade will see a tremendous focus on building these program and project management muscles and how this directly contributes to impacting organizational operations and how they deliver value to their most critical stakeholders.

During the past decade, there has been a great deal published on the business benefits and business value resulting from effective project and program management practices. Companies are now realizing that project and program management are more than just another career path position.  They have become strategic competencies necessary for business growth, customer satisfaction, and sustainability of the business.

What most companies fail to realize is the impact at the organizational level and the company’s business model resulting from the elevation of project/program management from a career path to a strategic competency.  New organizational structures are being developed and, in many cases, resulting in major changes to the firm’s traditional business model.

The Strategic Benefits of Good Project/Program Management

There is an adage that some trainers use in project management courses: “Any executive that always makes the right decisions probably is not making enough decisions.”  Applying this adage to the project selection process, not all projects approved by senior management will be successful.  But what we do recognize as happening in organizations is that the project success rate increases as organizations become good at project management.

When the project success rate increases, there are several changes seen in companies, three of which are:


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How to cite this paper: Kerzner, H. and Zeitoun, A. (2023). Building Program and Project Management Muscles: The Key to Excellent Operating Models, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/pmwj127-Mar2023-Kerzner-Zeitoun-buidling-program-and-project-management-muscles.pdf

About the Authors

Harold Kerzner, Ph.D., MS, M.B.A       

Senior Executive Director for Project Management
International Institute of Learning
New York & Florida, USA


Dr. Harold Kerzner is Senior Executive Director for Project Management for the International Institute for Learning (IIL). He has an MS and Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Utah State University. He is a prior Air Force Officer and spent several years at Morton-Thiokol in project management. He taught engineering at the University of Illinois and business administration at Utah State University, and for 38 years taught project management at Baldwin-Wallace University. He has published or presented numerous engineering and business papers and has had published more than 60 college textbooks/workbooks on project management, including later editions. Some of his books are (1) Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling; (2) Project Management Metrics, KPIs and Dashboards, (3) Project Management Case Studies, (4) Project Management Best Practices: Achieving Global Excellence, (5) PM 2.0: The Future of Project Management, (6) Using the Project Management Maturity Model, and (7) Innovation Project Management.

He is a charter member of the Northeast Ohio PMI Chapter.

Dr. Kerzner has traveled around the world conducting project management lectures for PMI Chapters and companies in Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Singapore, Korea, South Africa, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Croatia, Mexico, Trinidad, Barbados, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Venezuela, Columbia, United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, England, and Switzerland. He delivered a keynote speech at a PMI Global Congress on the future of project management.

His recognitions include:

  • The University of Illinois granted Dr. Kerzner a Distinguished Recent Alumni Award in 1981 for his contributions to the field of project management.
  • Utah State University provided Dr. Kerzner with the 1998 Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the field of project management.
  • The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute gives out the Kerzner Award once a year to one project manager in Northeast Ohio that has demonstrated excellence in project management. They also give out a second Kerzner Award for project of the year in Northeast Ohio.
  • The Project Management Institute (National Organization) in cooperation with IIL has initiated the Kerzner International Project Manager of the Year Award given to one project manager yearly anywhere in the world that demonstrated excellence in project management.
  • The Project Management Institute also gives out four scholarships each year in Dr. Kerzner’s name for graduate studies in project management.
  • Baldwin-Wallace University has instituted the Kerzner Distinguished Lecturer Series in project management.
  • The Italian Institute of Project Management presented Dr. Kerzner with the 2019 International ISIPM Award for his contributions to the field of project management.

Dr. Harold Kerzner can be contacted at hkerzner@hotmail.com


Dr. Al Zeitoun, PgMP, PMI Fellow

Global Future of Work Executive
Siemens DISW
Ohio & Maryland USA


Dr. Al Zeitoun is a Future of Work, business optimization, and operational performance excellence thought leader with global experiences in strategy execution. His experiences encompass leading organizations; delivering their Enterprise Digital and Business Transformation; guiding fitting frameworks implementations; and using his empathy, engineering insights, and collaboration strengths to successfully envision new business models and execute complex missions across diverse cultures globally.

In his current role with Siemens, he is a Senior Director of Strategy responsible for driving the global program management practices, Master Plan governance, and enabling the Strategy Transformation processes and priorities.

In his position, as the Executive Director for Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Abu Dhabi, UAE, he was responsible for creating the strategy execution framework, achieving transformation benefits, governance excellence, and creating the data analytics discipline necessary for delivering on the $40B complex country energy mission roadmap.

At the McLean, USA HQ of Booz Allen Hamilton, Dr. Zeitoun strategically envisioned and customized digitally enabled EPMO advisory, mapped playbooks, and capability development for clients’ Billions of Dollars strategic initiatives. Furthermore, he led the firm’s Middle East North Africa Portfolio Management and Agile Governance Solutions.

With the International Institute of Learning, Dr. Zeitoun played a senior leader and global trainer and coach. He was instrumental in driving its global expansions, thought leadership, and operational excellence methodology to sense and shape dynamic ways of working across organizations worldwide. He speaks English, Arabic, and German and enjoys good food, travel, and volunteering. Dr. Al Zeitoun can be contacted at  zeitounstrategy@gmail.com