Program Excellence

Aviation Week Network has announced the winners of the annual Aviation Week Program Excellence Awards, which honor excellence in program leadership. For only the third time in the program’s 17 years, one program for chosen the Overall Winner—the U.S. Navy F/A-18 E/F Readiness program.
The U.S. Navy’s work to improve readiness of the F/A-18 E/F fighter aircraft fleet demonstrated excellence in execution, in dealing with complexity, organizational leadership and results to receive the award. Rear Admiral Shane Gahagan, program executive officer for tactical aircraft programs, accepted the award for his team.
Six additional winners were selected for Program Excellence awards:

  • Special Projects: Honeywell Aerospace for its Ultraviolet Light Treatment System, which is used to sanitize and cleanse aircraft cabins; Bob Lenz, Sr. Director, Offering Management
  • Supplier System Design & Development: L3Harris Technologies, Optical Telescope Assembly for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope; Dave Smith, Program Manager
  • Supplier System Production: Qioptiq Ltd, an Excelitas company, for production of its relay optical assembly in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Lance Nicholls, Continuous Program Lead
  • Prime System Design & Development: Boeing for the MQ-25A program design and development, Dave Bujold, Sr. Director/Program Manager
  • Prime System Production: Lockheed Martin for the Patriot Advanced Capability-3Missile Segment Enhancement production; Kurtis Jetsel, Director Program Management
  • Prime System Sustainment: Boeing for sustainment of the International Space Station; John Mulholland, Vice President and Program Manager

The awards program, which was established by aerospace and defense industry leaders in 2004, is sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software. The annual program is designed to identify lessons learned and best practices, and then share these throughout the industry to improve overall program performance.
“Companies that fiercely compete with one another established the Program Excellence awards to improve program performance for their customers in commercial aviation, space, and defense,” said Joe Anselmo, Editorial Director for Aviation Week Network. “Program managers are the industry’s unsung heroes. When things go wrong, it falls on them to accept responsibility and fix things. When things go right, that’s the expectation. So it is with great honor that we are able to put the spotlight one time each year on the leaders of the thousands of programs that are the lifeblood of this industry.”
More than 150 subject matter experts from the Program Excellence Evaluation Team members score the programs on the basis of delivering value to the public good, their companies and their teams; dealing with complexity; organizational excellence; and defining forward-looking metrics that keep programs on track.

Program Excellence Initiative

Aviation Week Network’s Program Excellence unites the program/project management community and provides resources for your use.

  • Program Management Professional Development - presentations and videos designed to provide you with tools you can’t put to work today
  • Prior year submissions for the Program Excellence Awards — dig deep for best practices!
Get involved

Program Excellence Evaluation Team

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Becoming a Program Excellence Evaluation Team Member

Aviation Week facilitates a process set up by industry leaders 15 years ago to identify excellence in program leadership. Each Evaluation Team member takes part in scoring the nominee applications against four factors that were identified as critical to program leadership — creating value, leading organizations, managing and adapting to complexity, and creating measurements that serve as an alert system versus a rearview mirror.

The Program Excellence Initiative is an annual program that the participating companies support not only as a way of upping the industry’s game on program performance and providing positive visibility for this demanding aerospace profession, but also for invaluable best-practice sharing and program/project manager education and training that is almost impossible to gain any other way.

Member companies have one voting representative on the Evaluation Team; each company also receives free complimentary seats to all Program Excellence events. The team assists in nominating programs for the awards program and coordinates within their own companies a process to score entries that simultaneously creates a learning opportunity for the company’s program community. Team members assist in identifying the most significant challenges faced in program execution.

If you’re interested in your company joining the Program Excellence Evaluation Team, contact [email protected] for more information

Program Excellence: Resources

2021 Program Management Best Practices I Focus on Speed 

2021 Program Excellence Submissions 

See older submissions:

2019 Program Excellence Submissions

2018 Program Excellence Submissions

Gain an inside look at the processes and methods used by the industry’s top programs.

Aviation Week’s DefenseChain Conference

Gain access to the presentations outlining findings in Technology Innovation, Model-Based Engineering, Hypersonics, Production Ramp Ups and staying alive in the New Space Race.