President George W. Bush: Resources for the President's Team The White House
President George W. Bush meets with Dan Bartlett, center, and Josh Bolten in the Oval Office Jan. 9, 2003.  White House photo by Eric Draper.
The Deputy Director for Mgmt
PMA updates, best practices, and general information.
Grading Implementation of the PMA.
Human Capital
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Commercial Services Management
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Improving Financial Performance
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Performance Improvement
Initiative updates, best practices, and general information.
Sharing Best Practices
Stories of achieving breaktrough results in government.
Department Updates


Securing America's Energy Supply Through the President's Management Agenda

In May 2001, the President issued the National Energy Policy. We knew that in order to implement the policy successfully, the Department of Energy would have to overcome major management challenges and become a high performing, flexible organization with the managerial and technical capabilities to achieve the President's vision. We are using the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and the Executive Branch Management Scorecard to do that.

Involving Senior Leadership

Learn what Energy is doing to address its greatest management challenges.
Challenge:    Ensuring the PMA wasn't just being talked about at headquarters, but that it was being implemented everywhere in the Department.
Solution:    Engage mid-level managers by launching the "communications and accountability initiative."
Challenge:    The Department didn't have a good handle on its workforce needs.
Solution:    Assistant secretaries tasked with developing a "business vision," identifying the kind of workforce needed to achieve the vision, and developing an action plan for getting that workforce.
To carry out the PMA, we knew we had to get the Department's political leadership on board. The Secretary established a management council consisting of the Department's top political leadership with a mandate to improve the Department's ability to achieve its mission through the PMA. He asked the Deputy Secretary to chair it.

The Council meets every month. It serves as the forum for monitoring progress on PMA initiatives, determining the future direction of PMA initiatives, sharing information on best practices and making critical management decisions. Some of what we've done:
  • reduced the time and steps to issue departmental orders in half,
  • set goals to improve barriers to employee satisfaction and performance (i.e. lack of communication or professional development) that were identified through an employee survey, and
  • launched an e-government strategy developed by the Department's Chief Information Officer that includes plans for a corporate data repository that will access information from disparate systems (like financial, human resources, and procurement systems) and produce dashboard style reports to help managers manage.
One challenge facing the council is making sure our management agenda wasn't just being talked about at headquarters, but that it was being implemented everywhere in the Department. So we needed to engage mid-level managers in implementing PMA initiatives. To tackle this problem, the council recently launched the "communications and accountability initiative" to get all DOE organizations on board with the PMA. Now, we have:
  • a communications strategy that includes quarterly meetings with senior executives, all-employee meetings, and e-mail updates on the PMA with the goal of ensuring that everyone understands their role in implementing the PMA;
  • a new structure for implementing the PMA that includes a "go-to" guy in each organization with responsibility for ensuring the organization implements PMA initiatives and reports progress to the department-wide coordinator;
  • a scorecard for each organization to assess its own progress in implementing PMA initiatives, and
  • a system for recognizing and rewarding organizations that excel and for identifying and disseminating information on best practices.
Maximizing Human Capital

Department of Energy Seal The Department's greatest PMA success has been in overcoming one of our greatest challenges - managing our human capital. Like most agencies, the Department didn't have a good handle on its workforce needs. So, we tasked each assistant secretary with:
  • developing a "business vision" that defined what his or her organization will accomplish,
  • identifying the kind of workforce needed to achieve the vision, and
  • developing an action plan for getting that workforce.
The assistant secretaries met individually with me and the human resources director to discuss and refine their visions and action plans. Consultants from the Department's human resources office worked with the assistant secretaries on implementation. This initiative motivated senior leaders to think more strategically about human capital by helping them see the link between human capital management and their ability to achieve their program goals.

Some of the lessons we learned in implementing this initiative include the importance of:
  • the senior leader's personal involvement in developing the business vision/action plan (this can't be delegated),
  • taking the time to get it right (we met with several assistant secretaries many times),
  • moving out fast and staying on task (if you don't, you'll lose momentum), and
  • using a group like the management council to hold everyone accountable.
To get to yellow, the Department also undertook important initiatives to address long-standing skill deficiencies in two mission-critical areas: project and contract management. We are implementing rigorous developmental programs to improve the skills of our workforce in these areas. Both Congress and OMB have commended our efforts and the resulting improvements. Our human capital score was recently raised to "yellow" as a result of several aggressive initiatives we launched last spring.

Leading the Way in Competitive Sourcing

Even though at DOE we perform our mission largely through contractors, we have still found competitive sourcing opportunities. Earlier this year, we launched four major competitive sourcing studies covering 1,000 positions in the areas of information technology, training, financial management, and logistics. We expect to achieve a 25 percent cost savings in each of these areas as a result of competition and have factored the cost savings into our FY 2004 budget request and five-year budget plan. We also expect that these services will be offered more efficiently.

We have found competitive sourcing to be another tool to strategically manage human capital and keep our focus on work that is mission-critical. And we are identifying additional functions to propose for study this fiscal year.

Sustaining Our Success

The Department has made significant progress in implementing the PMA due in large part to the leadership of our senior management team. To sustain lasting change, we have begun integrating the PMA into the Department's systems. For example, during the FY 2004 budget call, organizations were directed to report their progress in implementing PMA initiatives. We are also requiring all senior executives to include in their performance plans specific PMA-related standards and measures. These initiatives will help sustain our commitment to achieving PMA goals and enhance the Department's ability to fulfill the President's commitment to ensuring a secure energy supply for the Nation.

Bruce M. Carnes, Director, Office of Management, Budget and Evaluation/ Chief Financial Officer

Department Updates:
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