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.
The Five Initatives

Success: Getting to Yellow
Significant progress continues to be made in the Human Capital initiative. Four agencies progressed to Yellow status this quarter: the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation and the Department of State.

A consistent theme emerges when examining the improvements made by these four agencies. Each agency:

  • Developed a human capital plan aligned to the agency.s mission;
  • Developed an aggressive action plan for implementation of the activities;
  • Implemented a plan to assess its workforce, identify mission critical occupations and competencies, and developed ways to close skill gaps;
  • Linked the performance expectations of their leaders and managers to the agency.s goals and is cascading those performance expectations throughout their organizations; and
  • Is developing measures to assess improvements.

Through implementation of their strategic human capital plans, these agencies are building stronger organizations with a highly skilled, diverse workforce to carry out their missions.

Small Business Administration The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Strategic Transformation Initiative includes the Strategic Management of Human Capital and a District Office Transformation Pilot. Integration of these agency-wide strategic goals has produced significant progress in the transformation and restructuring of the SBA.

SBA's Deputy Administrator has taken an active role in managing the agency's top strategic goals through:

  • SBA's Execution Scorecard, an on-line initiative tracking and accountability system used to monitor progress on planned actions; and
  • Monthly one-on-one meetings with responsible executives who are SBA's project champions.

Other strategic human capital management activities include:

  • A skills and gap analysis of the mission-critical occupations in the pilot offices, with the results applied to all 68 SBA District Offices;
  • Training strategies to close identified skill gaps;
  • A new performance management system for senior executives and supervisors that uses personal business commitment (PBC) plans to hold senior executives accountable for individual performance and achievement of organizational goals;
  • Scheduled implementation of the PBC plans for all non-supervisory employees at the start of the next performance cycle.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has initiated the USACE 2012 Future Corporate and Headquarters Design Study to ensure that its organization is structured appropriately and that business processes are in place in order to succeed in the 21st century. In order to complete its organizational design and determine specific resource requirements, the Corps is:
  • Completing Functional Area Assessments for each business line and is implementing best practices as appropriate;
  • Documenting its human capital processes, responsibilities, goals, outcomes and metrics and reviewing data through a variety of means to ensure accountability, including Command Staff Inspections, Army Civilian Personnel Evaluation Agency (CPEA) reports and the Army's annual civilian personnel program evaluation; and
  • Incorporating data from survey results such as the Army Civilian Attitude Survey and the Federal Human Capital Survey into its accountability process.

During the third quarter of FY 2003, the Corps completed Phase I of its Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan. Based on the data collected, the Corps was able to implement a data analysis strategy to identify areas of under-representation, as well as key diversity barriers.

The Corps is also implementing:

  • A learning network for sharing lessons learned and leveraging communities of practice; and
  • Regular meetings between Human Capital representatives and the leads for the other PMA initiatives to identify potential competitive sourcing and e-gov options and their Human Capital implications.

Overall, short and long-term strategies for workforce planning, including competitive sourcing options, have been developed to create a quality workplace and attract and retain talent, develop leaders and reinforce the Corps' learning organization philosophy.

U.S. Department of Transportation Using the Human Capital Standards for Success as a guide, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) developed a comprehensive Departmental Human Capital Plan that includes an Implementation Plan with milestones, dates, and a responsible entity for over 30 initiatives. DOT's plan also includes an Accountability component that enhances measurement systems and policies currently in place, adds additional quality control measures, and documents the entire set of measures as a system.

DOT's success in implementing their Human Capital Plan is based on:

  • Senior leadership support and accountability and working together as ONE DOT;
  • A workforce planning model, process, and tools that enable DOT to project the kind of workforce required for the short-, medium-, and long-term;
  • Restructuring initiatives based on workforce planning results; and
  • A new leadership Succession Planning model for all operating administrations.

DOT established a cross-modal Human Capital Planning Council to ensure that human capital solutions are integrated consistently and cost effectively throughout the Department. The Council:

  • Provides a collaborative forum for sharing best practices/lessons learned; and
  • Works to integrate human capital strategies into each strategic goal.

Executives are held accountable for the strategic management of human capital through the performance management process. The SES Performance Management system stresses:

  • Executive accountability for attaining organizational goals, PMA results, and diversity accomplishments; and
  • The use of balanced measures in evaluating executive performance.

The Department is cascading the emphasis on human capital management to all supervisors, managers and team leaders. Secretary Mineta's diversity initiative--Diversity Action Plan: Sharing the Challenge-- identifies DOT's Diversity Management Goals which require each of the operating administrations to prepare an internal diversity implementation plan. To ensure further accountability, the Secretary has established a Diversity Advisory Council.

U.S. Department of State The U.S. Department of State (State) believes the most important element of its Human Capital Strategy has been in its work in the Standard of Success for Talent. State has a strategic plan to replenish the workforce through its Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI) This plan:
  • Is based on clearly defined mission needs and the goal to ensure employees receive the training they need to do their jobs; and
  • Focuses recruitment and outreach to attract more candidates with skills necessary to fill competency gaps, increase minority interest in careers in foreign affairs, and transform the hiring process to improve both the quality and efficiency of hiring.

State met its FY 2002 and FY 2003 hiring targets, streamlined the hiring process to get more top quality candidates hired faster, and closed competency gaps by filling key deficit skill areas. Other workforce planning initiatives include:

  • The Federal Government's largest Student Loan Repayment Program;
  • Employing the largest number of Presidential Management Interns;
  • Enhancing an already-substantial student intern program;
  • Continuing a very successful SES Candidate Development Program;
  • Instituting mandatory leadership training for 7,000 enrollees;
  • Implementing advanced workforce planning models for overseas and domestic workforces, one of which has allowed State to advance the FAIR Act Inventory process to a new level; and
  • Adapting the U.S. Army's civilian succession planning model to State.s use.

Human Capital planning is now emerging as a key part of the Department's strategic planning and budgeting process; the integration of human resources managers into that process was further refined this year in conjunction with the Human Capital Initiative. The Department of State has also been successful in developing a results-oriented approach to human resources management accountability that is integrated into that planning process to ensure its viability.

Clearly, these and other agencies have moved beyond the planning stages and transformation is taking hold. OPM will continue its commitment to assist agencies in the important journey towards transforming human capital management in a way that gets results.


Kay Coles James
U.S. Office of Personnel Management

The Five Initatives:

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