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 President's Management Council

Letter from Clay Johnson - July 2004

Department and agency leadership understand that they can only adopt the PMA's disciplines and habits, and better focus on results, if their employees are fully involved in the process. In focus groups conducted in several agencies,* managers have suggested several keys to fully engaging their employees in the implementation of the PMA:

  • Continue to make achieving results a top priority. Clearly define success, the action plan to achieve success, the person responsible, and due date for each required action; and ensure aggressive follow through.

  • Understand that changing the way departments operate is about managing risk: Help employees perform smarter and better. Provide employees and their managers with better performance and cost information to guide the focus on results. Use performance information to help individual employees and work groups be more productive by giving them data to better understand why they have been successful and why not. Help employees understand how the changes will improve their departments and agencies, which is their primary interest.

  • Keep employees informed; Give them frequent status reports. Explain better the PMA/focus on results to the lower levels.

  • Managers and line employees alike must be engaged, and equally important, provided clarity of expectations and resources necessary to meet those expectations. Giving employees a chance to be heard will help maximize the chances of success. Recognize that most Federal employees are not afraid to have goals and be held accountable. Also note the pride they have in their departments and their desire to be part of something important. Do it "with them" instead of "to them."

  • Expect and help managers be better managers of people and projects.

  • Recognize good performance with better feedback, rewards, and recognition. Critical to this is the ability of managers to better distinguish between good and poor performance.

  • Use performance measures intelligently. Ensure that employees and Congress agree with the measures, and regularly review the measures to ensure they lead us toward the "right" results rather than promoting unintended consequences.

  • Minimize the changes in rules and resource levels. Develop a plan and stick with it.

    Make sure the reporting responsibilities are what's needed and not excessive.

My office at OMB and Department leaders and employees will ensure these suggestions are followed.

Yours truly,
Clay Johnson
Deputy Director for Management, OMB

*Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, and Small Business Administration

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