Why Automate Employee Performance Management?
One of the greatest challenges facing federal agencies today is the ability to foster employee performance and accountability for agency results. Performance management strategy - specifically, the ability to use performance information to increase transparency, align priorities, and drive results - is a key interest area for the current administration.
Agencies are tasked with leveraging technology to improve transparency, accountability, and agency reporting capabilities, while cutting costs and streamlining operations. Such high demands require using existing resources to automate paper processes and eliminate redundancy.
Northrop Grumman’s electronic performance management application, ePerformance, uses existing agency employee data and performance management policy to enable the creation and management of employee performance plans, provide comprehensive reports, and transfer completed plans to the Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF).
Northrop Grumman’s Federal ePerformance Solution enables agencies to:
- Maximize existing Federal investments in ePerformance and HR applications, by leveraging existing data and resources.
- Report upon and export performance data for electronic submission to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and shared service centers, eliminating the need to manually key thousands of employee summary ratings.
- Send completed performance forms directly to eOPF, saving money and effort associated with scanning and storage.
- Promote performance management best practices, by centralizing performance library management, automating the cascading of elements from supervisors to employees, and ensuring compliance with the newly released OPM standards for SES performance management.
- Ensure compliance with federal IT and HR standards such as Section 508, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), and the OPM requirements in support of the Performance Appraisal Assessment Tool (PAAT).
ePerformance is Designed for Federal Agencies, by Federal Agencies.
Through extensive experience with the federal government, we’ve learned that it simply doesn’t make sense to deploy commercial products that were designed for commercial clients to federal agencies. Our model eliminates the fundamental trap that resulted in the failure of many commercial product implementations across the federal government: the belief that the federal government’s processes, procedures, rules, and requirements are “almost like” those of private industry. Among our core ePerformance values are flexibility, speed and accuracy of implementation and ease of employee adoption.
Designed to meet the needs of federal agencies, our approach ensures a product that meets your needs now, and in the future.
ePerformance is designed to automate your existing processes and policies, rather than expect you to modify your agency processes to conform to the design of a product. It has the flexibility to accommodate process and policy changes following implementation. Ease of customization enables the addition of modules for processes, such as Performance Improvement Plans (PIP), compensation and awards, and Individual Development Plans (IDP). Additional modules can be integrated over time to meet your agency’s changing needs, and to comply with changes to federal standards.
Fast and Accurate Implementation
Our phased implementation model ensures agencies start enjoying the benefits of ePerformance as soon as possible.
We teamed with agencies, including OPM, to develop a core suite of functionality that meets a variety of federal requirements. Under our model, agencies benefit from the investment that other agencies have made in ePerformance by reusing core federal functions without the expense of new development.
Our unique implementation approach includes requirements gathering, configuration, agency validation and deployment, which are combined into phases by function (e.g. plan creation, progress review and final review). Much like we won’t understand all of the intricacies of each agency’s performance policy and culture at the start of an implementation, we don’t expect agencies to understand everything about ePerformance, and how decisions made during initial requirements gathering may impact the final product. Our phased approach allows us to work together towards a common understanding, so that the final product accurately reflects the requirements of each agency.
Ease of Employee Adoption
No matter how robust and wonderful an application may be, it won’t mean a thing if employees don’t use it.
Because ePerformance automates agency’s existing performance management policy, employees aren’t required to learn a new process. Performance data is applied to an agency-specific performance form, which is accessible via Adobe Reader at anytime. Bargaining unit adoption is simplified, because the functional requirements of your performance management policy do not change.
ePerformance is designed to be user friendly, and easy to use. Employees may login to the application directly, or via single sign-on from an existing portal. Supervisors are automatically provided with a list of tasks pending their attention upon login, and email notifications notify users of new actions. Agency-specific User Guides, Training Guides and Online Help are provided as part of the standard implementation.
Benefits of our federal implementation model include:
- Customers leverage requirements developed under previous agency engagements to reuse existing features and decrease costs.
- As the sole customer of our solution, the federal government has control of the features, functionality and future direction of ePerformance.
- Requirements are defined, tested, and validated by government stakeholders with extensive experience with federal performance programs, HR practices and federal agency-wide implementations.
- Federal rules and regulations, such as Section 508 compliance, NIST security standards, and regulations under 5 CFR Part 430, are at the forefront of application design.
Reporting and Analysis
Leverage the power of data maintained as part of ePerformance and your HR System of Record to generate powerful reports, dashboards, and analytics.
Once performance information is maintained as data in an electronic application, the possibilities for reporting and analysis are vast. ePerformance contains standard reports that enable your HR staff and administrators to track employee performance progress during a single rating cycle, and across performance years. Automated analysis of employee performance may include:
- The percentage of employees, within one or more grades, that achieve each performance level across performance cycles
- The average level(s) of achievement across personnel offices and occupational series
- The time in which it takes managers, by personnel office to issue reviews
Flexible, simplified reporting promotes accountability and visibility at each level of your organization. Additional reports may be added to fulfill more specific reporting requirements and can be expanded upon over time.
Promote Best Practices
Transform your agencies performance culture, by ensuring compliance with agency-specific and federal requirements through ePerformance.
Performance management policy is notoriously tough to enforce and regulate, when managed manually. Despite the best of intentions, ensuring supervisors conduct performance appraisals accurately and timely is a challenge. In addition to agency-specific policy, federal requirements and recommendations for performance management are managed by OPM. Agencies are required to demonstrate compliance with OPM requirements through the completion of a self-assessment known as the Performance Appraisal Assessment Tool (PAAT). ePerformance facilitates compliance with agency-defined policies and OPM guidance through enhanced reporting, centralized performance libraries and oversight capabilities.
In January, 2012, OPM released revised requirements for Senior Executive Service (SES) performance management. ePerformance is configured to comply with OPM’s latest requirements, and manages SES and non-SES performance programs within a single application. Deploying ePerformance for SES employees enables ease of implementation, combining the move to an electronic performance management system and revised OPM policy into a single deployment.
Designed in conjunction with federal agencies and HR subject matter experts, our federal ePerformance solution ensures compliance with federal regulations.
Our experience as a partner to OPM and over 50 federal agencies through OPM’s Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) program has generated a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to delivering applications that comply with federal standards and requirements.
Our ePerformance solution adheres to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards and Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) security controls – and its Section 508 compliant. In addition, our ePerformance solution applies electronic signatures to your performance forms, in accordance with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Signature Act) of 2000. We have supported the Certification and Accreditation (C&A) of federal data centers to host ePerformance.
Successes to Date
Approximately 48,000 Federal employees at the Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons (DOJ BOP), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) use ePerformance.
Our biggest supporters are our existing ePerformance customers, who use ePerformance to issue performance evaluations, facilitate transparency and reporting, manage Performance Review Board (PRB) reviews and send completed plans directly to eOPF. As a team, we pride ourselves on providing the best customer service possible through honest and open communication, setting realistic expectations and providing the best value to the Government.