performance checklist

Taking Performance Management Digital

Federal agencies spend an incredible amount of time, and therefore taxpayer dollars, in carrying out performance management activities.

Evolving best practices on individual and organizational performance management are beginning to challenge the labor and paper intensive status quo in the federal government, with new emphasis on employee engagement, continual conversation and feedback taking precedence over stacks of paper and check-the-box year-end activities.

To aid agencies in this transition, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) developed a new digital performance management system, USA Performance, for agencies to use in their Senior Executive Service (SES) and Non-SES performance management programs and systems. 

USA Performance was launched in July 2014, and continues to be developed and built out for government-wide application.

GCN covered the development of the tool in October 2015, as did Federal News Radio in September 2015 in an article examining digital tools for agencies being developed by OPM.

The USA Performance platform is currently being used at a handful of agencies for their SES employees, but with the forthcoming launch of USA Performance 2.0 later this year, the tool will also be available to agencies to use for all other employees.  The next iteration of the tool will allow agencies to set up and manage their appraisal plan templates and processes inside USA Performance.

OPM has been collecting feedback from users of the tool, including from internal users at OPM, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the user experience, which is seen by the OPM development team as one of the keys to enticing agencies and employees to move away from the paper systems they are used to in exchange for the digital format.

With the next iteration of USA Performance under development, OPM is relying on its advisory board to define functionality needs of the tool. Future expected components will include a government-wide library of competencies, elements, and standards, integration with email to capture performance feedback as it occurs through the year, and the ability to set and approve compensation packages and other awards for employees.

OPM offers in-person and online trainings to demonstrate USA Performance’s capabilities and the value of the tool. Through using the system internally, OPM projected a $200,000 savings and a cost avoidance of $600,000 for its own performance management process, according to an agency update

“USA Performance will absolutely free up time for supervisors to focus on the most critical aspects of performance management: setting expectations and giving feedback,” Rebecca Ayers, manager of OPM’s performance management solutions, told FEDmanager when discussing the tool. 

Posted in General News

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