Automating Classification

Creating a job description for a new employee is, in theory, a simple enough process for a federal manager: Identify the duties that need to be performed and the qualifications applicants need, then write up a job description. Fitting that description into the federal job classification system is much trickier, however.

A manager must go back and forth with classification specialists to determine what grade the new position fits into, comparing it with the almost 500 documents that make up the government's classification standards. Reaching agreement can take months--one manager told Office of Personnel Management classification specialist Helene Rosenheim it took 180 days to go from identifying a position to actually seeking applicants for the job.

Armed with similar stories from throughout the bureaucracy, Rosenheim and an interagency working group set about to automate the classification process. Rosenheim's efforts are taking shape as a software product that aims to reduce the time managers spend on classification to a matter of hours.

The Federal Automated Classification Expert System, or FACES, will allow managers to compare job descriptions they write to a database of positions from across government. The database will include information on the grade level of comparable positions, allowing managers and classification specialists to bypass the reams of paper-based standards they now must sort through. Rosenheim predicts that FACES will eventually be available on the Internet, providing managers with a governmentwide up-to-date database.

The biggest advantage, Rosenheim says, will be the time saved.

"Classification is a very analytical process," she says. FACES will save managers time by putting the analysis behind the scenes.

FACES will be available within two years, Rosenheim predicts.

Rosenheim is presenting the classification automation project at the Reinvention Revolution Conference. Check the Daily Fed this week for more stories of frontline reinventors like Rosenheim.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.