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Putting the 'I' in Teamwork

December 16, 2009 The procedure for evaluating federal employees' performance isn't just written in agencies' human resources handbooks. It's written in law. See Title 5 of the U.S. Code, Section 4302. There you'll find that agencies' performance appraisal systems must establish objective criteria "related to the job in question for each employee or ...

Avoid the Arbitrary

December 2, 2009 Back in the 1990s, the Clinton administration announced a goal of reducing the ranks of middle management at federal agencies so there would be one manager for every 15 employees-double the existing governmentwide ratio of one boss to seven workers. George W. Bush campaigned in the 2000 presidential race with ...

Avoid the Arbitrary

December 1, 2009 Don't pick a number, any number, when setting goals for your office. Back in the 1990s, the Clinton administration announced a goal of reducing the ranks of middle management at federal agencies so there would be one manager for every 15 employees-double the existing governmentwide ratio of one boss to ...

Management Matters: When Nothing Happens

November 18, 2009 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Ten years ago this month, federal technology managers were logging extra hours and getting their final plans in place for overcoming the looming Y2K computer challenge. If you recall the hullabaloo, computer experts worried that six-digit date codes -- 11-01-99, for example -- would cause computer systems to go haywire ...

When Nothing Happens

November 18, 2009 Ten years ago this month, federal technology managers were logging extra hours and getting their final plans in place for overcoming the looming Y2K computer challenge. If you recall the hullabaloo, computer experts worried that six-digit date codes -- 11-01-99, for example -- would cause computer systems to go haywire ...

The Best and the Brightest

November 4, 2009 Everything old is eventually new again, to borrow a phrase. In the 1990s, Vice President Al Gore's re-inventing government initiative obsessed with the idea that great ideas were trapped on the front lines of the federal workforce. The reinventors in his office tried a variety of ways to spin those ...

The Best and the Brightest

November 1, 2009 Should top leaders seek innovation from the front lines? Everything old is eventually new again, to borrow a phrase. In the 1990s, Vice President Al Gore's re-inventing government initiative obsessed with the idea that great ideas were trapped on the front lines of the federal workforce. The reinventors in his ...

Culture Clashes

October 14, 2009 Earlier this year as the Senate was preparing the fiscal 2010 budget for the federal government, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., received what he described as a surprising call at home. It was from Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But Gates wasn't calling to complain about the Pentagon's funding. He ...

People Prediction

October 7, 2009 The retirement tsunami that was expected to hit the federal workforce this decade has not come ashore. But it's still worth managers' time to do their own forecasts so they're not surprised by foreseeable events that could affect their hiring and retention plans. In 2000, federal workforce observers warned repeatedly ...

People Prediction

October 1, 2009 Forecasting your office's future personnel needs can help you avoid a flood of vacancies. The retirement tsunami that was expected to hit the federal workforce this decade has not come ashore. But it's still worth managers' time to do their own forecasts so they're not surprised by foreseeable events that ...