OPM proposes to add EA to specialty positions

The Office of Personnel Management is proposing to add enterprise architecture to information technology management specialty titles to help agency recruiters meet the growing demand for expertise in that area.

“It adds the ability to identify a job as enterprise architecture, so it’s just expanding the kind of work that is covered under [the IT management] job title,” said Nancy Kichak, OPM’s associate director for strategic human resource policy. “This is work is that is becoming more and more common in the government.” The change will make it easier for human-resources professionals to write job descriptions and recruit individuals with skills in enterprise architecture, she said.

In the 2008 draft Job Family Standard for IT Management series 2210, enterprise architecture would join 10 other specialty areas, including policy and planning; security; systems analysis, applications software, operating systems, network services, data management, Internet, systems administration and customer support.

Tara Ricci, a personnel research psychologist at OPM, said the idea of adding enterprise architecture to the list of specialties originated with officials serving on the federal Chief Information Officers Council.

“We’ve been working with them throughout the process,” she said. “They initially came to us and expressed an interest in pursuing this because in their own dealings with the workforce they have come to realize that [enterprise architecture] needs to be formally acknowledged. So much of what they do in terms of getting their budget and IT projects approved requires a fully developed [enterprise architecture] plan, so there are a lot of people who are doing that type of work.”

Kichak said adding a new specialty will have no effect on current positions. “Nothing is going to affect anybody who’s already in a position as far as changing their grade structure or their duties,” she said. “That’s not to say that somebody might not decide to rename the job they’re in now as enterprise architecture.”

With the CIO Council on board, OPM doesn’t expect any resistance to the change. However, Kichak said, “it’s open for comment so if there’s anything we missed, people will have a chance to tell us.” May 16 is the deadline for comments.

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