Workforce

OPM prods agencies on program management goals

By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268 

The Office of Personnel Management wants agency managers to meet a certain set of competencies and agencies to use the competencies as a guide for future training and hiring.

OPM developed the skills and competencies needed for agency program and project managers with the Office of Management and Budget and the Program Management Policy Council. The characteristics, per OPM acting Director Margaret Weichert, were finalized through consultation with CFO Act agencies and through focus groups and a governmentwide survey.

The core skillsets listed are relatively straightforward managerial traits. OPM itemizes and defines 32 general competencies and 19 technical competences.

The general competencies include qualities such as accountability, conflict management, customer service, negotiation, honesty, human resource management, technical credibility and technology application. The general competencies include acquisition strategy, change management, procurement and cost-benefit analysis, among others.

"Agencies can use the program and project management competencies to select, assess, and train program and project management talent for the 21st century," the memo to CXO councils and human resources directors stated. "The competencies identified will also inform future work" in line with OMB's five-year strategic plan for workforce management.

The memo also previewed an upcoming job analysis survey of agencies relating to the Program Management Improvement Accountability Act.

The administration has pushed training and reskilling of current federal employees, amid expanded technological adoption, to develop desired skillsets. The cyber reskilling pilot, the administration's initiative to retrain federal workers for cybersecurity jobs, received 1,500 applications for 25 slots.

Another administration management priority for 2019 is an increase of agency-level pilots for data and technology expansion, one that Federal CIO Suzette Kent has described as having a "fundamental" impact on the workforce.

The administration has also proposed dissolving OPM, the government's primary human resource management office, and moving its core functions to other agencies, including OMB and the General Services Administration.

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