Strategic Management of Human Capital: The First Pillar of the President's Management Agenda. (Mini-Forum: Performance Management)

By Whitted, Rosa; Hall, Mary-Jo | The Public Manager, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

Strategic Management of Human Capital: The First Pillar of the President's Management Agenda. (Mini-Forum: Performance Management)


Whitted, Rosa, Hall, Mary-Jo, The Public Manager


Two managers share highlights from the human capital track at the 2002 Performance Conference of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

Editor's Note

The fifth annual Performance Conference of the Center for Improving Public Service of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) was held June 3-6. Over six hundred people attended the event held at The Inn and Conference Center at the University of Maryland. The conference theme was "Getting Results." This event is the culminating annual event of the Performance Consortium, a group of 30 federal agencies that have joined with the academy to fund a program of peer-to-peer exchange of helpful practices among those implementing performance-based management activities.

This year's program focused on the five priorities of the President's Management Agenda (PMA): Strategic Management of Human Capital, Competitive Sourcing, Improved Financial Performance, Expanded Electronic Government, and Budget and Performance Integration. Each track featured the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) lead person and agency-based practice reports. The conference featured presentations by Robert O'Neill Jr., president of NAPA, Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., director of OMB, Kay Coles James, director of OPM, Sean O'Keefe, administrator of NASA (and former deputy director of OMB), Roderick Paige, secretary, Department of Education, Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH), and columnist Mike Causey.

The following articles are "track reports" from each of the conference's five major tracks, each covering one of the PMA priorities. Each track report includes the session title, names of presenters, and a summary of the presentations and discussion. The track on budget and performance integration, in particular, brought attendees up to the minute with the addition of a last minute walk-on presentation from OMB on early experience with the new Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART).

The Performance Conference will be held next year at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Conference Center, May 19-22, 2003.

Chris Wye

Strategic management of human capital is the first general initiative in the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and comprised one track at the conference. Presenters used a variety of policy initiatives, organizational examples, and innovative ideas to relate how human capital affects the ability of governmental agencies to accomplish their respective missions. The overarching themes that surfaced from the presentations for this track are:

* The strategic management of human capital is the overall cornerstone for performance management and results in the federal government. People do the work that gets results.

* People are the number one asset in all organizations. At the end of the day, they leave and take their knowledge, skills, abilities, and motivations with them. It is people working through technology that adds value for customers--not technology itself.

* The continual development of skills, knowledge, and abilities in people needs to be considered an investment that appreciates.

* There is no one best way to manage human capital strategically; however, one rule of thumb is that every agency or organization ought to consult with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) prior to developing any plan for human capital. OPM has a liaison for every organization and can work with you to facilitate your efforts.

* Focusing on people as assets that appreciate with development requires a cultural transformation for most federal agencies.

General Sessions

Opening Session: Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Mitch Daniels set the stage for the conference with emphasis on a push for federal agency performance that is citizen-centered, results-oriented, and market-based. …

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