The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today unveiled new thinking about challenges, opportunities, and success metrics for the three President’s Management Agenda goals that the agency first announced in November 2021.

The Biden administration’s PMA “vision” statement published late last year focuses on three major goals – 1) overhauling how the government recruits and retains its workforce; 2) how the government can harness technology to provide citizens with better digital services; and 3) how the government undertakes acquisitions in a way that provides advantages to the domestic economy.

Among the citizen service improvement goals listed in the new success metrics released today is moving the Federal government from last place in 2021 into the top 10 on Forrester’s industry rankings for customer experience.

According to published reports, Forrester gave the Federal government a 61 out of 100 rating on customer experience last year, earning it the lowest score among indexes for the 14 verticals that the research firm evaluated.

OMB updated its work on the PMA goals in a blog post today, with new information on goals and success metrics for the workforce and customer experience PMA areas.

The agency also published a list of strategy leads for the PMA that OMB said, “will ensure that PMA Priorities and goals have the sustained attention they deserve and the focus and expertise of subject matter experts who drive day-to-day implementation.”

PMA leadership and teams, OMB said, will “continue to build out action plans with specific milestones and metrics to ensure cross-Government efforts to implement the PMA are data-driven and transparent, refining the work along the way.”

Citizen Service Goals, Metrics

On citizen service improvements, OMB said that “Federal services have not always been designed with the public’s needs and priorities in mind, nor have these services always kept up with these needs,” adding, “poorly designed, out of date, and inequitable Government services are a cost to our Nation.”

The opportunity to improve on that, the agency said, lies in the delivery of “a simple, seamless, and secure customer experience, on par with or more effective than leading consumer experiences … irrespective of people’s age, location, digital savvy, disability, education, or English proficiency.”

“Every interaction between the Government and the public is an opportunity to deliver the services people expect and deserve,” OMB said. “Whether during a pivotal life experience such as retiring, or a routine interaction to renew a passport, the Government must build our understanding of our customers and involve them – the people we serve – to improve benefits, services, and programs and enable us to deliver for all Americans.”

“We can get there by using technology to power outstanding experiences; engaging with private-sector and nonprofit organizations; partnering with State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments; collaborating with other partners to reduce administrative burden of interaction with the Federal Government, simplifying both public-facing and internal processes to improve efficiency, and empowering the Federal workforce so that they can best deliver for the American people,” it said.

Metrics for success in citizen service improvement, OMB said, include:

  • Moving into the top 10 in Forrester’s industry rankings;
  • Taking a near-term focus on improving designated “high impact service providers” among government agencies, including achieving a “75 percent or higher post-transaction trust in high impact service providers”; and
  • Taking a longer-term focus on improving the delivery of “cross-agency life experiences”;

Strategies for getting to those goals, OMB said, include:

  • Improving “the service design, digital products, and customer experience management” of high impact service providers “by reducing customer burden, addressing inequities, and streamlining processes”;
  • Designing, building, and management of government service delivery for “key life experiences that cut across Federal agencies”; and
  • Identifying and prioritizing “the development of Federal shared products, services, and standards that enable simple, seamless, and secure customer experiences” across high-impact service providers.

Workforce Challenges, Metrics

On the workforce front, OMB defined the challenge as investing more in the Federal workforce “given the changing nature of work, new technology, and the evolving skills needed to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

The related “opportunity” for the government, OMB said, is to “attract, hire, develop, and empower talented individuals who are well suited and well prepared to face the challenges the Government faces, both in the near and long term.”

“Agencies must also use what they have learned about the resilience and adaptability of the Federal workforce to make the Federal Government an ideal, modern, and forward-thinking employer,” the agency said. “As Federal agencies continue to chart a path forward together on the future of Federal work, they will engage with public servants as well as stakeholders within and outside of Government to make every Federal job a good job and give our workforce what they need to succeed.”

Metrics for the success of the government’s efforts on the workforce PMA goal include:

  • Improving Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) Employee Engagement Index (EEI) scores;
  • Selecting specific EEI subfactors or FEVS questions to target for improvement;
  • Boosting metrics on hiring manager satisfaction with hiring processes;
  • Increasing the percentage of agencies meeting projected mission-critical occupation (MCO) hiring and staffing targets; and
  • Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) strategies across all human capital activities, using 2022 FEVS results and other agency DEIA metrics.

Strategies to accomplish those aims, OMB said, include:

  • Attracting and hiring “the most qualified employees, who reflect the diversity of our country, in the right roles across the Federal Government”;
  • Making “every Federal job a good job, where all employees are engaged, supported, heard, and empowered, with opportunities to learn, grow, join a union and have an effective voice in their workplaces through their union, and thrive throughout their careers”;
  • Reimagining and building a roadmap “to the future of Federal work informed by lessons from the pandemic and nationwide workforce and workplace trends”; and
  • Building “the personnel system and support required to sustain the Federal Government as a model employer able to effectively deliver on a broad range of agency missions.”

Government Acquisition Goals, Metrics

For the third leg of the PMA – managing the business of government – OMB said the current challenge includes putting in place “continuous improvements in our procurement, financial assistance, and financial management ecosystems” that make up $1.5 trillion of annual Federal contracting and financial assistance. “This shift will require new measures and processes, new training for the Federal workforce, and new tradeoffs that agencies together will need to address going forward,” it said.

The opportunity in this portion of the PMA, OMB said, includes making connections across Federal acquisition and financial assistance systems “to strengthen the U.S. manufacturing base and support American workers, catalyze new solutions that address the climate crisis and enhance sustainability, and advance equity.”

“Federal agencies will look across existing Administration initiatives to ensure that system-wide, continuous improvement in Federal acquisition and financial management systems occurs,” OMB said. “This system-wide focus can include, for example: opportunity and issue spotting, including resolution of conflicts across discrete lines of effort; training and guidance for practitioners within agencies; data-management and evidence-building strategies; and other capacity-building strategies.”

OMB said it’s still working on goal statements and success metrics, but listed out strategies for making progress, including:

  • Fostering “lasting improvements in the Federal acquisition system to strengthen the U.S. domestic manufacturing base, support American workers, lead by example toward sustainable climate solutions, and create opportunities for underserved communities”; and
  • Building capacity “in Federal financial management, including through Federal financial assistance, to catalyze American industrial strategy, address climate-related risks, and deliver equitable results.”
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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.