But federal agencies are not all created, operated, or structured the same. While software that fits these minimum requirements provides a good starting point, agencies need solutions that are designed to fit the specific and often evolving needs of individual organizations. These should be flexible enough to support unique workflow formats, the internal processes of that agency, and the evolving requirements of the executive branch when changes are required.
The Difficulty of Finding a Federally-Focused Solution
Off the shelf solutions from vendors that do not typically work with the Federal Government often come up short in several ways, requiring a force-fit for agency processes to match the layout and structure of the software and not the other way around. There are several reasons why this does not work.
- Federal agencies have diverse staff and security requirements
- There are often existing systems, many of them much older than current vendor solutions that need to be integrated
- There are several additional features and tools that agencies require that may not be listed in the HR-LOB requirements
Vendors that lack the flexibility to address these and other issues might leave an agency with a subpar solution that is unable to keep up with and adapt to the specific needs of their HR specialists. Where changes are needed, pricey customization becomes necessary and can impact budget considerations. To address the risk of this happening, agencies should look for flexible solutions that can be configured to meet their needs more organically.
Meeting Agency Specific Requirements with Robust Software Solutions
For an HR decision-maker currently looking for a more robust and flexible solution for performance management in their agency, there are several things to keep in mind. To start, make sure the software not only meets basic foundational requirements, but that it can also match other features at the agency level. These might include things like:
- Personnel action documentation
- Performance and awards management and reporting
- Integration with hiring modules
- Historical review by senior decision makers
- Integrations with employee and labor relations modules
At the same time, take into account the currently pending changes that are being implemented or considered by the administration related to performance management. Streamlining and overhauling the way personnel actions are taken have a substantial impact on the software being used and how it is configured.
Whatever your needs, make sure you work with a vendor who is able to evaluate them carefully in both the current context of the Federal Government and with potential future needs in mind. Configuration of your software to integrate with other systems, reflect features and the workflow processes your specialists use, and the changes you expect to see in the future is incredibly important to ensure a federally-focused solution that will work with you for years to come.