One of the early problems we had with the system is the access to the system. People had to remember a user name and complex password, and we had a lot of problems with folks remembering their password. This is the kind of system they use maybe three or four times a year, so it’s easy to forget the password. This past year we’ve been updating the system so that it’s now fully enabled for Common Access Card use, so people just need their CAC card and their PIN number to get into the system, and that has relieved a lot of the headaches when it comes to just accessing the system.
In addition to a new look and feel, as well as new navigation through the process, users will now be able to copy plans from previous years. “We also improved the e-mail notification process,” says Bunn. “We’ve added more intelligence in that so we’ll actually give you an idea of what you need to go and do in the system,” instead of just informing the user that a change is needed.
According to the NSPS website, other PAA v3.0 enhancements include:
A new look and feel with tabs that display key tasks in the order they are performed.
Improved copy and paste functionality that converts most MS Word format characters.
An improved character counter that provides an accurate count of the number of characters entered or pasted.
An enhanced Email notification process that provides employees, rating officials and higher level reviewers status information within the email.
Easy and standardized approvals and acknowledgement processes for establishing plans and conducting interim reviews and appraisals.
A Track Progress page that lets you know where you are in the performance management process.
Assessment by Job Objective that allows employees and rating officials to enter an assessment for each job objective, rather than in one block as is done in v2.0.
The timing of the release of version 3 was set so that this fiscal year’s planning and assessment could be completed before moving on to the new version. “It’s important,” says Bunn, “that supervisors and managers… that they’re spending time talking about performance and goals and things like that, and not talking about the mechanics of the process. So we’re just trying to make the mechanics a lot easier so that doesn’t become the barrier to communication.”