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CHIPS Articles: DON Civilian IM/IT Community Update

DON Civilian IM/IT Community Update
Information alert for employees in the IM/IT career fields
By CHIPS Magazine - July-September 2006
Over the last several months, the Department of the Navy Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) Integrated Process Team (IPT) has been working behind the scenes in support of the ongoing implementation of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). During this process, several IM/IT community issues were identified.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Civilian Human Resources) tasked each of the 21 civilian community leaders to develop standard position descriptions (PDs) in support of NSPS. The DON Chief Information Officer (CIO) serves as the DON IM/IT Civilian Community Leader, and under DON CIO leadership, the IPT has completed general PDs in preparation for the transition to the NSPS.

Background

With the help of subject matter experts and a human resources specialist from the Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR), the IPT drafted 48 PDs for the 23 occupational codes and specialties within the civilian IM/IT community. These classifications listed in Table 1, are not descriptive of the full scope of IM/IT work, but they provide a basis for DON-wide civilian community management.

The PDs, drafted by the IPT and awaiting further guidance from OCHR are available for review at http://www.doncio.navy.mil. A top priority for effective civilian community management is ensuring that civilian positions are classified accurately. The implementation of competency-based career roadmaps increases the urgency of classifying civilian positions correctly.

As community management matures within the DON, communities will become more engaged in workforce analysis and planning. The goal for all civilian communities is to complete Five Vector Models — the process that will validate competencies, skills and career paths, ultimately impacting recruitment and development — by the end of this calendar year.

The 2210 Classification

The 2210 IT Specialist occupational code, developed through a partnership between the Federal CIO Council and the Office of Personnel Management, has 11 parenthetical specialty titles. Workforce identification becomes complicated because the implementation of the 2210 standard is inconsistent, demonstrated by the fact that only 57 percent of 2210s have a specialty title identified in the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS).

As personnel transition under NSPS, they will be required to identify at least one primary specialty. A combination of two specialty titles are allowed if they are of significant importance to the position (e.g., Applications Software/Systems Analysis). The concept of "generalist" will no longer apply. Given the wide spectrum of functions and the multi-specialist nature of the occupational code 2210, parenthetical specialty titles are crucial to conducting workforce planning.

A comparison shows that there are marked differences between the information reported in the biennial IM/IT workforce skills assessment survey conducted in 2004 and data from DCPDS. DCPDS and survey data are highlighted in Figure 1. These differences reinforce the importance of ensuring appropriate specialty title identification.

Organizations should ensure the parenthetical specialty titles for those classified in the 2210 occupational codes are correct. This requires personnel and their supporting human resources consultants to become engaged in correcting the titling within the DCPDS.

Command Information Office Personnel

The PD for occupation code 2210, "Policy and Planning," is targeted to civilians performing work within a command information office or performing as a command information officer. The PD aligns to the standard and describes the broad technology management functions that align to command information office functions.

This PD includes a wide range of IM/IT functions such as strategic planning; capital planning and investment control; workforce planning; policy and standards development; resource management; knowledge management; architecture and infrastructure planning and management; auditing; and information security management.

Information Assurance Workforce

Under the IA Workforce Transformation initiative, full-time IA managers and IA technicians will be classified as 2210 occupations with their primary specialty identified as "Security." The PD for this occupation code describes the position of an IA manager and provides a career path option for IA technicians. However, it does not adequately describe the more technical nature of IA technician positions. Therefore, IA technicians should select a secondary specialty from the other specialty titles that are typically related, such as network services or systems administration.

IT Project Manager

Interpretive Guidance for Project Manager Positions, issued August 2003 and available at http://www.opm.gov/fedclass/PM/CG03-0001.pdf, provides detailed guidance to address position classification, job evaluation, staffing, qualifications, training, and development for project manager positions.

It also authorizes the title of "IT Project Manager" for the 2210 occupation code in lieu of IT Specialist (providing two separate, approved titles for the same series). IT Project Management is the title with the most notable discrepancy in classification. Within the DON, 14.2 percent of the 2004 survey respondents identified IT Project Management as their specialty area, while actual DCPDS data revealed only two people.

2210 Recruitment Announcements</p>

The 2210 occupation code is comprised of 11 parenthetical specialty titles that are functionally diverse. A 2210 series search conducted on USAJobs (http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/) April 13, 2006, found 721 announcements; of these 231 were DON announcements and 228 of those were open continuous announcements by geographical location.

The announcements have little detail, combine 10 specialty titles, have grade levels that range from GS-1 to GS-15 and salaries that range from $15,000 to $115,000. One announcement lists 10 to 50 different geographic recruiting locations.

The announcements were confusing, leaving a potential applicant not sure of what the position entails or where the position is located. It is difficult for an applicant to tell what jobs are actually being advertised — thus creating a barrier to recruiting the best pool of candidates from federal agencies and industry.

The job recruitment area needs further analysis and collaboration with OCHR to make necessary improvements and corrections to the USAJobs Web site.

The Way Ahead

The DON IM/IT Workforce IPT is continuing its work to improve the DON IM/IT Civilian Community. The IPT seeks your input in order to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and ensure a broad consensus on the best way ahead. Please let your views be heard and provide feedback as we continue to reach out and partner across our community.

Go to the DON CIO Web site for more information at http://www.doncio.navy.mil/.

DON IM/IT Community Resources

DON IM/IT Virtual Community: Collaborative site for members of the DON IM and IT community. A common access card (CAC) is required to enter the site. If you would like to request membership and participate in this virtual community please use the link below and select the "Apply for Account" button to request access: https://donimitcommunity.spawar.navy.mil/.

DON Civilian Human Resources: This site will provide you with timely and useful information on important issues for DON applicants, employees, managers, senior executive staff, and the civilian HR management community. For more information, please visit http://www.donhr.navy.mil/.

Figure 1. GS-2210 Specialty Titles Reported in the 2004 IT Skills Survey
versus Defense Civilian Personnel Data System.  Systems Analysis had the highest percentage of DCPDS data and Other/IT had the highest percentage of IT Skills Survey.
Figure 1. GS-2210 Specialty Titles Reported in the 2004 IT Skills Survey versus Defense Civilian Personnel Data System
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