Enhancing a Talent Management System to Advance Government Executives’ Performance

CHALLENGE: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Corporate Senior Executive Management Office (CSEMO) expressed a desire to utilize the VA’s Talent Management System (TMS) for performance planning, year-end performance reviews, career planning, and succession planning for the 500+ Senior Executives employed at the VA. The VA CSEMO team identified additional TMS functionality that would require development enhancements to fully satisfy the business requirements.

SOLUTION: Vertex Solutions Group (VSG) understood VA CSEMO’s problem and crafted a strategic path forward for enhancing the TMS. Our solutions included:
Development of the TMS Enhancement Requirements:
  • Workshops were conducted for each of the seven major modifications related to TMS functionality to determine the appropriate software enhancement requirements
  • Detailed workbooks were created outlining the requirements and use cases for each of the enhancements
  • Weekly team meetings were part of the process to assess progress, troubleshoot issues, and test enhancements as they were being developed
  • Quality assurance issues were documented throughout the process and sent to the VA TMS developers for remediation
Leading User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Efforts:
  • Once development of each TMS enhancement was completed, VSG conducted user acceptance testing (UAT)
  • Our team prepared a test plan and conducted UAT kick-off meetings with the VA CSEMO team members
  • During the testing process, the VSG team served as support for the VA CSEMO tester
  • At the completion of each round of UAT, the team consolidated and documented each of the tester’s findings, then led efforts to remediate any issues that were reported
Development of Training Sessions and Materials:
  • Multiple training sessions throughout the period of performance were conducted and recorded for the client
  • Detailed job aides were created for both TMS administrators and end users of the system
  • Quick reference guides also were developed to supplement job aides
System Administration: 
  • Three new roles for the VA CSEMO system administrators were created
  • Extensive testing and remediation was completed to ensure that each VA CSEMO Administrator assigned to the new role(s) was able to complete the work required of them in the TMS while maintaining the strict system security and privacy standards set forth by the VA
Providing On-going TMS System Support:
  • Delivered implementation and system usage support, both to VA CSEMO system administrators and Senior Executives (end users)
RESULT: The VA CSEMO now has a fully automated Performance and Talent Management System. In the first year, CSEMO rolled out the new TMS performance plans to Senior Executives. They were able to achieve 100% compliance with plans being created before the required deadline imposed by VA regulations. VA CSEMO managers are now able to track and report on where each Senior Executive is in the performance planning process and run matrix reports on performance review ratings. VA CSEMO also is able to report on Senior Executives’ desired job positions captured in the TMS Career Planner module, along with a review of Senior Executives' accomplishments captured in the TMS Talent Profile. This data can be used to target candidates for