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Volume 4, Feb. 19th, 2009   

For Department of Defense employees who are writing Job Objectives,
selecting Contributing Factors and preparing their Interim Self-Assessments for the March Deadline.
NOTE FROM KATHRYN: I plan on writing a 2nd Job Objective Analysis like this for an admin employee and will send to you very soon. If you have comments on this JO writing process, please write to me ... 

by Kathryn Troutman with Nancy Segal
Co-authors of Writing Your NSPS Self-Assessment

Kathryn Troutman Photo 2009

Order the book here.
Available in eBook and softcopy.  Includes CD-ROM.

More job objective samples are in the case study samples! 

Index of Samples (PDF)

Sample Self-Assessment, YA-0301-2

  • "The Sample Self-Assessments with Blue Keywords are very helpful for me"
  • "The 'NSPS Keyword Tree' is awesome! Thanks for creating this!"
  • "Now I can finally get a handle on the Contributing Factor keywords! I am using your keyword list."
  • "Using ALL CAPS in the Self-Assessments is very helpful for a supervisor such as myself. I can write better assessments when it's easier to read."
An Innovative Approach to Writing Job Objectives 
This month, we are addressing the problem that many of you are facing right now: writing your top three job objectives for 2009 is not an easy task,  because you do so MANY THINGS!

DON'T:  Look at your desk or your computer to be reminded of your Top 3 job objectives - you will feel overwhelmed.

DO: Find your vacancy announcement for your current job; or a vacancy announcement that is similar to your job; or your position description.

Here is an example for an Environmental Protection Specialist YA-2. We're going to show you how to analyze your job duties and convert them into job objectives in five steps:

Step 1. Find a vacancy announcement that is similar to your job

Even if you cannot find exactly like yours, if you can do this exercise on a job objective relatively similar to your position, it will help you with your own situation.
SALARY RANGE: 73,100.00 - 113,007.00 USD per year


Department: Department Of The Army
Agency: Office of Chief of National Guard Bureau, ARNG Readiness Center, Environmental Division, Conservation Branch, Arlington, VA
Step 2. Analyze the "About the Position" section of the announcement into three draft job objectives
For your first draft of the job objectives, we will group the major duties into three major "buckets" with short titles to describe the buckets.

  • Provide short term, mid-range, and long range plans for inclusion in the overall ARNG environmental program
  • Coordinate and resolve policy issues affecting these databases with DA and States/Territories
  • Monitor the quality of ARNG environmental programs by analysis of various databases, to include the Army Environmental Quality (EQ) ,Status Tool for Environmental Programs, Installation Status Report, and Environmental Performance Assessment System
  • Serve as the principle technical consultant to assigned States by providing cultural resources, technical advice, and guidance
  • Recommend solutions to environmentally related problems
  • Review NEPA documentation, Records of Environmental Consideration, Environmental Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements for compliance
  • Review ARNG construction projects to ensure pollution control/abatement requirements, and cultural resources requirements are met
Step 3. Make sure your draft job objectives meet your organization's mission

Analyze and compare your organization's mission against the draft Job Objectives and ask yourself whether these "buckets" of work contribute to the mission of your organization. In this example, the draft objectives clearly meet the environmental mission of the organization as listed below.

ARNG Federal Mission
During peacetime each state National Guard answers to the leadership in the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. During national emergencies, however, the President reserves the right to mobilize the National Guard, putting them in federal duty status.

Mission of the ARNG Environmental Program
Throughout our proud history, as the Nation's oldest military organization, the Army National Guard has protected America -in war and peace - from all enemies, foreign and domestic. We continue to proudly serve the American people not only as a military organization but also as environmental stewards, preserving and protecting the beautiful, abundant natural and cultural environment that is uniquely America. Just as we have stood tall to successfully answer past calls, this challenge, too, is one that we endeavor to meet. From sea to shining sea, from the Caribbean to Guam, in every corner of our Nation, members of the National Guard family must and will conduct their affairs in an environmentally responsible manner. We'll strive for environmental excellence in all that we do.

Step 4. Analyze the Qualifications and KSAs against  the three draft Job Objectives
This is a good check to make sure that you are hitting the three major areas of work for your position.


SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Candidates for this position must clearly indicate in their resume that they possess one year of specialized training and experience that has provided them with:1)Knowledge required to plan, prioritize and track cultural resource compliance projects associated with National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), EO 13007 EO 13175, and the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program. 2)Ability to review projects for cultural resources, identifies projects needed for high priority programs, and identifies new program requirements needed to meet cultural resource compliance. 3)Knowledge required to develop annualized resources programming information for cultural resource compliance projects and EPR budgetary input. 4)Ability to develop, maintain, and distribute standardized procedures for the conduct of ARNG Cultural Resource Compliance Program including, but not limited to: identification of cultural resource protection; conduct of periodic surveys of historic facilities; quality assurance/quality control;

Step 5. Finalize Your Job Objectives
To create your actual job objectives, you can use the SMART format to write job objectives that are specific, measurable, aligned, realistic, and timed. Remember that you are writing about what you are GOING to do, so use present tense and an active voice. Finally, select the Contributing Factor that best describes how you are going to fulfill your job objective.
JO1: (abbreviation for Job Objective 1)
Note: Add measurable projected metrics for data analysis of projects.
Measurable: Utilize tools for analysis: Environmental Performance Assessment (EPAS), Environmental Quality (EQ), Status Tool for Environmental Programs, Installation Status Report, and Environmental Performance Assessment System.  Refer to these analytical tools daily for the analysis of more than 25 projects during the year, of which half will be completed during the fiscal year.
Note: Write about how you support the organization's commitment to environmental stewardship.
Aligned: Support the agency's commitment to environmental stewardship through careful monitoring and planning of environmental programs.
Note for writer: R should show that you will effectively manage the projects assuming that input from interested stakeholders is received in a timely manner.
Realistic:  Assume that we receive input and data from the necessary databases and feedback mechanisms used.
Note: T should cover the timeframe for production of work, that you perform your work within various timeframes.
Timed: Initial review and analysis of databases are completed within one month of receiving the data. Short- and long-term goals are prepared in planning reports within two weeks of receiving necessary feedback on the initial review and analysis.
Note for writer: Selecting your CF should be based on the skills in the JO.  

Recommended Contributing Factor:  Technical Credibility


M-- Recommend effective solutions to environmentally related problems. Consult on an average of 5 ongoing projects per month; provide consultation services 10 times per week.

Aligned:  Consultations forward the organization's goals of performing all activities in an environmentally responsible manner.

Realistic: Necessary statements are reports are available. Adequate budget and time available for number of consultations required.

Timed: Consultations are provided within two weeks of assignment.

Recommended Contributing Factor:  Communications

Measurable: Conduct review of construction projects on a quarterly basis and prepare assessments and recommended changes within two weeks from the end of the quarter.
Aligned: Ensuring environmental standards are being met for ARNG construction projects.
Realistic: Budget is available for travel to the construction sites when on-site review is needed.
Timed: Oversee complex, large and small construction projects on-time and on-budget.

Recommended Contributing Factor:  Resource Management
Fine tune your job objectives with your supervisor. Review them periodically during the performance cycle to make sure that they continue to be target.

Examples of other easy to understand, on-target JOs are included in Writing Your NSPS Self-Assessment by Kathryn Troutman and Nancy Segal, available at 

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