The Avue Operating System (AOS) is the platform for the entire Avue offering. AOS consists of the Avue operating infrastructure – user management, database and rules engines access, application server functionality, workflow, personnel action processing, and system interfaces. In addition, AOS includes certain core software application functionality and database content in support of position classification, position management, employee skills surveys, and workforce skills banks.
The Workflow and Personnel Action Request (PAR) System
Avue’s Personnel Action Request (PAR) system covers 100 percent of the “SF-52” personnel actions. Managers, or their HR Specialist or Administrative Officers, initiate actions beginning by selecting the type of action from a plain-English menu of possible choices. These ‘service requests’ are then automatically routed, via Avue’s workflow system, to approving officials, verifiers, and other process participants. At the conclusion of the process, PAR generates a .pdf personnel action form, such as the Federal SF-52. The form, rather than the entry point of the process, is developed as the action has been routed, approved, and action taken. Each transaction has an accompanying file for electronic transfer to the payroll system and can produce an electronic form for the OPF as well. In this way, the form and accompanying system file contain the accurate information about personnel action codes, regulatory and legal citations, and payroll data feeds.
As the PAR system generates work activities, users are notified of pending actions by the workflow access points found in the Avue Navigator. The Inbox, On Deck, and Watch List functions, along with concurrent notifications sent to each user’s regular email system, notify users of the need to go into the system and review and make appropriate decisions so that actions progress. The workflow is customized for each client and often for each business unit within the client organization.
Diversity of business process is a reality in large organizations and Avue has ensured that the system conforms to the client business process rather than forcing the client to conform to the software. In this way, the client enjoys the efficiencies of automated workflow without the difficulties of extensive, and often exhaustive, change management.
Payroll System Interfaces
The AOS bi-directional interface to the client’s payroll system not only seamlessly transmits the SF-52 action to the payroll system, but also provides the ability to combine data in the payroll system with position data resident in the Avue system for real-time reporting and visibility on the agency’s workforce. The combination of Avue data and payroll data provides a blended view of the workforce, linking positions and people and people to organizations. This blended information allows for superior visibility in the present day and permits trend analysis by combining historical data with current workforce demographics. Avue provides the ability to display this data in dashboard form, via the Avue Command Center, and report it using the Avue online reporting tools for both standard and ad hoc reporting. Avue’s payroll system interface provides real-time data into and from the organization’s payroll system each and every night. Avue’s online, real-time, organizational charts are refreshed each night and the information contained in it is updated based on personnel moves that have occurred during the day. The same data is used for reports and the Avue Command Center.
• AOS supports all activities relevant to position management — including job classification and pay — and completely automates the processes involved in creating and identifying the work in classified positions, also providing key documentation related to the position.
• AOS uses sophisticated rules engines to determine relationships between duties, job classification, compensation level, and performance standards. After the analysis is complete, AOS produces a classified Position Description, Evaluation Statement, Performance Plan, and Interview Tips for the manager. All of the documents listed are fully integrated to the major duties and responsibilities allocated to a position.
• AOS is pay system-agnostic and supports agencies with a variety of different approaches including pay banding, excepted service, market-base pay, and pay for performance systems.
On average, managers developing positions using AOS take only 10 minutes from start to finish. Avue edit capabilities allow users to edit any and all content, except for certain position grade controlling features. These features are write-protected and manager users are permitted to include or exclude them but not to edit the text itself. Should managers build positions and then exclude certain grade controlling features, the AOS module automatically recalibrates the position classification to take into account this affect. All edits are tracked, and documented in the position’s history file or status log, with notations by date, time, and user.
AOS provides a side-by-side comparison of the original system-generated text and the edited text for ease in identifying edits by other users, such as HR professionals. This text edit tracking is also used by Avue and the client organization to view the type and substance of the edits, and make decisions about whether the edits indicate a substantive change or addition should be made to the core database for all users.
Special features are provided to authorized users based on user role and agency authorized permissions. These users, generally HR professionals, may override system generated job classification information, including factor levels, grade, series, title, and/or pay plan. System generated documents note the changes, they are also noted in the position’s history or status log file, and they require the addition of remarks explaining the need for the override. Users conducting the override are noted along with the date and time of the action.
Position-related content is provided turn-key in the Avue database and made available immediately upon contract award. Any additions, customizations, or new development required for a specific organization are engineered from a wide variety of data sources.
These sources include: existing position descriptions, master position records, vacancy announcements, crediting plans, individual development plans, position management policies, appropriate internal guides, and any special related policies or guidance – including governing appeal decisions, court decisions, and/or union requirements that apply to human resource issues to customize the occupational content. In addition, content development, editing, customization, or refresh efforts may include onsite desk audits, focus groups of subject-matter experts, work observation, occupational studies within the client organization, and interagency occupational studies.
• Avue’s subscription is provided on an “all-you-can-eat” basis, so additions to the database continue to be developed to ensure coverage of all occupational series and specializations within a series.
• Avue’s staff of content engineers is comprised of classification, staffing and position management experts who use a multipurpose job analysis methodology, and their extensive knowledge of particular occupational families, to customize existing content to reflect all organization-unique features of any position.
• Avue’s content database has job-specific content for 100% of the government-wide occupations – and the database supports an extensive variety of specialized occupations developed to meet the occupational diversity of our client agencies.
At implementation, Avue builds position descriptions to cover all the master positions of record in the organization, as defined by the organization’s payroll system, then links positions to employees via the organizational hierarchy and payroll system interface. From this information, Avue provides a real-time, online organizational chart accessible by managers, administrative staff, and HR professionals to look up employee and position information with control over access to the type and detail viewed according each user’s role and permissions granted.
Avue provides an online method in which agency managers, HR staff, and subject matter experts can provide input on the applicability of Avue occupational content to ensure it meets all customer needs. Avue consults with the organization on- site to determine the degree of rules engine customization required to accommodate particular policy issues, and to tune the grading algorithms to comply with agency policy, prior appeal decisions, and unique pay and classification systems. Avue assists organization decision makers in understanding the near-term and long-range impact of policy changes, in terms of the human resource program and financial effects.
As a position management tool, the online desk audit function is used to validate the duties and responsibilities of a position from the perspective of both the employee and supervisor. The online desk audit solicits and documents information for verification of the duties and responsibilities of a position, as well as to support occupational analysis, agency classification policies, and equity in compensation.
The Avue online desk audit tool can also be utilized to conduct a position management study of occupations by assessing the duties and responsibilities of each position. Employees can also document any additional duties performed that were not included in their official position descriptions. This supports agency efforts to design career ladders, establish new promotion patterns, assess workload distribution, determine whether to consolidate or decentralize activities, verify grade accuracy, validate work assignments to strategic goals, determine optimal position ratios, and other important functions.
Avue’s system facilitates the transition to new compensation systems, such as pay banding, from existing Title 5 structures. Multiple approaches to compensation (pay banding, market-based pay, pay for performance) can be accommodated within a single Department-wide contract, with variances in rules and processes down to the individual user, location, occupation, mission, or other variable.
Avue currently supports pay banding — a system that integrates a broad band classification system with a market-based or pay-for-performance system. Pay-banding classification systems define several job categories that group together job series describing similar work and meriting similar pay levels in the external market place. Within each job category, there are multiple career levels identified that reflect increasing degrees of responsibility and complexity.
Avue also supports market-based compensation systems used to maintain comparability within a specific market or industry or within a specialized Federal government focus, such as financial regulatory agencies.
AOS in conjunction with the Performance Optimization Module, or POM, supports performance-based pay systems.
Through the agency configuration process, Avue defines the business rules, then builds a rules engine that generates the correct series, job category, career level and pay band for each position built.
AOS includes employee skill survey capabilities that allow the client organization to maintain a complete inventory of the skills in its employee base for mission deployments, employee development, succession planning, workforce forecasting, recruitment skills banks, and training needs assessment. The AOS database includes all occupations, work activities, certifications, training, education, work history, languages, security clearances, and other competency categories. The skills survey is included in the AOS database and application functionality and is updated along with all content database additions, modifications, customizations, and labor market adjustments.
• All subject matter content, processing, policies, procedures, reporting, tracking, and real-time performance support required to effectively carry out an agency’s position management and classification programs.
• Occupational database includes all General Schedule, Federal Wage System, and other recognized classification categories (such as research, supervisory, and work leaders).
• AOS database contains all occupational series, job activities/duties, classification factor statements, classification values (such as grades or points), related competencies, skills survey instrument data, related data used by other Avue modules, skills and abilities, applicant questionnaires, interview questions, behaviorally-based interview benchmarks, performance elements and standards, and training and development activities.
• Support across the full spectrum of classification and position management program activities.
• Audit trail documents associated with each position that include evaluation statements and document history logs including user activities, position edits, and any applicable classification overrides.
• Personnel Action Request workflow with 100 percent coverage of the SF-52 actions.
• Bi-directional payroll interface, built and maintained by Avue, to enable seamless transaction processing of personnel action requests, as well as real time reporting of relevant information.
• Complete employee skills inventory including:
- Occupational history.
- Specific job activities.
- Special projects and collateral duties.
- Education, including verification of accreditation of higher education institutions.
- Certifications, licenses, and specialized training including dates, type, and recertification.
- Security clearances.
- Passport clearances.
- Military service, including military occupational specialty.
- Non-compensated work experience.
- Languages, including oral, written, and listening proficiency.
- Overseas experience by country and sector.
AOS Feature Functionality
• Creates all positions in all types of pay plans, including pay banding, market-based pay, mixed-series, mixed-grade, career ladder, supervisory, lead, senior level, interdisciplinary, research, and trainee positions.
• Provides ability to automatically create a career ladder from a single-grade position.
• Extensive library development and maintenance functions to provide approved positions for immediate use by managers.
• Customized rules engines for titling practices and series assignment.
• Includes a position description (with factor statements of Factor Evaluation System or any other classification standard), evaluation statement, and performance plan. All position documents can be edited and edits are tracked and visible online.
• The ability to share positions with associated users.
• Online desk audit.
• Online employee skill surveys.
• PAR workflow.
• Bi-directional interface with payroll system.
• Configurable position documents that allow organizations flexibility in determining the manner, style, and content of position information in forms other than traditional position descriptions.
• Full documentation in the system-generated evaluation statement that includes appropriate factors, levels assigned to factors, system-generated classifications, any overrides by type, required override remarks, and referenced published classification standards.
• A complete position description cover sheet, including the OF-8 as well as any agency-specific customization.
• Reporting capability that allows users to build standard and ad hoc reports from an array of report fields including:
- Organizational locations (including subdivisions).
- FLSA status.
- Competitive level codes.
- Bargaining unit status.
- Geographic location.
- Position classification elements, e.g. title, series, grade, pay plan.
- Supervisors and managers.
- Date established.
- Career ladder.
Avue Command Center Online Reporting and Decision Support (ACC)
The Avue Command Center Online Reporting and Decision Support Module (ACC) represents the ultimate in enterprise-wide visibility on business operations for management decision-support. The objective of ACC is to provide truly actionable information, rather than data, to line and senior managers at all levels of the organization. ACC provides visibility at the granular level all the way up to the big picture.
Key executives (e.g., CFO, CAO, CIO, CHCO) can set ACC to push information to managers that is critical for the accomplishment of organizational strategic plans and goals. Information is displayed in graphical form with the ability to drill down into subordinate data layers and data tables. All data generated and reported can be exported into common desktop applications such as Microsoft ExcelTM for further analysis.
ACC operates from a database of Avue data merged with elements compiled via Avue system interfaces. In addition, using Avue’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), data can be accessed, compiled, processed, and transferred to further the accomplishment of a business process that crosses administrative or mission functions and different IT systems supporting those functions. In this way, comprehensive information is always available in real-time and reporting via the Avue online reporting and graphics tools. ACC, by virtue of this merged database, is a breakthrough in management reporting tools.
• ACC provides an executive dashboard, refreshed each time it is accessed by the manager, with real-time data and metrics monitoring. Set to display information senior management wants pushed to its managers as well as data the manager elects to display on his/her personal dashboard, ACC ensures critical information about the workforce and mission are constantly accessible to managers making operational decisions in real-time. Program managers, such as HR Directors, also have an ACC that provides real-time metrics tracking key program statistics including workload, workload distribution, over-standard tasks, and performance by staff.
• ACC builds on the Avue Operating System, which incorporates payroll data and position information, to permit the user to construct ad-hoc reports on all data within the Avue system, including data imported from other systems, such as the finance and accounting systems, which are merged across these administrative silos into one comprehensive database from which reports are created.
• ACC also includes graphing and data display tools that are ideal for making data come to life in ways that provide information, insight and the ability to take action.
• ACC reports can all be saved by the user for repeat use, and report data can be easily “dumped out” into .csv files should the user need to employ more rigorous analysis and modeling tools.