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Transitioning from a performance- to contribution-based pay system in AcqDemo

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Training is in full swing for some 13,000 Air Force Materiel Command personnel scheduled to convert to the DoD Civilian Acquisition Workforce Demonstration Project (AcqDemo) pay system in June 2016.

During the training, employees are learning about the key differences in the performance management approach between the current system and the new system. While the current Legacy (GS/FWS) Performance Management Program bases the appraisal on how well a specified job is done (i.e. performance), in AcqDemo the appraisal is based on the value of the job to the mission of the organization. This is measured through the Contribution-Based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS) that links pay adjustments to the individual's overall contribution to the organization's mission.

The paradigm shift from "performance" to "contribution" is a fundamental change in approach and underlying assumptions. The differences between the two are:

- Performance is a measure of how well an employee does what he/she is asked to do. This usually takes the form of giving the employee specific objectives and, at the end of the year, measuring how well the employee met those objectives.

- Contribution is a measure of the value of what an employee did. This usually takes the form of describing a continuum of work and job outcomes along a value scale from those of very low impact on the organization and its mission to those of very high impact. At the end of the year, the employee's work and work outcomes are measured and placed along this scale to determine their value.

Performance Contribution
Defined relative to the job Defined relative to the mission
Measures quality, quantity and timeliness Measures level of work and value of results
Presumes a system of position classification Replaces a system of position classification
Different factors and standards for different jobs at different levels One unified set of factors and standards across many jobs and levels
Impacts pay within the pay range set for the job Impacts pay and promotion across the entire pay range
Pays again and again for the same performance Pays only for increases in contribution
Pay is symbolic reward-recognition for a job well done Pay is "fair" compensation - an assessment of how much should be paid given the value of the work and outcomes the employee produced
Compensation is based on projected value Compensation is based on demonstrated value
Position-based Person-based


CCAS delivers a direct link between levels of individual contribution and the compensation received, focusing on employees creating impact, and provides a common set of contribution factors that state what is important to the mission of the organization. These factors are problem- solving, teamwork/cooperation, customer relations, leadership/supervision, resource management and customer relations. Jobs done by individuals are evaluated against these contribution factors. The CCAS will:

· Promote increased fairness and consistency in the appraisal process
· Improve ability to compensate and reward employees in a timely manner commensurate with their contributions to the organization
· Better convey to employees the key factors associated with advancement in their job category
· Focus attention on measurable contributions and productivity.

The CCAS process consists of multiple steps and will be conducted on-line via the Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System Software (CAS2NET) tool. CAS2NET accounts will automatically be generated after conversion. A course covering contribution planning and writing self-assessments is currently under development and will be offered in the April to June timeframe to affected employees and their supervisors converting to AcqDemo.

Online courses for AcqDemo can be found at http://acqdemo.hci.mil/training.html. Training information may also be posted on Center AcqDemo sites, or can be found by contacting your Center's AcqDemo team.

For additional information on AcqDemo:
- Within AFMC, contact HQ AFMC/A1KA, (937) 257-0112, DSN 787-0112
- DoD Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project website http://acqdemo.hci.mil/

Editor's note: This is the third feature in a series of Acquisition Demonstration Project articles.