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How to Ace your EPA Performance Evaluation. Tampa Bay Estuary Program Lindsay Cross, Environmental Scientist. Photo: Donna Bollenbach. It’s OK to freak out, but then get busy!. This process will take several weeks Don’t leave it to the last moment!

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How to ace your epa performance evaluation

How to Ace your EPA Performance Evaluation

Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Lindsay Cross, Environmental Scientist

Photo: Donna Bollenbach


It s ok to freak out but then get busy
It’s OK to freak out, but then get busy!

  • This process will take several weeks

  • Don’t leave it to the last moment!

  • Being prepared and organized will ensure a smoother process


Proposed steps
Proposed steps

  • Hold a staff meeting to discuss packet and deadlines

  • Divide and conquer among the staff

  • Develop organizational strategy

  • Reference effectively with supporting documentation

  • Be aware of formatting

  • Allow time for collation (~1 week)


Key pieces core elements
Key pieces: Core elements

  • Divided into 7 sub-elements

  • Performance Measures

    • Checklist (Fully Performing, Good, Excellent) of Performance Measures

    • Evidence/Workplan Citation: Reference Attachments

  • Clarifying Comments

    • Additional narrative explanation of worksheet and/or evidence

  • Narrative Summaries

    • Workplan (and CCMP) goals: Focus on Activities, Outputs, and Outcomes


Other key pieces
Other key pieces

  • Habitat Goals

    • Info already uploaded to NEPORT (Acreage vs. Habitat Category)

  • CCMP Matrix

    • Actions initiated by year

  • Budget

    • EPA funding and leveraging

  • CWA Implementation

    • Projects that specifically support CWA


Work together to divide and conquer
Work together to divide and conquer

Tracking/ Reporting

  • Get all staff involved in process

  • Set main goals for the program: e.g., TBEP worked from the bottom up (Fully Performing Good Excellent)

  • Assign sections or items to the relevant staff

  • Set deadlines for information, including reference attachments

  • Submit all information to the “organizer”

Financial Management

Research

Assessment and Monitoring, Program Planning

Outreach and Public Involvement

Reporting


Develop an organizational strategy
Develop an organizational strategy

  • Set up folders on computer files for hard copies

  • Core Elements Worksheets by Sub-elements

    • Performance Measures

    • Clarifying Comments

  • Narrative Summaries

  • Budget

  • Habitat

  • CCMP Goals

  • CWA Implementation

  • Attachments


Effective organization is vital
Effective organization is vital

  • If you can’t find or understand it, EPA can’t either!

  • Develop labeling strategy between performance measures worksheet and clarifying comments

  • TBEP labeled Clarifying Comments as “A, B, C” within each Level

  • Then used numbers were sub-items


Be consistent with references
Be consistent with references

  • Use consistent Reference #s based on the first time you reference a document (evidence)

  • TBEP abbreviated sub-elements: FM-1 for Financial Management

  • Used same Attachment # throughout all sections

  • All attachments labeled clearly in subfolders within CD and binder


The evidence
The “evidence”

  • Bylaws

  • CCMPs

  • Workplans

  • EPA Quarterly Reports

  • State of the Bay reports

  • Technical publications

  • Board meeting agendas

  • Technical committee reports

  • Web site updates

  • Press releases

  • Outreach materials


Include partner projects
Include partner projects

  • Get creative – focus on big projects or reports, but don’t forget about partner projects or other activities

  • Partnerships important for Narrative Summaries of CCMP goals

  • Important for Leveraging Ratios

    • Useful as funding justification to other partners


Formatting is frustrating
Formatting is frustrating!

  • Performance Measures Worksheet

    • Keep comments brief so they stay within page limit

  • Clarifying Comments

    • Be aware of text boxes, headers and footers, numbers, and page breaks


Allow 1 week to collate
Allow 1+ week to collate

  • Develop materials for hard and electronic versions

  • Use colored tabs or other organizational method

  • Use Illustrator, Publisher, etc. for Table of Contents

  • Provide copy of each referenced material

    • Scan in older documents

    • Save screen shots from websites

    • Include hard copies of outreach materials in clear sleeves


Pe is a good tool for future work
PE is a good tool for future work

  • Assess where your program can improve or expand

  • Encourages alternative explanation of program activities (e.g., outputs and outcomes)

  • Prioritizes future work

    • TBEP’s TAC accomplished all of it’s top-ranked research priorities)

    • Next step: TAC will prioritize new research goals at upcoming meeting


Enjoy the site visit
Enjoy the site visit

  • Highlight favorite projects or those in need of support

  • Provide hands-on experience to reviewers – good excuse for a field day!

  • Encourage individual time for staff members and EPA

  • Expect additional questions, based on PE evaluation

  • Great opportunity for feedback from EPA

    • Program overall

    • Problem areas

EPA site visit in beautiful Tampa Bay


Suggestions to epa for future pes
Suggestions to EPA for future PEs

  • Limit last-minute changes to the packet

  • Eliminate headers, text boxes, and other formatting issues

  • Try a single page for the Performance Measure, Evidence, and Clarifying Comments

  • Limit redundancy throughout categories (e.g., explanations for Narrative Summaries similar to Performance Measures worksheets)


Good luck
Good Luck!

  • Start early

  • Stay organized

  • Stay positive!

Photos: Bryon Chamberlin


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