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NPD 3010.1A
Effective Date: January 15, 2009
Expiration Date: December 31, 2020
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: Strategic Workforce Planning

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer


a. It is NASA's policy to conduct integrated workforce planning in order to ensure the alignment of human resources with the Agency's strategic goals and in order to optimize the makeup and utilization of the Agency's human resources.

b. It is NASA's policy to ensure workforce planning integration and collaboration at Agency and Center levels of all involved functions (including Agency leadership, mission/program management, and mission support) through a Workforce Planning Governance Structure comprised of the following elements:

(1) A Workforce Planning Agency Governance Group (WPAGG) to include representation from three Agency-level organizations: the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO), the Office of Program and Institutional Integration (OPII), and the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E).

(2) A Workforce Planning Technical Team (WPTT) to include representation from NASA Centers, Mission Directorates, and the offices that comprise the Agency Governance Group.

(3) Additional issue-based, ad hoc technical teams, established under the auspices of the WPTT, to focus on specific issues.

c. In order to ensure efficient utilization of the Agency's workforce, it is NASA's policy to:

(1) Plan its workforce through an iterative process by which skills (supply) are matched with work (demand) so that civil service full-time equivalent (FTE) and recurring (on- and near-site) contractor workyear equivalent (WYE) costs can be assigned to NASA's programs/projects and mission support.

(2) Plan for its future workforce requirements as part of its annual strategic planning and integrated budget development process, the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE). The PPBE process is set forth in the NASA Financial Management Requirements (FMR), Volume 4, Budget Formulation. Policies related to the strategic workforce planning aspects of the PPBE include the following:

(a) Each PPBE cycle PA&E, OCHCO, and OPII shall jointly develop a required sequence of workforce planning activities and analyses and set them forth in the annual PPBE Strategic Planning Guidance.

(b) The Agency shall conduct five-year workforce planning in order to provide appropriate lead time for reshaping workforce and focus attention on long-term workforce health. As part of this planning, Mission Directorates will ensure that programs/projects develop five-year FTE/WYE requirements in the PPBE programming phase. Mission support organizations will also develop these requirements.

(c) During programmatic planning, Mission Directorates and Mission Support organizations (taking into consideration Center inputs) shall determine both civil service FTE workforce demand and recurring (on- and near-site) contractor WYE workforce demand for each Center, at the project level, for all years of the budget planning horizon. (FTE and WYE demand is determined by funding distribution, the identification of roles/work to be outsourced versus remaining in-house, and the work to be assigned to Centers versus what is to be competed.)

(d) During programmatic planning, Mission Directorates and Mission Support organizations shall further characterize civil service FTE workforce demand in competency terms in order to match it with projected civil service workforce supply at the Centers, also characterized in competency terms. Misalignments between civil service workforce supply and civil service demand will be identified (e.g., available for new work [AFNW] employees, excess work) and then reduced through iterative programmatic planning and through mechanisms such as the assignment of new work, movement of work packages, or in-sourcing.

(e) NASA's strategic acquisition process shall take workforce issues, such as projected AFNW at Centers (i.e., civil service personnel who are not planned to funded project or mission support work) and excess work at Centers (i.e., funded work that is in excess of available civil service personnel), into consideration in the development of the Agency acquisition approach (e.g., internal make-or-buy decisions, Center assignments) and contribute to the resolution of these workforce issues.

(f) The Mission Directorates and programs/projects shall provide data and insight into future workforce requirements beyond fully defined work. This will entail planning the maximum realistic amount of FTE to Centers, including both firm requirements as well as possible assignments (forecast requirements), in order to focus Agency-level problem solving on true misalignments, rather than on those that will be resolved over time as the work requirements themselves are better defined.

(g) Centers and the OCHCO shall mitigate final unresolved civil service workforce supply-demand misalignments (gaps that cannot be resolved through programmatic planning) via human capital management approaches to reduce excess capacity competencies and skills (through redeployment, retraining and buyout, etc.) or to increase competencies and skills (through civil service recruitment, training and development, restructuring, and succession management). Workforce planning analysis will be used to target, scale, and time these human capital activities.

(h) The Agency shall assess overall workforce health at each of the Centers, using the Measures of Workforce Capability (scalability, skill availability and access, performance and proficiency, sufficiency, sustainability, and utilization) as a guide, and communicate issues and risks to senior leadership.


This NPD is applicable to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including Component Facilities and Technical and Service Support Centers.

In consonance with the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix), nothing herein shall be construed as limiting the Inspector General's authority.


a. 5 U.S.C. ยบ 1402(a), Authority and functions of agency Chief Human Capital Officers.

b. 42 U.S.C. 2473 (c)(1), Section 203(c) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended.


a. 5 CFR Part 250, Personnel Management in Agencies.

b. OMB Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget, Section 31.11, dated 2007.

c. OMB Circular A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities, dated 2003.

d. NPD 3000.1, Management of Human Resources.

e. NPD 3310.1, Distinguishing Between Contractor and Civil Service Functions.

f. NPD 3410.2, Employee and Organizational Development.

g. NPD 3713.2, Federal Equal Opportunity Programs of NASA.

h. NPD 1800.2, NASA Occupational Health Program.

i. NPR 3300.1, Appointment of Personnel To/From NASA.

j. NPR 3330.1, NASA Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP).

k. NPR 3335.1, Internal Placement of NASA Employees.

l. NPR 3351.1, Reduction in Force.

m. FMR, Vol. 4, Budget Formulation.


a. The Administrator shall establish the overall Agency policies and strategic goals for the workforce such that the workforce is aligned with Agency strategies.

b. The Associate Administrator (AA) shall provide leadership in resolving workforce issues across the Agency and ensuring collaboration of parties necessary for robust programmatic and resource planning. The AA also establishes Center-level civil service FTE ceilings.

c. The Chief Human Capital Officer shall integrate strategic workforce planning efforts across the Agency and be responsible for leadership and policy direction for acquiring and sustaining the Agency's civil service workforce. The AA for HCM co-leads the WPAGG and WPTT (with the Director of OPII and the AA for PA&E), provides professional expertise for design and operation of the workforce planning process, facilitates problem solving and reporting on workforce, and monitors FTE use on a monthly basis.

d. The Director of OPII shall develop long-term institutional strategies that provide alignment between programs and mission support capabilities and co-lead (with the AA for HCM and the AA for PA&E) the WPAGG and WPTT. The OPII facilitates programmatic planning, addressing workforce plan misalignments and issues related to project workforce transition by working with Mission Directorates, Mission Support Offices, and NASA Centers.

e. The AA for PA&E shall communicate policy direction for budget planning and programming activities that overlay strategic workforce planning and co-lead (with the AA for HCM and the Director of OPII) the WPAGG and WPTT.

f. The Chief Financial Officer shall provide policy direction for full- cost management and the establishment of resources and financial management practices that facilitate strategic workforce management and participate as a member of the WPTT.

g. AAs of Mission Directorates, consistent with NASA's Strategic Plan, shall:

(1) Determine work and funding distribution by developing annual plans that estimate the amount of civil service FTEs required for programs and projects each year over the five-year budget planning horizon and provide insight to the workforce planning community so that future estimates are characterized appropriately.

(2) Collaborate with each other and with Center Directors to resolve issues related to the transition of workforce between projects, as well as the FTE that is AFNW or work that is in excess of available FTE.

(3) Designate representatives to serve on the WPTT.

h. NASA Center Directors shall:

(1) Ensure that Center hiring is managed within the Center's FTE ceiling allocation, as well as any additional constraints established by Agency leadership (e.g., to a target level of term employment or to a target ratio of hires to losses).

(2) Ensure that the Center is appropriately structured to optimize the mix and distribution of workforce to best support NASA's mission and carry out work activities.

(3) Plan for future workforce needs. Take positive action with regard to employees that are AFNW.

(4) Plan for future workforce needs. Actively use human capital management approaches to build workforce capability that will be needed for future work and to decrease the amount of workforce that potentially become AFNW in the future.

(5) Ensure that strategic workforce requirements drive civil service intake (e.g., recruitment) and training/development efforts, as well as decisions about workforce component balance (i.e., the FTE levels of Center organizational subelements that optimally support current and future mission demands).

(6) Prioritize hiring at the Center level in order to ensure the health of Center capabilities over the long term.

(7) Balance the need for experienced hires with the need for student program and entry-level hiring that can support robust civil service workforce pipelines.

(8) Ensure that workforce planning and human capital activities at the Centers support appropriate diversity within the workforce.

(9) Ensure that subordinate supervisors plan for future workforce needs based on an analysis of competency or skill demand versus supply, understanding planned attrition and changing needs of the program/project, and recognizing potential workforce transition costs related to significant project scope changes.

(10) Provide data to inform Agency-level workforce decisions. Centers inform the Agency Office of Human Capital Management whenever local efforts prove to be insufficient to resolve current or projected workforce transition issues.

(11) Designate representatives to serve on the WPTT.

i. The Chief Human Capital Officer and the Chief Financial Officer shall manage automated systems to collect quantitative workforce supply and workforce demand data. Agency-level organizations (including Mission Directorates) and Centers shall populate and maintain data in NASA workforce planning systems (e.g., Workforce Integrated Management System, Competency Management System, and N2) as required by the Agency.

j. Mission Directorates, Mission Support Offices, and Centers shall conduct an ongoing analysis of workforce supply, workforce demand, and the gaps between them in order to provide information needed for workforce planning at both the Agency and Center levels. Quantitative and qualitative analyses will support:

(1) Operational workforce management, including workforce/FTE deployment and status in relation to targets.

(2) Human capital planning, including the identification of needs to increase or decrease workforce/competencies, in order to provide rationales for activities (such as use of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority) and planning information to programs (such as recruitment and development). Competency-based analysis will support updates of NASA's implementation of the flexibilities set forth in the NASA Flexibilities Act of 2004, codified in 5 U.S.C., Sections 9804 and 9805.

(3) The PPBE process.

(4) Strategic planning beyond the budget horizon.

(5) Assessment of long-term trends and developments in education, technology, employment, and the economy that could influence the Agency's workforce.

(6) Development of legislative proposals to increase options for reshaping or retaining the workforce.

k. The Assistant Administrator for Procurement shall provide leadership and policy direction for NASA's strategic acquisition process (ensuring that it considers and contributes to the resolution of workforce supply- demand misalignment), for competitive sourcing as a tool for strategic workforce management, and for the collection of WYE data.

l. The Assistant Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Programs shall ensure that workforce diversity is a key element in the Agency's strategic workforce plans.

m. The Assistant Administrator for Education shall ensure that student programs align with future workforce competency or discipline area requirements and that they augment the pipeline for the future workforce.

n. The Chief Engineer shall implement approaches to identifying and managing the technical capabilities of the engineering and program management communities, including the workforce component of these capabilities, and for participating as a member of the WPTT.

o. The Chief, Safety and Mission Assurance (in coordination with the Office of the Chief Engineer) shall implement approaches to identifying and managing the technical capabilities of the safety, reliability, maintainability, technical risk assessment, and quality communities, including the workforce component of these capabilities, and for participating as a member of the WPTT.




Compliance with this policy and the overall success of strategic workforce planning shall be measured through the evaluation of the Agency's performance in the following areas:

a. The degree of alignment (magnitude of surpluses or gaps) between civil service personnel and mission requirements. Examples of misalignment include: AFNW employees in cases where there is a greater supply of workforce FTE than there is program-funded demand for it and mismatches between the nature of employee skills/competencies and work demands.

b. The extent to which programs have forecasted and characterized workforce requirements for the level of budget available for each mission area throughout the Agency.

c. The degree of scalability achieved in civil service workforce against stated goals.

d. The strategic blend of experienced and entry-level hiring among civil service hires.

e. The appropriate diversity of workforce.

f. The reduction of civil service misalignment and preservation of civil service core capabilities, shown by trends/balance in the overall mix of civil service personnel and contractors within the NASA workforce.


NPD 3010.1, Strategic Workforce Management, dated September 10, 2003.

/s/ Michael D.Griffin


Responsibilities of Workforce Governance Structure Components

a. The Workforce Planning Agency Governance Group shall: (1) develop workforce planning guidance and policies; (2) manage planning activities within the Governance Structure; (3) coordinate workforce planning activities within the NASA Planning Programming Budgeting Execution (PPBE) process; (4) synthesize workforce analyses, and (5) develop and communicate recommendations to Agency leadership and NASA Management Councils.

b. The Workforce Planning Technical Team shall: (1) serve as a permanent working team supporting the Agency Governance Group; (2) perform workforce planning activities and analyses, applying workforce planning guidance and policies to them; (3) identify workforce risks that require Agency-level attention; (4) develop recommendations for solutions; and (5) participate in process improvement and workforce planning capability development activities at the Center and Agency levels.


Summary of Measures of Workforce Capability (an Agency approach to comprehensive workforce assessment)

1. Scalability (Total Workforce) Definition: The agility (speed and ease) with which a Center is able to adjust the number of workforce (FTE & WYE) of different types to meet changes in workforce demand within an anticipated range of future work. There are two dimensions to scalability:

a. Increasing capacity (civil service and/or contractors) quickly when needed for temporary or longer-term requirements.

b. Decreasing capacity (civil service and/or contractors) quickly in a targeted and rational manner when not needed for periods of time, or no longer needed.

2. Skill Availability and Access (Total Workforce)

Definition: The extent to which a Center has access when needed, through civil service workforce or contractors, to skill areas at an acceptable quality level for the range of anticipated work over the planning horizon. This definition addresses the ability of the Center to get the skills, or more of them, when they are needed. (Note this measure is not asking about the Center's authority to hire [ceilings or hiring controls]. Instead, it is assessing whether, if hiring authority or procurement were in place, a Center could get the skills).

3. Performance and Proficiency (Total Workforce)

Definition: The extent to which civil service and contractor performance is (or is anticipated to be) reliable for the range of work in the planning horizon, particularly workforce associated with work that is new, high risk, or inflexible in terms of schedule or cost.

4. Sufficiency (Civil Service Workforce)

Definition: The degree to which the Center has sufficient capacity, appropriate skill mix, and competence within the civil service workforce (the "Government footprint") to fulfill Government-unique management and oversight responsibilities (inherently and appropriately governmental), including: Executive/Managerial Leadership, Business Management, Program/Project Management, Technical Leadership, and Contractor Oversight.

5. Sustainability (Civil Service Workforce)

Definition: The extent to which Centers have sufficient "bench strength" over time to sustain agreed-upon levels of internal capacity in key business, technical, and managerial positions to grow in-house skills and replace the workforce as they move internally or leave the organization.

6. Utilization (Civil Service Workforce)

Definition: The degree to which the civil service workforce is used efficiently to perform the work of the Center, within the range of work over the planning horizon (best case, baseline case, and worst case). This measure involves two closely related factors:

a. Workforce Coverage: The anticipated civil service workforce "coverage" by budgeted FTE dollars, given the range of work.

b. Staffing Efficiency: The utilization of staff assigned to funded work, including full productivity of staff and proper alignment of skills and grade levels to the work (suitability of work assignments).

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