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Government Reform Final 12-15-11 -   3.3 - Washington Management Service Reform

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Government Reform Final 12-15-11
1. Sharing Services
2. Improving Service to Citizens
3. Improving Efficiency
Action Plan
3.3 - Washington Management Service (WMS) Reform
What changes are being made to the Washington Management Service (WMS) system? 
Progress icon Operation in progress...
Data Notes
Data Source: HRMS (Human Resource Management System) maintained by the Department of Enterprise Services
Measure Definition: Number of Washington Management Service (WMS) employees as a percent of all employees (Executive Branch only, permanent and non permanent, Exempt and General Service)
Target Rationale: The control point acts as a maximum for the enterprise.  It is reviewed and set every two years by the State Human Resources Director.  It is based on the current WMS to workforce ratio, past trends in the ratio, and business expectations for the biennium. 
Link to Agency Strategic Plan: Goal 2: Sound HR foundation that supports changing business needs.  Key Action:  Ensure all agencies implement the changes to the Washington Management Service administrative processes.
Notes: (Optional)
Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes

 Drill Down Measures

 Summary Analysis

  • WMS is well below the current 7.5% control point
  • The State HR Director reviewed the control point in November 2011 and maintained it at 7.5% for the biennium
  • Changes continue on track through reorganizations 
    • WMS system oversight continues under the jurisdiction of the State HR Director, now through the new OFM Office of the State HR Director 
    • DES, CTS, and OFM have until 12/31/11 to put in place approved inclusion and evaluation procedures and a strategy for evaluating existing WMS positions


The WMS program was created in 1993 to provide agencies flexibility in hiring, assigning work to, and paying managers. 

The program received national recognition from Governing Magazine, the National Association of State Personnel Executives, and the Council of State Governments.  Over the years, however, concerns were raised that the program lacked adequate structure and formal oversight.

In December 2009, DOP Director Eva Santos asked HR Directors to join her in improving the WMS system.  State agency HR staff formed two workgroups that recommended changes

Following implementation of these changes in the Spring of 2011, a solid framework now exists across the enterprise to assure accountability, transparency, and consistency in the use of WMS:

  • JVAC (Job Value Assessment Chart) and the WMS Position Description form have been updated.  By 6/30/13, agencies must document and evaluate all WMS positions with these tools. 
  • Additional tools/resources are also available:  Monthly WMS Coordinator meetings, PDF Guide, PDF Training Presentation, Salary Standards Development Tips, How to perform regression analysis, Analysis template (to check for built-in bias). 
  • Annual self audit process in place.  95% of agencies did self audits in July 2011 and shared the results with DOP (DES, CTS, and OFM received deferral until next audit in July 2012 due to merger legislation)
  • All agency WMS Coordinators were trained by DOP.  In addition, as of August, 2011, 80% of agencies have trained their own WMS committees, all using curriculum provided by DOP (100% due by June 2013).