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Kennedy Space Center Aims High With Its Goal Performance Evaluation System

Kennedy Space Center Aims High With Its Goal Performance Evaluation System

The Goal Performance Evaluation System (GPES) is an innovative interactive software application that implements, validates, and evaluates performance through the achievements of organizations and individuals. Developed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), GPES is a tool for strategic planning, employee performance management, and communication on selected center-wide initiatives, such as recording employee results of activities that promote employee safety and health.

Training and Implementation

KSC staff provided training about GPES for three target audiences: directors/administrators (Center level), supervisors (organization level), and employees (individual level). GPES became fully operational in August 1998, at which time 1800 employee performance plans were created using the system.


At the beginning of the performance cycle, all organizations must use GPES to define their mission in the format of objectives and underlying strategies. The employee and supervisor then choose from a universal list of organizational objectives to define the employee's performance plan. The supervisor also can further tailor the performance plan to the individual and the scope of the job by detailing any additional office performance expectations and/or mission requirements. Additionally, the system facilitates the assignment of multiple managers to support the diversity of a multi-project-focused business environment. As a result, managers can collaborate and provide appraisal information online both to employees and to their home supervisors of record. Employees can periodically contribute information about their achievements. The system uses this information to further assess individual and organizational performance as well as multi-level reports.

Linkage to Employee Performance Plans

GPES directly links individual employees, through their customized performance plan, to their office, independent directorate/department, and ultimately the agency's goals and objectives. The system enables an organization to view and measure its performance directly based on the accomplishments of its employees. This allows the organization to evaluate its progress toward effectively communicating, implementing, and accomplishing its mission.

Accommodating Ongoing Changes

The system allows changes to the employee's performance plan throughout the year. That way, the plan is kept relevant to the needs and skill level of the employee. As the employee completes activities, or changes are made, the supervisor can modify the performance plan accordingly. At the organizational level, if the mission is modified, the system will automatically and immediately reflect the changes in the employee's performance plan. The system tracks these changes so the employee's performance can be viewed easily and evaluated for the entire year, not necessarily just the most recent assignments.


GPES has successfully coupled strategic management with employee performance resulting in a more tightly focused and aligned organization. The system provides the capability of electronically linking an organization's mission to any desired Agency/Center goal. These links are clearly displayed and annotated for each item in the employee's performance plan. All employees can now see and contribute towards the successful achievement of the organization's mission. Achievements and performance criteria are assessed and consolidated to validate the progress and accomplishment of the agency strategies. Based on consolidated performance information, the Center has made a number of beneficial changes to streamline, redefine, and clarify Center mission goals.

Award Winner

This award-winning system was one of the first recipients of the OPM Director's PILLAR Award. PILLAR stands for "Performance, Incentives, and Leadership Linked to Achieve Results" and symbolizes successful employee management practices that effectively support organizations as they carry out their missions.

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