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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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The Strategic Alignment System

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"Human Capital Issues rank high among CEOs' key challenges, in fact, five of their top seven priorities relate to human capital in general and to leadership in particular." Accenture: The High Performance Workplace Study 2002/2003

The Strategic Alignment system focuses on having a human capital strategy aligned with mission, goals, and organizational objectives.


A system led by senior management, typically the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO), that promotes alignment of human capital management strategies with agency mission, goals, and objectives through analysis, planning, investment, measurement, and management of human capital programs.

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Agency human capital management strategies are aligned with mission, goals, and organizational objectives and integrated into its strategic plans, performance plans, and budgets.

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Critical Success Factors

Each system is based on critical success factors that make up the overall system. Critical success factors are the areas on which agencies and human capital practitioners should focus to achieve a system's standard for success and operate efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with merit system principles. The Strategic Alignment system is comprised of the following critical success factors:

  • Human Capital Planning
  • Workforce Planning
  • Human Capital Best Practices and Knowledge Sharing
  • Human Resources as Strategic Partner

Each critical success factor has several key elements that indicate effectiveness and are linked to suggested indicators that identify how well the agency is doing relative to key elements.

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Applicable Merit System Principles

The following merit system principle is especially relevant to the Strategic Alignment system:

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