New Navy personnel evaluation system still not ready for prime time

Editor’s note: What has been your experience with eNavFit? Email [email protected] to share your thoughts.

The Navy will continue to allow the use of an old performance evaluation program as it continues to work out the kinks in the program that is supposed to replace it, according to a naval administrative message, or NAVADMIN, released on Nov. 20.

The new evaluation system, known as eNavFit, entered the active-duty fleet in February 2022 and is supposed to be the next-generation program for filling out and submitting annual enlisted sailor evaluations and officer fitness reports.

However, the fleet is still encountering problems with that system, and last month’s NAVADMIN states that commands can continue to use the old system, NAVFIT98A, through the end of 2025.

Roughly a year ago, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman put out a similar message, authorizing the fleet to continue using NAVFIT98A through the end of 2023 as eNavFit problems were worked on.

“eNavFit was designed to be a bridge to future performance evaluation modernization and continues to undergo necessary programming updates in preparation for additional fleet testing to enable full access and functionality,” the new NAVADMIN states.

“We have been working through ease of use, and when we get feedback from the fleet — we work to improve the service,” a Cheeseman spokesperson said in a statement to Navy Times.

“While numerous fixes and enhancements have been implemented since eNavFit was first introduced … we will continue to make improvements until we have full confidence for fleetwide implementation,” the spokesperson said.

“We listened to fleet feedback and are providing greater flexibility to commands through continued access to NAVFIT98A.”

That additional eNavFit work includes installing and implementing new Adobe and Java programs that “will improve eNavFit workflow processes and summary group processing capacity, making the system more accessible and functional to all users.”

Navy data shows that the vast majority of commands are still using the old NAVFIT98A eval system.

As of Dec. 1, just 17.7% of all performance appraisals received by the command in 2023 were created in eNavFit, or 73,660 evals out 415,618.

November’s NAVADMIN notes that the rejection rate for evals generated and submitted via eNavFit is 19% lower than the old system, and that eNavFit’s processing time “is exponentially faster than the traditional evaluation system, which means reports get uploaded to a Sailor’s Official Military Personnel File sooner.”

For now, the NAVADMIN says that commands that have had success with eNavFit can continue using it.

“While numerous fixes and enhancements have been implemented since eNavFit was first introduced, there is still work to do to achieve full Navy-wide implementation,” the message states.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at [email protected].

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