CWDS Seeks Project Director

With the recent internal promotion of its project director, Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) is recruiting to fill the key position that runs day-to-day operations overseeing the administrative and customer support functions of the project to replace California's legacy child welfare system for county social workers.

"We are looking for a talented leader to join California’s largest and most innovative project, the focus of national attention as government seeks to fundamentally change the way we do business," said Office of Systems Integration (OSI) Director John Boule. "This is an exciting opportunity to serve the public, to give back while being part of this monumental initiative."

With a staff of  more than 70, which includes the Project Management Office (PMO), the project director is responsible for overseeing contract management, budgeting, human resources, customer relations, state and federal reporting and the project’s overall implementation.

The project director, officially classified as a Data Processing Manager IV, will work alongside the product director, both reporting to recently promoted Office of Systems Integration Deputy Director Tony Fortenberry. CWDS is preparing for a national recruitment effort to fill the product director position.

"We are looking for a candidate who thrives on collaboration and can build strong relationships with the user community and county stakeholders," said OSI Chief Deputy Director Peter Kelly. "This individual must be a champion of best practices, an effective planner and decision maker, and be a strong advocate for using technology to support the mission of social workers to protect California's children."

As a part of the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) within OSI, CWDS is developing a modern platform and infrastructure to replace the 20-year-old legacy child welfare management system used by county case workers. The project consists of eight digital services to replace the Child Welfare System/ Case Management System (CWS/CMS) that manages work for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children.

CWDS is pioneering the development and operation of cloud-based software in the public sector, following a DevOps project lifecycle rather than a traditional design, development and implementation (DDI) / maintenance and operations (M&O) model. The project is taking an innovative new approach for California state government, using agile methodologies, free/open source software (FOSS) and user-centered design.

In November of 2015, after a decade of planning, the project changed its development strategy from the traditional “waterfall” approach to using agile methodologies which focus on iterative development cycles and a rapid feedback loop with end-users. Agile teams work in two-week sprints with daily status meetings to measure progress. With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working toward full velocity under the new approach. Momentum is building as more developer teams are joining the effort each month.

[For additional information, see the job flyer here.  The state job announcement is here. ]