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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. ]



 

News Clips - Government Technology: Agile Acquisitions: Rethinking Public-Sector Purchasing

Cover Story: California was featured in the September issue of Government Technology

For years the state of California has been doing multi-year, multimillion-dollar software projects, only to find that many of them don’t produce the results the state had hoped for. They take too long to plan and execute, and cost more than expected. “Customers have one consistent thing they tell us: You gave me what I asked for, but it is not really what I wanted,” said Peter Kelly, chief deputy director for the California Health and Human Services Agency’s Office of Systems Integration (OSI).  Read the entire story published by Government Technology. 
 

California Health and Human Services Agency Announces Appointments

The California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) today announced two key appointments at the Office of Systems Integration (OSI), Adam Dondro as agency information officer (AIO) and Tony Fortenberry as deputy director for the Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) project.

Agency Information Officer Adam Dondro


Dondro will oversee the technology and governance functions within the agency.  As AIO, he will provide oversight and coordination for the strategy and activities of information technology (IT) offices throughout the agency, its constituent departments, and electronic interface partners.  He will also lead the agency’s governance structure to plan enterprise direction, coordinate the handling of critical IT policy issues, and lead the development of IT business and tactical plans.

“Adam’s enterprise view of data, architecture and planning will serve us well as OSI supports the critical systems on which so many Californians depend,” said OSI Director John Boule.  “His emphasis on efficiency, innovation and customer service will benefit the departments we serve.”

Since 2013, Dondro served as the assistant director for horizontal integration at California Department of Social Services.  From 2010 to 2013, he served as the assistant secretary for external affairs at the California Technology Agency.  His experience also includes five years in the Legislature in both policy and budget roles.

Based at OSI headquarters, Dondro leads a team of 15 staff who work directly with department chief information officers, chief technology officers and enterprise architects throughout CHHS.

Recently appointed as OSI deputy director, Fortenberry has served as project director for CWDS for the past year.  He is a veteran technology executive with more than 25 years of experience working in the industry, including ten years of experience with California state government working in roles in IT procurement, contract management, vendor performance evaluation, and Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V).

“I am pleased to have Tony join OSI as a deputy director to lead this innovative project,” said OSI Director John Boule.   “Tony’s vast experience in product design, organizational strategy, agile methodologies and open source software is a tremendous resource for our agency.”
 
OSI Deputy Director Tony Fortenberry




 
 
Fortenberry has worked extensively as a management consultant, technology advisor, and procurement specialist for California government agencies, healthcare services providers, and nonprofit organizations.  Prior to serving as project director for CWDS, he worked on various projects at CalPERS, CalHEERS, the California Horse Racing Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Public Utilities Commission and California Department of Technology, among others. Career highlights include serving as chief technology officer for Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), based in Austin, Texas, and as chief information officer for the City of Northglenn, Colorado.

“Tony provided steady leadership and tremendous insight as we launched California’s first major project using agile methodologies,” said OSI Chief Deputy Director Peter Kelly.  “His unwavering commitment to the project and staff will serve us well.”
 
As a part of CHHS within the Office of Systems Integration, Child Welfare Digital Services is developing a modern platform and infrastructure to replace a 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.

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.

Fortenberry joins Department of Social Services Deputy Director Kevin Gaines and County Welfare Directors Association Executive Liaison Penni Clarke as members of the project’s Executive Leadership Team.

Partnership Opportunity: CWDS is hiring an Agile Coach

CWDS is hiring an Agile Coach to support our Digital Service Teams.

The CWDS project consists of eight digital services to replace the legacy system that manages casework for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children.   With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working to get started under the new approach.  Momentum is building as more developer teams will be hired in the coming months.

In November of 2015, 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.  The new approach includes DevOps teams, placing a strong emphasis on collaboration between network engineers, developers, business program managers and state and county subject matter experts.

See more details about the Agile Coach opportunity under open procurements at: https://cwds.ca.gov/vendors

Video: Solution Demo – August 14, 2017

On August 14, the CWDS Intake Digital Services Team and Technology Platform Team (TPT) held a monthly Solution Demo to update stakeholders their progress to replace the legacy CWS/CMS system.  Watch the video below.

Solution Demo to be Held on August 14 @ 2 PM


CWDS conducts monthly Solution Demonstrations to provide all stakeholders with an overview of our latest system developments.  Please join us via WebEx following using  the meeting link below.

CWDS Solution Demo August 2017 
Date: Monday, August 14, 2017
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

WebEx information:
Event number: 923 566 040

Event password: TJwFGxMA

Event address:  https://cwdsevent.webex.com/cwdsevent/onstage/g.php?MTID=e556ce26ebd9cf0ce9870b7c178aba3b8

Video: DevOps Engineering Sprint Review - August 3, 2017

On August 3, the CWDS DevOps Engineering team held a status meeting, called a "Sprint Review" to discuss their progress on the project.  Watch the video below.

 

CWDS Update: July 2017

Child Welfare Digital Services produces a monthly report for the Legislature and stakeholders to follow as the project works to replace the CMS/CWS legacy system.

Read the July 2017 report online:  CWDS Update July 2017

Update: Procurement Activity

On July 11, CWDS held a quarterly forum for stakeholders where state and county executives provided an update on the project's progress.  Below is a chart from the slide deck highlighting past and future procurement activity starting from June, 2016. A number of contracts have been awarded this year, with more procurements scheduled.  See the vendor sectionof our website for more details.



 

Video: CWDS Guest Speaker Mike Bland

Child Welfare Digital Services hosts brown bag lunch series with monthly guest speakers on a range of topics. On July 14, 2017,  automation expert and former Googler Mike Bland presented to staff.