Independent Project Oversight Report (IPOR) Rating

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0530-211 Child Welfare Services-California Automated Response and Engagement System (CWS-CARES) (Formerly known as CWS-NS)

The Child Welfare Services-California Automated Response and Engagement System (CWS-CARES) Project will implement a modern web-based computing infrastructure that is flexible, scalable and based on industry enterprise architecture framework concepts. The CWS-CARES will consolidate functionalities that are in various systems into a single system and include multiple interfaces with other applications thus providing CWS workers with critical case information more efficiently.

Project Details

Agency / State Entity Health and Human Services Agency / Secretary for California Health and Human Services Agency
Total Cost $420,744,069
Last Approved Start Date 07/01/2013
Last Approved Finish Date 12/31/2024
Criticality Rating High
Most Recent Project Approval Document Special Project Report 3
Date of Most Recent Project Approval Document 7/1/2013
IPOR Reporting Period Overall IPOR Rating
06/01/2020 - 06/30/2020
Red
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Key Questions

Is the project on track to satisfy the customer's business objectives?No

Is the project on track to achieve the objectives in the approved timeframe?No

Is the project on track to achieve the objectives within the approved budget?No

Project Overall Health Comments
Red
• The Project Overall Health rating was downgraded from Yellow to Red during the current reporting period. • During May 2020, CWDS collaborated with OSI Directorate to question and reconsider project assumptions that were leading to project duration and project cost estimate increases • In June, the CWDS Board of Directors considered potential product rollout and scope options that would be project timeline and budget drivers. The activities culminated in the Board approving a go-forward option at their July 9 meeting. • The Board-approved option includes: o A Project End Date estimate of 7/2025 o A Total Project Cost estimate of $643,155,067 • The CDT does not support the option approved and expressed multiple concerns at the Board of Directors meeting. • SPR 3 approval condition #1 requires CWDS to submit another SPR in July 2020 that includes updated Project End Date and Total Project Cost forecasts. • The next SPR is also expected to communicate the project’s Product Scope baseline that will be used for measuring delivery completion status (Percent Done), in support of the Project End Date and Total Project Cost forecasts. • CWS-CARES currently lacks a complete, sufficiently elaborated Product Scope backlog, with the Financial Management Process Area and almost all Shared Services not yet having Building Block identification work completed. Based on the pace of work-to-date, it is unlikely that a Product Scope baseline will be available by the next SPR due date. • Multiple SPR 3 major milestones, including platform transition procurement milestones, are trending one month or more behind schedule. • CWDS remains in progress drafting an Implementation Advance Planning Document (IAPD) for submission to federal partners at the Administration on Children, Youth & Families (ACYF). The IAPD submission was originally planned for April 1, 2020, per the SPR 3 milestone. The IAPD is intended to document the project’s plan of action to request Federal Financial Participation (FFP) in the costs of implementing CWS-CARES.
Focus Area/Rating Comments
Governance

red icon Red
• The Governance rating was further downgraded from Yellow to Red during the current reporting period. • During May 2020, CWDS collaborated with OSI Directorate to question and reconsider project assumptions that were leading to the potential inclusion of substantially longer project duration and increased project cost estimates in the IAPD submission. • In June, the CWDS Board of Directors conducted two closed sessions to consider potential product rollout and scope options that would be project timeline and budget drivers. The activities culminated in the Board approving a go-forward option at their July 9 meeting • The Board-approved option includes: o Product Development activities from 10/2020-1/2024 o Statewide Implementation activities from 2-10/2024 o A Project End Date estimate of 7/2025 o A Total Project Cost estimate of $643,155,067 • The CDT does not support the option approved and expressed the following concerns at the Board of Directors meeting: o The planned duration of development activities does not represent the acceleration anticipated from the use of application-based platform tools o The amount of time that counties will need to wait for much-needed functionality to be ready for implementation and productive use is excessive o The estimated total project cost does not adequately consider the State’s current budget and forecast • CWDS remains in progress drafting an IAPD for formal submission to the ACYF. The IAPD is intended to document the project’s plan of action to request Federal Financial Participation (FFP) in the costs of implementing CWS-CARES. The IAPD submission was originally planned for April 1, 2020, per SPR 3. • SPR 3 condition for approval #1 requires CWDS to submit another SPR by July 20, 2020. • SPR 3 condition for approval #3 also requires updates to the project’s governance documentation. The updated draft Governance Plan is awaiting presentation to the CWDS Board of Directors for approval.
Time Management

red icon Red
• The Time Management rating was further downgraded from Yellow to Red during the current reporting period. • Multiple SPR 3 major milestones are trending one month or more behind schedule. o The Implementation APD Submission milestone has slipped from April 1 to an estimate of July 10, which will not be met. o The Salesforce Integration Services Contract Award milestone has moved from August 11 to October 1. o The CARES Data Infrastructure (CDI) Contract Award milestone has moved from October 2 to January 12, 2021. o The Product Value Services Contract Award milestone has moved from July 20 to August 25. • The CWDS Master Schedule does not account for the required ACYF 60-day review and approval cycle before the CDI Contract Award milestone. CWDS has assumed that ACYF will grant an exception from this review. IPO recommends that the Master Project Schedule be adjusted to show the ACYF review cycle until this exception has been granted. • SPR 3 did not include a schedule that accounts for all CWS-CARES product development work based on a fully defined product scope and a velocity estimate. • SPR 3 condition for approval #1 requires CWDS to submit another SPR by July 20, 2020, that includes an updated Project End Date forecast. This date will not be met for formal submission. • The CWDS Board of Directors approved a go-forward option for the project with a Project End Date of July 2025 at their July 9 meeting. The CDT expressed concern at the meeting that the duration planned does not represent the acceleration anticipated from the use of application-based platform tools (i.e., Salesforce).
Cost Management

yellow icon Yellow
• The Cost Management rating remains Yellow following the SPR 3 conditional approval. • SPR 3 did not include a cost estimate that accounts for all product development work based on a fully defined product scope and a level of effort estimate. • SPR 3 condition for approval #1 requires CWDS to submit another SPR by July 20, 2020, that includes an updated Total Project Cost forecast. • The CWDS Board of Directors approved a go-forward option for the project with a Project Total Cost of $643,155,067 at their July 9 meeting. The CDT expressed concern that the estimated total project cost does not adequately consider the State’s current budget situation and forecast. • The CWDS budget for FY 2019-20 remains at $25.9M following the SPR 3 conditional approval until not sooner than 30 days after there is a legislative notification of a pending Budget Revision. The project’s most recent FY 19-20 expenditure forecast is $35.5M (April 2020). • The legislation notification will be triggered by the Department of Finance receiving a Budget Revision request from the Department of Social Services (CDSS). The CDSS will be submitting a program level Budget Revision which will include expenditure authority related to the reallocated CWS-CARES funds. • The 2020 Budget Act signed by the Governor on June 29 held the CWS-CARES FY 2020-21 budget at the $54.4M amount established in SPR 3.
Scope Management

yellow icon Yellow
• The Scope Management rating was downgraded from Green to Yellow during April 2020. • CWS-CARES lacks a complete, sufficiently elaborated Product Scope backlog, with the Financial Management Process Area and almost all Shared Services not yet having Building Block identification work completed. • The next SPR is expected to communicate the project’s Product Scope baseline that will be used for measuring CWS-CARES product delivery completion status (aka Percent Done) going forward. • Based on the pace of Product Scope identification work-to-date, it is unlikely that a Product Scope baseline will be available by the next SPR due date of July 20. Per IPO recommendation, on June 24 CWDS opened a related project issue (RI-171, Lack of Complete Product Scope Backlog). • Service Delivery Lifecycle Phase 1 (Blueprinting) for the Eligibility process area was completed in June. • At the end of May, the CWDS Product Team completed the initial Test Dive (Service Design and Prototyping) work associated with the first Screening Building Block, Gather Person and Allegation Information. Additional Test Dives have not been scheduled.
Resources

green icon Green
• In March 2020, the Resources rating was improved from Yellow to Green following the SPR 3 conditional approval. • Overall position vacancy rate is 13% at the end of June 2020, this is below the project’s established goal of 14%. Of 104 total project positions, 14 are vacant. • Due to variances in reporting data, IPO is working with the project to reconcile the total number of positions assigned to the project and the current count of vacant positions. • Recruitment efforts are ramping up so that the project is appropriately staffed to meet the needs and pace of future work. Previously, actions to fill multiple vacant positions were on hold until CWDS organizational adjustments related to the transition were clarified. • The key position of Security Chief has been filled, with the selected candidate expected to start on July 1. • Key positions that are currently vacant: o Architect & Engineering Chief — Job Opportunity announcement was re-posted in early June.
Quality

green icon Green
• In March 2020, the Quality rating was improved from Yellow to Green following the SPR 3 conditional approval. • Going forward, assessments of Quality will be primarily based on the CWS-CARES platform transition, development, and operations activities, with a lesser emphasis on CARES-Live. • CWDS is in progress of updating and creating several planning documents as part of the project’s transition. During June 2020, the following documents were reviewed by the oversight teams: o CWS-CARES Product Management Plan o CWDS Vendor Management Plan
Risk and Issues

green icon Green
• The Risks and Issues rating remained Green following the SPR 3 conditional approval • In June 2020, there were: o 1 new Issue opened, 3 Issues closed, 0 changed to Observation o 2 new Risks opened, and 0 Risks closed, 0 Changed to Observation. • Count of active Issues and Risks in May: o 2 High, 4 Medium, and 2 Low Issues (8 total) o 3 High, 9 Medium, and 0 Low Risks (12 total)
Transition Readiness

blue icon Blue
• In March 2020, the Transition Readiness rating was adjusted from Yellow to Blue following the SPR 3 conditional approval • Going forward IPO will primarily base our assessments of Transition Readiness on the upcoming CWS-CARES implementation activities, with a lesser emphasis on CARES-Live. • CARES-Live usage during June 2020: o CANS: 475 of 5,975 registered users from 21 counties completed CANS assessments. o Child Welfare History Snapshot: 188 of 4,258 registered users from 31 counties performed person searches. o Facility Search: 103 of 4,340 registered users from 28 counties performed facility searches.
Conditions for Approval

green icon Green
SPR 3 Conditions SPR 3 was approved on February 28, 2020. 1a. Project Reporting, Annual Reporting • An initial three subsections of SPR 4 were provided for informal review on June 15. • The project does not appear to be on track to formally submit SPR 4 by the July 20 due date, however, CWDS leadership has committed to providing a complete draft to the CDT for advance review by this date. 1b. Project Reporting, Quarterly Reporting • No specific project actions were expected during this reporting period. • CDT is in progress developing the QPR format for project use and held additional meetings in June to discuss content with CWDS leadership. 1c. Project Reporting, Monthly Reporting • Beginning in the March and April 2020 PSR submissions the new required reporting content is being addressed by CWDS. IPO will monitor the continued satisfaction of this condition during future reporting periods 2. Release Planning and Execution • No specific action during this IPO reporting period. 3. Governance and Decision-making • Activities required by the condition were kicked off during February 2020 and are still in progress. The updated draft Governance Plan is awaiting a presentation to the Board of Directors for approval. 4. Vendor Management and Contract Management • A walkthrough of the initial draft Vendor Management Plan was held by CWDS on May 22, 2020. Following a comment review cycle, an updated Plan based on IPO feedback was provided for review on June 30. 5. Independent Advisory Services • This condition is being addressed through the Product Strategy and Architecture Services (PSAS) procurement. The Request for Offer was released on April 9, 2020, with Bidder responses due on May 20, however, no bids were received. Following the re-evaluation of the procurement approach, the re-release of this solicitation will be held until after the awards of the Salesforce Integration Services and Product Value Services contracts.
Corrective Action

blue icon Blue
• Not applicable at this time.
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