It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child, and when it comes to caring for vulnerable children, state agencies, counties, and federal programs provide an interwoven array of services. Unfortunately, when all these entities need access to the same records at the same time, the village can find itself stuck in a jungle of logistical snares.
In delivering critical children’s services such as SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, and child support enforcement, a large state agency was facing the challenge of managing significant volumes of documents and coordinating information across multiple divisions and jurisdictions. For example, a birth certificate for a single child might be needed to apply for SNAP or TANF benefits, establish paternity for a child support order, and provide documentation for a custody proceeding all at the same time.
While our state agency client enforced child support orders, the actual casework for collecting the money was performed by county Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs), and an Enterprise Document Management System (EDMS) offered a strong solution to coordinate information among all the different entities and jurisdictions. However, rolling out a solution to all county CSEAs plus other agencies and courts provided logistical challenges.
How could the state ensure that the solution met the needs of all parties involved, and how could they promote user adoption to make sure that their technology investment would provide the ROI they expected? More importantly, how could they find the expertise and bandwidth to do all this without either hiring staff or losing project control through a traditional outsourcing model?
In order to accelerate EDMS roll-out to the State’s Child Support program, Sense Corp was engaged to provide Team-as-a-Service (TaaS) capabilities. The TaaS model allowed the client to bring in a team of professionals who not only had the right skills for the job but who were accustomed to working as a cohesive unit within the bounds of a client organization. This meant that our client got a right-sized solution (the number of people and specific skillsets needed) while maintaining more control of the project than might occur in an outsourcing model.
Sense Corp was brought in to help analyze existing Child Support processes and the new solution, design workflows to fit those processes, and implement the solution statewide through county support and training using a Train the Trainer model.
The EDMS solution selected encompassed two components: one to physically scan documents and another to manage storage and access. To effectively design queues and identify the necessary document types, we needed input from all the county CSEAs. Thus, the first big task for our team was to conduct joint application design (JAD) sessions with county representatives to identify system requirements.
After the conclusion of JADs, we determined what the workflows and document types would look like and how they would function. We also selected pilot counties for the initial go-live and prepared training materials. In order to meet the State’s need for an accelerated roll-out of the EDMS, we used parallel delivery of activities such as design, test, deploy, and evolve to ensure that the State could see immediate value and so that we could ensure on-time completion of the project.
Our training phase included seven pilot counties, and we held multiple workshops at various locations across the state, training participants on the system and helping them to prepare their counties for go-live. In addition, we provided all documentation needed to support implementation, including system design, training materials, user manuals, quick reference guides, and more. After the train-the-trainer workshops ended, we conducted several knowledge transfer sessions with our client and wrapped the project on time and on budget.
Perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of the TaaS model was that it didn’t require the client to define the scope ahead of time, which allowed the team the flexibility to adjust as unforeseen circumstances popped up. The team was able to quickly transition and leverage capacity to fulfill a project management need that was outside of the original plan.
Sense Corp was able to manage the Child Support project team and hold weekly status meetings with various state agencies, advocacy groups, county agencies, and our client. The number of stakeholders involved, as well as the need for close collaboration with our client’s tech resources to design, implement, and test the EDMS, meant that communication, flexibility, and cooperation were needed to successfully complete this project.
Prior to implementation of this EDMS solution, county CSEAs were working with incompatible systems consisting of outdated, inefficient technologies, or in some cases paper-based systems. In addition, because counties were purchasing various software solutions on their own, the state was not recognizing the cost savings that come from bulk purchasing.
The state and its counties now have an EDMS solution to improve efficiency, facilitate coordination between agencies, divisions, and jurisdictions, and decrease the state’s overall software costs. But the most important outcome was the improvement in service delivery to the state’s most vulnerable children. This project represents the type of outcome that Sense Corp is dedicated to — using technology to help public sector entities maximize their resources and ease the burden on staff, thus ultimately improving delivery of critical public services to their citizens.
Sense Corp offers a variety of consulting services across data, digital, and business transformation. Our team of skilled consultants offer insights and solutions to the most important problems facing business and government. To learn more about the services we offer, including TaaS, contact us.