The process of developing and issuing RFPs is often viewed as a one off - a special activity that occurs infrequently and in isolation. What if we applied the principles of iteration and continuous improvement to the way that RFPs are developed?
Extending impact to state and local governments
Health and Human Services (HHS) is a federal agency, but many crucial HHS programs — like Medicaid — are administered by states.
HHS encourages states to upgrade legacy systems by offering funding incentives, but many states struggle to manage risk and build usable systems while navigating federal and state contracting rules. HHS hired 18F to step in and help states set these projects up for success through the technology acquisition process.
Reducing risk by breaking up contracts
In our first project with HHS, we helped California get on the right path to buying a new system for child welfare case management by facilitating a two-day workshop to break a monolithic contract into smaller pieces (along with colleagues from California’s Department of Social Services, the Office of Systems Integration, and Code for America).
Next, HHS asked us to work with other states who needed to procure case management systems for child welfare. We also began applying what we learned to a new challenge: working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Systems (also within HHS) to support states who were upgrading Medicaid data systems.
Related blog postsSee all posts about this project
In product development, we often use prototypes to understand user needs and reduce risk. Prototypes are a great way to test out ideas or approaches before you actually commit to building anything, but governments are not always set up to develop and use prototypes efficiently before building digital services.
Alaska’s Department of Health & Social Services is working with the Technology Transformation Services’ Office of Acquisition on a new approach to product and acquisition management to develop a modern, integrated eligibility system for their Division of Public Assistance. We’re experimenting with a transparent approach so that anyone can see, and provide public feedback on, our progress.