California Health and Human Services


“The private sector underestimates the desire of the public sector to get it right”

– Mike Wilkening, Special Advisor on Innovation and Digital Services in the Office of the Governor

Call to Action

Create a culture of sustained innovation across CHHS to demonstrate how a government agency can be more responsive to the needs of Californians


  1. Create a more engaging work environment for our staff- an environment that encourages staff to better utilize data, seek out new professional development opportunities, and create innovative solutions to improve their programs
  2. More effective programs and services built around the needs of Californians
  3. Service delivery that begins with user needs from the onset so that government can better support them
  4. Gained efficiencies through scaling models that demonstrate agency-wide impact and break down existing department silos
  5. Faster delivery of products and services through adoption of agile methodologies and an emphasis on iterative improvement
Innovation Cycle/Process; 1. Identify the idea or opportunity. 2. Define challenge statement/focus. 3. Confirm support and engage nimble team. 4. Start and iterate: Stay relevant to user needs. 5. Expand: Replicate to other programs/departments

Innovation Themes

  1. Human/user centered design approaches and principles
  2. Usage of data and analytics
  3. Creation and adoption of digital services
  4. Replication of transferable investments
  5. Demonstration of cross departmental collaboration

The Teams

60% Department Participation

12 Nimble Teams Across Two Cohorts

120+ Innovation Change Agents

Team Values

  1. Collaborate (with departments and external partners)
  2. Value (demonstrate to end-users and departments)
  3. Test Small, Fail Small, Scale Big (create an environment where intelligent risks are encouraged and rewarded)
  4. Customer-Oriented (human centered design principles)
  5. Consultation (consensus building with rapid decision making)
  6. Partnerships (public and private sectors)
  7. Analytics (data driven decision making)
  8. Digital Services (creation and adoption of to create programmatic efficiencies)
  9. Delivery (focus on execution and doing the work)
  10. Scalable (sustainable agency-wide benefits)

The California Health and Human Services Agency oversees departments and offices that provide a wide range of services in the areas of health care, mental health, public health, alcohol and drug treatment, income assistance, social services and assistance to people with disabilities.

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