Objective 5.1: Promote effective enterprise governance to ensure programmatic goals are met equitably and transparently across all management practices

HHS is supporting strategies to promote effective enterprise governance and ensure programmatic goals are achieved.  HHS is strengthening governance, enterprise risk management, and strategic decision making across the Department to better pursue opportunities and address risks while creating a culture of change to support continuous improvement in program and mission delivery. 

Objectives represent the changes, outcomes and impact the HHS Strategic Plan is trying to achieve.  This objective is informed by data and evidence, including the information below.

  • Delivering excellent, equitable, and secure federal services and customer experience is a priority for the President’s Management Agenda.  When individuals and organizations interact with any part of the federal government, they want that interaction to work seamlessly.  This priority is supported by three strategies: (1) Improve the service design, digital products, and customer-experience management of Federal High Impact Service Providers by reducing customer burden, addressing inequities, and streamlining processes; (2) Design, build, and manage Government service delivery for key life experiences that cut across federal agencies; and (3) Identify and prioritize the development of federal shared products, services, and standards that enable simple, seamless, and secure customer experiences across High Impact Service Providers.  (Source: The President's Management Agenda)
  • To operate effective public health programs, the Department must ensure that its agencies coordinate with each other, as well as with partners at all levels of government.  For HHS to achieve its mission, it needs to collaborate effectively, across HHS programs and with other federal agencies, as well as outside the federal government, including with tribal, state and local governments, international entities, industry, and other stakeholders.  To run effective and efficient programs, HHS must consider issues and impacts outside a single program or mission for any one of its agencies.  (Source: Improving Collaboration To Better Serve Our Nation)
  • Enterprise Risk Management is a strategic discipline that enables agencies to address the full spectrum of organizational risks.  The HHS ERM Framework has four principles: Promote a risk-aware organizational culture; Create a comprehensive view of risks to drive strategic decisions; establish and communicate risk appetite, and governance and process support.  OpDivs and StaffDivs are encouraged to tailor the HHS ERM Framework to align with their diverse operating cultures and missions.  (Source: HHS Agency Financial Report FY 2021)
  • Given today’s challenges, governments can find many compelling reasons for transitioning to an agile environment.  These include: bringing together, and moving forward, all parts of an organization or network in a crisis; helping to build trust in government by improving outcomes for the public and increasing customer satisfaction; and reducing the complexity and increasing the efficiency of government.  (Source: The Road to Agile Government: Driving Change to Achieve Success)
  • Federal agencies have a responsibility to manage customer experience and improve service delivery using leading practices and a human-centered approach.  Customer experience refers to a combination of factors that result from touchpoints between an individual, business, or organization and the federal government over the duration of an interaction and relationship.  Similar to their application in the private sector, these factors can drive the overall satisfaction and confidence/trust with the program, agency, and the government at large.  (Source: OMB Circular A-11: Section 280 – Managing Customer Experience and Improving Service Delivery)
  • Human-centered design is about understanding human needs and how design can respond to these needs.  With its systemic humane approach and creativity, human-centered design can play an essential role in dealing with today’s care challenges.  Three key characteristics of human-centered design, focusing on its implementation in health care can include understanding people and solving the right problem; early and continuous stakeholder engagement; and a systems approach to develop meaningful innovations to improve safety and quality.  (Source: Innovating health care: key characteristics of human-centered design)
  • Gathering and using actionable information is the foundation of organizational learning and improvement.  This process is sometimes called performance management, continuous quality improvement, and data-driven or data-informed decision making.  Organizational learning and improvement are also continuous processes, threaded throughout all organizational functions and activities, with all staff having roles.  Leaders, including managers, are key to fostering a culture of learning that encourages staff to observe and reflect on their work and use data in decision making; supports staff by making sure they have time to engage in these activities; and ensures staff have the skills to examine and interpret the data and the appropriate technology to gather and access the data.  (Source: Using Implementation Science to Systematically Identify Opportunities for Learning and Improvement)

Contributing OpDivs and StaffDivs

All OpDivs and StaffDivs contribute to achievement of this Objective.

HHS OpDivs and StaffDivs engage and work with a broad range of partners and stakeholders to implement the strategies and achieve this Objective.  They include: the Council on Financial Assistance Reform, Financial Assistance Committee on E-government, HHS Data Council, HHS ERM Council, HHS Evidence and Evaluation Council, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and President’s Management Council (PMC).


Strengthen governance, enterprise risk management and strategic decision making across HHS to better pursue opportunities and address risks

  • Mature, integrate, and apply an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Framework across the Department and its Divisions to guide collaborative governance within the federated operating environment, leading to more risk informed strategic decision making.
  • Strengthen the strategic management and planning capacity of the Department and its Divisions to accelerate programmatic impact to improve health, public health, and human services outcomes.

Continue to create a culture of learning at HHS to support continuous improvement in program and mission delivery

  • Foster the development and success of “communities of practice” and bodies of knowledge throughout the Department to share information, evidence-informed practices, and create opportunities to cross organizational boundaries to create innovative, responsive solutions.
  • Facilitate collaboration and coordination to increase the use of change management, strategic management, human-centered design tools and techniques, and leverage technological advancements to improve customer experience and program and project management across HHS.

Performance Goals

The HHS Annual Performance Plan provides information on the Department’s measures of progress towards achieving the goals and objectives described in the HHS Strategic Plan for FY 2022–2026.  Below are the related performance measures for this Objective.

  • To assess progress in implementing its ERM Framework, HHS will annually review and report on its ERM organizational maturity, and formally re-assess its maturity every two to three years using its HHS-internal capability maturity model, which is tailored to HHS's culture and operations.

Learn More About HHS Work in this Objective

  • Human-centered Design (HCD) for Human Services: To date, little is known regarding what HCD looks like in a context of human services, the requirements for implementation across a range of programs; the measurable outcomes and effectiveness of HCD approaches; the evaluability of HCD approaches; or the sustainability of HCD approaches.  The overall purposes of the project are to: define human-centered design in the context of delivery of human services; identify programs that are currently implementing or have recently implemented human-centered design approaches in human services programs, and describe the current state of the field; conduct a pilot study to help understand the feasibility of this approach in human services programs, the requirements for implementation, the evaluability, sustainability, and key outcomes of interest to ACF programs.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
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