The reasons the health care portal has failed so miserably

When you have three years to plan out a website that is supposed to service the country, you would think that they would put in the right effort to make it work. The US government did not. They simply failed at this one.

In March, Henry Chao, the chief digital architect for the Obama administration’s new online insurance marketplace, told industry executives that he was deeply worried about the Web site’s debut. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience,” he told them.

Two weeks after the rollout, few would say his hopes were realized.

For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in. The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange.

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#1
Thomas Townsend
October 17th, 2013 at 8:26 pm

The New York Times actually did a very respectable job on this article. “By early this year, people inside and outside the federal bureaucracy were raising red flags. “We foresee a train wreck,” an insurance executive working on information technology said in a February interview. “We don’t have the I.T. specifications.”

I can tell you from my close to 30 years expertise in Project/Program Management of large and complex SW projects with Fortune Companies and then having spent a good part of the last 4 years, working within the depths of the Military and Federal Bureaucracies IT departments, I am not surprised at the level of incompetence show here.

The sheer magnitude of this project should have been cause for the Feds to have made Alpha and Beta testing of this with focus groups along the way, to ensure there were as little hiccups at launch as possible. This is what the Private Sector does in SW creation. Even the SW used for NASA Space Shuttle Missions had to go through extensive testing and trail runs before going live.. You run Controls and Operability Testing followed up with a list of anomalies (bugs – problems) from independent tests groups and then you fix them. It appears that the Feds decided they would throw that book out the window in the name of POLITICS. For that – HEADS should role and some firings need to take place. It’s a good thing this was not a NASA mission or we would have dead bodies all over the place…… Now it’s only going to cause you and I (Joe & Jane taxpayer) a tone more money to fix their bungling.

 

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