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Oct 13

New Theory of Government Needs a New Theory of IT Project Management

The Healthcare.Gov web site mess demonstrates why governments need to use more modern methods of developing IT applications - especially those applications that deliver government services. Just an amazing lack of even basic good software development practices:

"In the weeks before the start of Obamacare, officials failed to complete exhaustive testing of the program’s website in a push to begin signups by Oct. 1, according to people involved in the rollout.

The federal Healthcare.gov site -- which has been plagued by software bugs -- went live without attempts to replicate a customer’s complete experience, said a person familiar with the project who asked not to be identified to discuss what happened.

The introduction was so rushed that, as recently as last week, the exchange’s computer code contained placeholder language that programmers typically use in preliminary drafts, said Clay Johnson, a former White House presidential innovation fellow during 2012-2013." (Bloomberg)

The three basic components of any organization are people, processes, and technology. Technology is the enabler and if it is broken so are the processes which leaves extra work for the people.  Technology is like plumbing; you don't notice it until it is broken.

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