Healthcare.gov and You – An @IOUG IT Project Perspective

http://www.ioug.org/p/bl/ar/blogaid=147

How Lucky Do You Feel today to be working on lesser-known web projects instead of healthcare.gov?

(photo By Charles Dharapak, AP) Would you care to be in Mr. Jeffery Zients shoes as the latest consultant brought in to fix a website application that has garnered the attention of world-wide press, and has the public chattering about a mis-fired IT project implementation? — http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_PROBLEMSNew boss for fixing the balky health care website

(ed – nevermind that spelling and grammar checks appear to be missing from the AP News articles in light of getting the story out expediently…)

How about being in the place of Quality Software Services Inc.(QSSI) owned by a unit of UnitedHealth Group (http://www.qssinc.com/industryPartners.html), with the original role as lead web application designer, now being directed to become the equivalent of a Construction Manager, to orchestrate the other subcontractors towards a viable and scalable solution?

A big data back-end powered under Metropolis (http://www.palantir.com/platforms/#metropolis) which is a Hadoop extension set. Thought this was far away from your own sphere of knowledge?  Nope – it’s Oracle-based, in a lot of areas.  Notice the Platinum Partner status on QSSI’s page?

I’m quite sure that all of this will be closely watched by the IT public community at-large as a primary example of watching our federal government, normally not known for subscribing to AGILE and RAD practices in its projects, suddenly become responsible for a monster of a custom web application with a zero-defects requirement due-date of 12/15/2013 .

All of you have been part of post-Go-Live (10/2/2013) projects wherein the defect lists soar, and post-implementation patches, data changes, and no-bounce needed updates get immediately Sev 1 prioritized. But how many of you have had to deal with the public skewering your work through dozens of daily news articles and political representatives posturing to ensure “the person to be blamed will be fired?” —   http://bigstory.ap.org/article/insurers-others-say-obamacare-glitches-fixable

How about having your User Experience testing shot at by the general public, when your UAT instance was never allowed to see the light-of-day by end-users (public) prior to Go-Live? — http://bigstory.ap.org/article/questionable-design-blamed-health-website-woes

Of course, back a month earlier were some buried stories wherein the major software and service contractors were already expressing guarded caution for what would be a “rocky launch” based upon compressed delivery schedules, and mitigated test plans foreshortened to tighten the Go-Live date.  And even though there were plans for alternative sign-ups through call-in centers, in-person, and by-mail application, the one that got 100% of the public’s attention was: the website (http://www.healthcare.gov) — http://bigstory.ap.org/article/obamacare-contractors-project-confidence

So, how lucky do you feel not being a software consultant like QSSI, or CGI Federal (http://www.cgi.com/en/us-federal/services-solutions), now being brought in front of congressional committees to explain why a lack of appropriate IT project management by the end-user customer (the Office of Management and Budget) caused two otherwise operationally-compliant application systems (one a e-commerce website, and the other a commodity trading center/cafeteria application) to be unable to scale to demand when combined together for the first time, without adequate regression testing (plus a pushed Go-Live date, of course)?

How would you solve this project debacle – you’re in IT, and an Oracle expert aren’t you?

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