This is a guest oped from Scott, a businessman in Silicon Valley.
McAffee (of anti virus fame) discuss how he was approached to save healthcare.gov and give a overly terse and simplified answer on why it won’t work. (Mostly a poor design for the specs, but also very poorly executed).
From what I gather there was also no one to try to pair the project into something manageable. At all stages; political promises and deal making, legislation, comprehending the legislation, communicating expectation to partners, creating the regulatory environment, creating the bureaucracy, technical design, implementing the technology etc. uncertainty and variability were pushed to the next level, leaving those last on the process, (the programmers) an impossible task. (In Operations Management, this is known as the Whipsaw Effect.)
Smart companies who want to succeed, 1) make reasonable efforts to simplify projects/products/ processes etc., and 2) write very clear specs. An F-35 fighter is many times more complex than a website, but was possible because of clearer specs and proper dissemination of tasks. But the underlying assumption in Washington is that inefficiency can always be compensated for by money (a core tenet of Obamacare, which no effort to cut costs or waste) and there plenty more of that. Failure rarely leads to dismissal (did anyone get fired for this fiasco, or any other in the past 20 years?) Blame can be assigned by finger pointing and the media has a strong bias in helping the Democrats, though the failure may overwhelm even that.
One thing I have been saying for a while, but haven’t yet seen picked up yet anywhere, is that the real failure is that this is the first PUBLIC display of the failure of Progressivism, or as I like to call it Obamaism (the former plus an extra dose of cronyism, lack of shame/humility/honesty, as a partial definition). Few participated in Mortgage refinancing or Cash for Clunkers (and it was the Banks and auto dealers that saw the dysfunction), disappointingly few can name what Solyndra is (or the other dozen or so green failures). No, this is first public view of the dysfunction of the ideology which has been hidden by political promises sans criticality, money (printed borrowed and taxed), and a “behind the NSA-type wall” opposite of “the most open and candid administration in history.” The mistake is to believe that this is just one lone cockroach who wandered into the light. Should we ever have access to what is behind the walls, we will find billions more…