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HealthCare.gov Shows Government IT Procurement Needs Reform
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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 5:12:54 PM
Reston, VA, Is "Work The System" Central
Every big tech vendor and integrator going has set up shop in the D.C. area to "work the system," as this article puts it. In fact, Reston, VA, is a mini Silicon Valley that thrives on govenment tech contracts. I don't see it as a problem that there is a procurement process, procurement professionals or even vendors that are familiar with all of that. But if the process and the decisions are separated from the requirements and the people who have to make the system work -- as this story suggests -- that's a problem. There has to be accountability for decisions. That seems to be what's lacking here.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 5:10:21 PM
The Golden Rule of IT Project Management
One of the best quotes I've read about what went wrong with healthcare.gov was from Elaine Kamarck, a former adviser to Al Gore who worked on the "reinventing government" project in the Clinton administration. Kamarck told Politico that the real lesson of the rollout, is that DHHS broke every rule for managing a big technological project: Specifically: 
  • Give give one person the power and responsibility to supervise the entire project;
  • Build and test the technology repeatedly, since everyone knows websites crash; and
  • Create an environment where people feel free to give the boss bad news.


How many IT projects have you worked on that broke one of those rules, recently?





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