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HealthCare.gov Leaders Play IT Blame Game
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JimPG
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JimPG,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2013 | 10:24:31 AM
Agree that IT is generally the "scape goat" department
As a former senior officer of a health care company and an old-time tech User, I could not agree more with the opinion that IT is generally used as the scape goat department by incompetent Users who generally ill define their requirements and/or constantly change their requests. What I always found amazing was how often the IT Department was willing to fall on their own sword to protect what they considered their "customers" (i.e. other departments within the same company). As Mr. Hurley indicated as appropriate, I generally tried holding the User responsible. Oddly enough, I often got more push back from the IT department than the User's themselves since, I believe, in addition to possibly trying to protect their "customers", IT managers often wanted to take ownership (and ultimately credit) for the project itself. The main problem I had with IT was their general unwillingness to assign and identify specific resources behind a project. My position was always that I would prefer to have 5 to 10 people with names and faces than 500 "FTE's" (i.e. Full-Time Equivalents). Without a full court press, I was generally assured that hundreds or even thousands of hours were being spent on my projects but they were provided in a black-box environment with the general reasoning that IT management needed the flexibility to move resources around from project to project based on specific skill sets needed. That approach always drove me crazy and never seemed to produce results. Both sides of the project fence (i.e. IT and User) need names and faces from management to spec writers to program coders. This would seem to be even more essential when an IT project like healthcare.gov was being farmed out to 35 different organizations.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/12/2013 | 4:16:45 PM
Governance Startegy
Bill, regarding your questions on governance of the project, that was one complicated governance exercise, considering the 35+ subcontractors working on the project. Most private enterprise CIOs would not easily agree to using such as high number of subcontractors, for the governance reasons alone. Can you imagine Google approaching the project in that way? Yet that is a way of life for government IT. This will be a project management and governance case study for years to come.


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