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Microsoft Exec To Run HealthCare.gov
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jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 12:48:21 PM
I don't like revolving doors, but...
I don't know anything about him, except for what's given in the article and I worry about the possibility that he'll try to use his new job to his current employer's advantage, but if he does his job well and puts together a system that even ACA opponents can be proud of, then he will deserve the country's thanks; and maybe he can succeed Steve Ballmer as MS-CEO.

 
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 10:49:33 AM
Re: DelBene is a good choice
Doug, I think you nailed the kind of skills that will matter at this point.  Appreciate your assessment.

One thing in DelBene's favor: He agreed to take the job for just six months.  That means he can focus on what needs to be truly fixed and properly engineered without getting trapped into more of the operational morass. He won't be able to change acquisition rules, or contracts.  But he will be able (hopefully) to put the necessary management disciplines and technology development practices in place to let HHS/CMS move forward.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 10:38:54 AM
Re: Surprised
Thanks for chiming in Whoopty.  But I think this was a case where what the administration needed was more project management professionals -- capable of building the equivalent of a city, not a building -- than simply taking on more tech professionals.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 10:28:30 AM
Re: Right guy for the job?
Office 365 is pretty much the epitome of a high-scale, consumer-facing Web site. Yes, businesses and large orgs are a big part of the user base, but so too are small businesses and individuals.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 9:53:19 AM
Re: DelBene is a good choice
I met and interviewed DelBene as well and found him to be smart and even-keeled. He's well-respected at Microsoft and did a good job managing the Office division and transitioning to the Office 365 cloud service. I bet he's glad to be taking over healthcare.gov now rather than three months ago. At least now we know generally what needs to be fixed.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 9:09:49 AM
Right guy for the job?
I'd think the ideal candidate would be someone who had led a consumer-focused Internet project team, with experience addressing the scale and usability issues that entails. Or maybe not: arguably the shortcomings of HealthCare.gov have been more at the level of project management and looks like he has those chops.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 9:06:19 AM
DelBene is a good choice
I've interviewed DelBene a handful of times and think he's a good choice to lead this effort. He's upbeat, unflappable, on-message, and smart. He led Microsoft's cloud move to Office 365 and handled other enterprise-grade initiatives with aplomb. This country needs affordable healthcare that works, so let's hope DelBene can lead the way on this project.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 8:37:13 AM
Surprised
I was surprised that the Obama administration didn't take on more tech professionals to handle it in the first place. It was a bit shortsighted to expect such a high profile system to not suffer problems this soon out the gate. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 8:34:09 AM
Leading Healthcare.gov
I can't say that's a job I'd be racing to take.  Now might be a better time to take the position than when the project started since we know what shape the site is in right now but I get the feeling there will still be a lot of bumps in the next six months.  I wish him the best of luck but I suspect he knows what he's getting into and has a turn around plan in mind.
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