HealthCare.gov: Lessons From Continuous Software Delivery - InformationWeek

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HealthCare.gov: Lessons From Continuous Software Delivery
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4johnny
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4johnny,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2014 | 9:39:31 PM
HealthCare.gov initiative was not "Agile"
I would challenge anyone to present evidence that the HealthCare.gov initiative was operating in even a basic Agile manner.  When you leave the core testing to the last 2-3 weeks before launch (I believe), you are not following even basic Agile tenets.

Agile itself emphasizes working software.  If nothing else, just read the Agile Manifesto, taking care not to overlook its Twelve Principles.  Here are three relevant ones:
  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.

Notwithstanding, being Agile is not easy, and the Manifesto does not implement itself.  I definitely agree that a Continuous Delivery (CD) approach (i.e., based on automation) is the best practical way of achieving agility, and would have helped mitigate a lot of the risk.  IMO, CD provides fundamental methodology and tools for the future of software engineering.  Because software is eating the world (per Marc Andreessen), those who practice CD will out-compete those who don't.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
10/14/2014 | 1:23:04 PM
Too many cooks spoil the broth
.... especially when the meal is assembled at the dining room table, and not in the kitchen where it should have been.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
10/13/2014 | 4:22:41 PM
A DevOps approach would have been doomed
Healthcare.gov needed agile development, continuous delivery and continuous integration, operating in a more of a DevOps approach. Easy to say this. But with so many parties involved, just about impossible to do.


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