Lessons to be Learned from Healthcare .gov
Are we really going to revisit the Healthcare . gov fiasco? We are. Why? Because there are fundamental lessons to be learned from this mess, and lessons to be learned from all possible angles.
Lessons to be Learned from Healthcare .gov: Assuming Is Never A Good Thing
The tech blog, The Verge, quotes Vice President Joe Biden as stating to press: “we assumed that it was up and ready to run.” Biden was, of course, referring to the majorly failed Healthcare .gov site.
Let's break this down more.
The Vice President assumed that the site — which was set to attract thousands of hits – was ready to go. Yeah. That's a big mistake. One that you shouldn't make.
Lesson: even if you hire the best engineering or development team in the world, always make sure that things are ready to go – by checking on that site yourself.
Lessons to be Learned from Healthcare .gov: Running Through Things
If any of the White House's many staff members working on the healthcare project had actually taken the time to go through the sign up or information process (you know, actually used the site), they would have found a number of really quirky glitches.
Stuff like the prison glitch. Did you hear about that one?
Some people attempting to use the site came across a message asking how long they had been in prison – even if those people had never been incarcerated.
Lesson: always go through your demo site before you release that site to the public. Find glitches, report those glitches, and fix those glitches. It's that simple.
Lessons to be Learned from Healthcare .gov: Costs Rise
Make no mistake about it: the U.S. government can't afford to spend or lose any more dollars. Unfortunately, a problem like the healthcare. gov site issue cost the government tons and tons of dollars.
How many dollars? Around $150 million.
Lesson: fixing problems before you launch a site will cost you far less than fixing those problems after a site has been launched. It never pays to do things half-way.
Lessons to be Learned from Healthcare .gov: Additional Lessons To Be Learned
Deadlines: don't announce a deadline to the world (like the November 30th deadline that was originally set) if you can't stick to it. Or, let everyone know that you aren't going to make that deadline.
Buying Doesn't Help: hiring new people and buying more things isn't the way to go when it comes to fixing issues. Fix the problems that you have right now, work with what you have, and don't place blame anywhere specifically.
Blame doesn't matter. What matters is that a major mess up like the healthcare mistake gets fixed. That's the bottom line, and it can be applied to any business at any time or in any situation. In short: make sure it doesn't happen again.
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