Fail Fast


During my time spent in Product Development we had a goal with every new project – Fail Fast!

That might sound counter-intuitive to those outside of R&D or Product Development but think about it.  During the development phase, there should be sufficient testing performed and objective scrutiny to weed out design flaws early in the development process vs. later in production or when the public is using the product.

If you use that approach of ‘Fail Fast’ then you’ll ensure that only the most robust products make it to Market.  Every company in the US engaged in product or software development knows this.

It appears Kathleen Sebelius and the rest of Team Obama could take this same advice with regard to their Obamacare product!

“After two weeks of review, the HHS secretary concluded, “We didn’t have enough testing, specifically for high volumes, for a very complicated project.”

“The online insurance marketplace needed five years of construction and a year of testing, she said: “We had two years and almost no testing.”

Funny, I don’t remember hearing that we really needed 5 years to roll out these insurance marketplaces.

And even lap dog “Journolist” Ezra Klein isn’t buying this excuse and it appears some of the scales are falling from his eyes.

As was predicted, the Federal Government spent years developing a website that was unusable because the HHS didn’t have a leader who understood the simple rule of product development – Fail Fast.  Any software company in the private sector would’ve figured out these problems early and fixed them but that is not how our Federal Government operates.

But never fear, I’m sure they’ll get it right for the really important stuff like providing world class healthcare to the citizens of the United States.

Don’t count on it!  Remember, building a website is the easiest part of Obamacare and they screwed this up royally!

I’m reminded of Matthew 25:19-21.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.

The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other fix.  ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold.  See, I have gained five more’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’

This parable teaches a simple but extremely valuable lesson.  People who show that they can handle a little bit of responsibility will then be rewarded with more responsibility/riches.

If the HHS can’t be trusted to build a simple website in 2 years, what makes you think they’ll be successful at the more complicated pieces of Obamacare?

They won’t and we knew it all along.

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4 Responses to Fail Fast

  1. tannngl says:

    perhaps if Kathleen had used the bit of wisdom concerning capitalism in Jesus’ parable of the talents (or gold), she would have had a functioning website.

  2. livinrightinpgh says:

    This is what you get when you put inexperienced people in charge of a business. To make matters worse, they tested the system before it was unveiled to the public, and it crashed after a few hundred hits. So…we KNOW that they KNEW it was a dud, but STILL rolled it out. It’s either the most amazing display of INCOMPETENCE ever, or IS there something else at play here? IDK. What I DO know is that inevitably, the Republicans will be blamed.

    I’d really like to know more about why a NO BID contract was awarded to CGI in the first place, when they have a track record of FAILURE and problems with stuff they did for the Canadian Government. You mean to tell me that the folks in Silicon Valley couldn’t have done this? Heck, Google would have probably done it for FREE in honor of the Imperial Dictator!

    • cosmoscon says:

      More crony capitalism. Obamacare is turning into the Solyndra of website design.

      My hope is we are still seeing this failure in 6 months (about the time campaigns fire up for the mid term elections).

      • livinrightinpgh says:

        Well….have NO fear! Sebelius is going to “call in the experts” to fix the problem! Makes you wonder why she didn’t know who was the most expert to DO the site to begin with. 5 million lines of incorrect code. WOW….

        Personally, I wish the site was up and working PERFECTLY. Once folks SEE the increase in premiums and the HUGE deductibles they’re going to ask what all of the hype WAS around PPACA. Of course, MAYBE that’s WHY the site ISN’T working….

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