Even with HealthCare.gov on its way to functionality, the fiasco will go down in history as one of the greatest examples of how not to run an IT project. Loren Thompson of Forbes.com weighs in with his reasons why the website failed the way it did.
At the top of the list is unrealistic requirements. The website was trying to do too many things at once, from establishing an online identity to determining eligibility for government subsidies. A process that used to take days with an insurance agent was crammed into a process of a few hours. This doesn’t include the complexity of the website as a whole, which contained over 1,000 pages, with the average user clicking through 75 screens to finally obtain insurance.
In addition, the project suffered from inadequate testing and an aggressive schedule. Efficiency should never be overlooked for a “go live” date. Loose metrics and fragmented authority were also red flags that were ultimately overlooked. There are many lessons we can learn from HealthCare.gov, the most important being how to keep your IT project from becoming the next textbook catastrophe.