A pretty startling discussion occurred yesterday between NC Republican Congressman Mark Meadows and some of the IT wizards charged with getting Healthcare.gov up and running.
Rep. Meadows questioned the White House chief technology officer Todd Park and Henry Chao, the chief digital architect, about some pretty basic concepts.
Like, how do they define "success?" What are the metrics to be used? How can Americans judge the progress o December 1, when the website is supposed to be "fixed."
Chao also said that during about two dozen meetings with the White House officials about the website, there was never any discussion about whether the October 1 launch date might be problematic.
Chao said the meetings were highly-specific to individual tasks, so there was never any thought paid to whether the site could be up and running by the deadline.
I'm no IT or management wizard, but this seems pretty amazing to me. How could people working on such a massive project that includes all sorts of benchmarks, deliverables, and deadlines not know whether the thing was going to work upon launch?
Are we to assume that every single area Chao and all his colleagues in all of those meetings were responsible for worked properly and launched on-time? That everything THEY were working on was fine, and they had no clue how the entire project would work on Day One?
Watch the video:
And the website probably won't be working by the NEW deadline of December 1, either.