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FCW : November 15, 2013
Editor'sNote 6 November 15, 2013 FCW.COM Thanks to HealthCare.gov, IT procurement, enterprise architecture and project management are the talk of the town. Granted, the conversations are uncomfortable for the agencies and contractors involved in building the site, but as the crisis coverage subsides, a real opportunity exists to use this attention to actually improve the system. I won t presume to prescribe those improvements, but these questions should be part of the conversation: 1. Who should be the integrator? The fact that no contractor was the lead for HealthCare. gov has been agged as a critical mistake. It s not clear the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services actively chose to play the role of pre- launch systems integrator, but this was the result in practice. Is that ever a good idea for complex IT systems? And if so, where is the line that agencies dare not cross? 2. Can agile help everywhere? Advocates of agile development argue that rapid iteration improves the odds of success and that opposition within agencies is largely cultural. But when a project s key parameters have been legislated --- or when politics make a pilot program impractical --- can agile make a measurable difference? 3. Are the best vendors bidding? Open-source proponents and experiments like RFP-EZ suggest that agencies can get more value by working with rms that have been scared off by FedBizOpps. When do federal procurement requirements demand experienced contractors, and when do they merely drive up the costs? 4. Do agencies have the right people? Do procurement of cers know how to write a statement of work --- and outcomes --- for complex systems? Are project managers talented enough to ensure that a lowest price technically acceptable contract truly stays technically acceptable? And can agencies develop straight-up IT talent to both build systems in house and steer projects that will be contracted out? 5. Can you trust enough to share? HealthCare.gov relied on real-time queries of multiple agency databases and put signups at the mercy of a slow response from any one of them. How can agencies embrace APIs and shared services while still taking risk management seriously? --- TROY K. SCHNEIDER firstname.lastname@example.org, @troyschneider After HealthCare.gov, 5 questions worth asking EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EXECUTIVE EDITOR Troy K. Schneider John Bicknell PRINT MANAGING EDITOR ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR Terri J. Huck Michael Hardy STAFF WRITERS Amber Corrin, Frank Konkel, Adam Mazmanian, Mark Rockwell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Richard E. Cohen, Alan Joch, Konstantin Kakaes, Eliza Krigman, John Moore, Colleen O'Hara, Katherine Reynolds Lewis CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Langkau ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Dragutin Cvijanovic SENIOR WEB DESIGNER Martin Peace EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Dana FitzGerald EDITORIAL FELLOW Reid Davenport PRESIDENT James Causey CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER Anne Armstrong CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER Wendy LaDuke CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Carmel McDonagh PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Neal Vitale SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Richard Vitale EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Michael J. Valenti VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Christopher M. Coates VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY& APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT Erik A. Lindgren VICE PRESIDENT, EVENT OPERATIONS David F. Myers CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Jef frey S. Klein HOW TO REACH THE STAFF A list of sta members can be found online at www.fcw.com. E-mail: Sta members can be reached by using the nam- ing convention of first initial followed by their last name @1105govinfo.com. Vienna O ce (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. -- 5:30 p.m. ET) (703) 876-5100; Fax (703) 876-5126 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500, Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Corporate O ce (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. -- 5:30 p.m. PT) (818) 814-5200; Fax (818) 734-1522 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311
October 30, 2013
November 30, 2013