October 31, 2013 6 Comments
I haven’t talked much about Obamacare. It’s a charlie fox that will mess up the economy for years to come. It was also passed by deception, and fraud. Which is about par for the course in Washington DC anymore. The days of honest civil servants let alone elected officials seem to be far behind us.
If we think about it though, the web site is only important as an indicator of the competence of the government. As such, I would not call it a good omen. It can presumably be fixed, although I have noted a story the other day that the British NHS figured out they weren’t going to make it work, Here’s part of the article
After blowing $17.6 billion on a massive IT project to track all of the transactions in its National Health Service, the UK government has terminated the project. Obama, though, still isn’t sure what’s going on with his Obamacare IT project. He thought he could just snap his fingers, give a speech or two and it would all happen. He says he’s decided to ask his HHS secretary Sebelius for an update, as though she has a clue.
These arrogant clownish politicians in Washington need to take London’s lead and stop throwing good money after bad on the Obamacare debacle and before people die as a result of the administration’s incompetence.
A plan to create the world’s largest single civilian computer system linking all parts of the National Health Service is to be abandoned by the Government after running up billions of pounds in bills. Ministers are expected to announce next month that they are scrapping a central part of the much-delayed and hugely controversial 10-year National Programme for IT.
Continue reading Cancelled. It’s not an entirely fair comparison though to my mind. The Brits wanted to track all healthcare transactions, not all healthcare insurance transactions, but when you tie it into IRS, HHS and who knows how many other databases, private and government, it may be fairly comparable. You notice the Brits bailed out after only $17.6 Billion dollars.
But in truth project management is a fairly simple thing, the other day a commenter over at Ace’s ran through the process, and it describes life as I know it better than I can.
Sebelius Baby–in the world of private enterprise, you’d be fired so fast that your skirt would fly up over your head as you were thrown out the door.
Yes, you want to blame the contractors. But you picked the contractors.
I spent a good part of my work life writing capital construction contracts in the petroleum refining industry. I worked on the owner side as in house counsel. My clients were in house project managers. Like Obamacare, many of these contracts had a four or five year time horizon from the time you hired the contractor; they did their engineering design work and testing, and new vessels and reactors had to be ordered, built and delivered–frequently from Japan or Korea.The contractors themselves frequently had multiple subcontractors that they had to coordinate and manage. Installation of the finished work frequently took place in a very short time window–10 days to 20 at the most during a refinery turnaround. So the work had to be ready to install on a very specific date; and if the contractor screwed up or didn’t deliver on time, great financial losses occurred.
So the rule was no fuckups. You selected your engineering contractor carefully. You interviewed the people who the contractor would have manage his work. You made them lay out a detailed time table and schedule for how they would complete the work; they also laid out an estimated cost to do the job or project budget; and you monitored the snot out of their project progress. If they couldn’t keep to the planned schedule–and couldn’t give you a contingency plan as to how they would get back on schedule, you fired them. I’ve been in several meetings where nonperforming contractors had their contracts cancelled, and got thrown off the job.
Now if you were the owners’ project management team–and you let a contractor get off schedule or over budget (these were time and materials contracts with a negotiated overhead and profit percentage) you’d better fix the situation–and get the contractor back on schedule and back on the previously agreed on budget. If you couldn’t do it, you just didn’t manage any more projects for the company; your career was blighted. And if you really screwed up in your oversight, well you left the company shortly afterwards.
It’s not hard—we had a lot of successful project managers. You just have to pay close attention. Over the course of a dozen years, I probably wrote six or seven billion dollars in project contracts. And at my project managers direction I terminated several of those contracts when the situation was appropriate. We got ourselves another boy to do the job on time, and hopefully on the original budget.
But you have to pay attention. And you didn’t, and as a result, in the real world, you would have been out on your ass in six month’s time.
So wake up and do your damned job–although I sincerely doubt that you’re capable of it. Ignorance can be fixed–but stupid and incompetent is forever.
Now if you were the owner’s project manager
Posted by: Comanche Voter at October 29, 2013 08:36 PM
That’s life; it’s hard and unforgiving of failure. Unless you work for the government, then you get a pass, and your project fails.
But the real damage of Obamacare isn’t the website, or really even the degradation of American’s health insurance, although that’s bad and going to get worse. The real damage is to the economy, in several ways.
First: the number of people being moved to part-time to avoid having to insure (at ridiculous levels) their health. As an example, say you own a McDonald’s and you have 60 full time employees. On average, if your lucky these employees make you about $12 an hour, and you pay them on average $8 an hour. I don’t know much about fast food but that’s an informed guess. In my field I won’t hire anybody unless I can bill double their gross pay rate, that is the rule of thumb, for breaking even. but fast food is quite competitive so I assume the ratio is lower there. From what I’ve seen the mandated plans for employers are going to cost probably a couple to three bucks an hour, while the fine is a couple of thousand a year per employee. What would I do? Cut back to 30 or less full time employees, it’s really the only solution because it’s the only way to save the business. But traditionally part-time employees aren’t as efficient as full timers so my costs will still go up, as will my accounting costs. Automation will help, so you can expect to see more automation being installed, which will cost more employees their jobs. Also, no matter how good they are, part time employees almost never get promoted, which is part of the reason they arre not as efficient, there’s no rational reason they should be, cause there no upward mobility in their job.
But that affects all employers really. I’m in a business where part-timers are of very limited use, and while I’m nowhere near that big. There is no way that I would break that barrier, unless I was able to go from say 40 employees to about 150-200, and I’m unlikely to have enough project managers to make that viable, even if I could get the contracts, which I couldn’t. And that’s likely true for all contractors of every kind, whether they did ditches or write software.
It doesn’t help that American business is fixated on the (at best) quarterly bottom line, anymore, everything seems to be ‘get it done fast, correct or not’ and work to the print no matter if it will work or not, but that’s a different problem, Just as serious but different.
We’ll no doubt be continuing this, when I’m a bit less depressed.
- So, Lying Is Okay? (usciken.wordpress.com)
- ObamaCare: The Liar-in-Chief Throws Kathleen Sebelius to the Wolves (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com)
- Sebelius: ObamaCare ‘Website Has Never Crashed’ (conservativebyte.com)
- Obamacare website: 6 biggest contractors (money.cnn.com)
- Obamacare site could mean legal fights (politico.com)
- Democrats Now Admit They Knew All Along That Millions Would Lose Their Existing Health Plans (govtslaves.info)
- Five Things We Learned from Today’s Obamacare Hearing (pjmedia.com)
- Lying Liar (humpdayreport.wordpress.com)