The new national website for health insurance kicked off on a sour note. According to CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson, only six people were able to enroll in the service on its first day, despite government claims that there were 4.7 million unique visitors on the page. The second day saw 248 users sign up for health care using the resource. The news source explains that the federal government needs an average 39,000 consumers per day to subscribe to coverage via the site in order to meet the March goal of seven million enrollments by March 1.
There are a few reasons why the federal exchange website website had a tough launch, and none of them have to do with politics or the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the online platform likely struggled to get out of the gate because of some key project management failures.
The Huffington Post’s Kyle Dowling points out that some of the key factors around the website share similarities with risks project managers usually face during failed initiatives. For instance, the launch date was determined by a high-ranking official who likely lacked sufficient understanding into how long it takes to create a fully functional site. The deadline seemed almost arbitrary and the development had a very short time-frame to get everything up and running.
While the website can certainly be fixed, it will take some major tweaks to the project to ensure that it’s fully operable and devoid of glitches. The new resource should help Americans access affordable insurance once it’s been updated, but a certain group of citizens can already benefit from it. Specifically, project managers can learn a great deal from the launch and improve their strategies.
Ars Techina’s Sean Gallagher recently wrote that one major misstep with the health care website was that all of its features were required to go live on the same day. This means that the developers weren’t able to test various tools to make sure they were working properly on a case-by-case basis. Instead, they saw all of their software in action and had to respond to every single bug simultaneously.