Author Archive: bfwebster

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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Obamacare and the 90% solution

Obamacare and the 90% solution

| November 20, 2013 | 1 Reply

The first 90% of a software project takes 90% of the schedule. The remaining 10% takes the other 90% of the schedule. — The Metric Law of 90s We’ve had a lot of percentages thrown around about the Healthcare.gov system lately: 30-40% remains to be done, 60-70% is complete, as of December 1st it will […]

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Obamacare and the Three Heads [UPDATED]

Obamacare and the Three Heads [UPDATED]

| November 19, 2013 | Reply

In a large-scale, well-managed IT project, there are three key roles that need to be filled by three different people who are each talented, qualified, tough-nosed, and given commensurate authority. Actual titles may vary a bit, but the roles themselves are well-known: Project Manager. This person manages the personnel (and sub-organizations) on the entire project; […]

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Obamacare and the Potemkin Website

Obamacare and the Potemkin Website

| November 16, 2013 | 3 Replies

[minor edits and additions, as always] Back on October 25th, Jeffrey Zients “landed” at the White House and took charge of the ailing Healthcare.gov website. He famously declared at the time: “By the end of November, HealthCare.gov will work smoothly for the vast majority of users. . . . Let me be clear: HealthCare.gov is fixable.” […]

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Obamacare and the Unstopped Project

Obamacare and the Unstopped Project

| November 13, 2013 | 2 Replies

The most valuable IT consultant is someone who stands athwart a failing software project, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it. (with apologies to William F. Buckley) After a flurry of posts over several weeks on the unfolding Healthcare.gov […]

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Veterans Day – 2013

Veterans Day – 2013

| November 11, 2013 | Reply

Here is our annual Veterans Day post listing the vets in our respective families: ============= Bruce Webster: CPL Darren Green, USMC (active) — served twice in Afghanistan; married and still active. CPL Jon A. Webster, USMC (former) —  served in al Rutbah, Iraq; now going to school [son] Heather Harris, US Army National Guard (former) — […]

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Post at Ace of Spaces: what comes next for Healthcare.gov?

Post at Ace of Spaces: what comes next for Healthcare.gov?

| November 5, 2013 | Reply

I published a post over at Ace of Spades yesterday on what is likely to happen next with the Healthcare.gov development effort: So, what can you expect next? There are two basic courses that a project such as this takes at this point: oscillation or off-line. Oscillation is what happens when the developer continues to push […]

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Obamacare and the Unforgiving Gauntlet

Obamacare and the Unforgiving Gauntlet

| November 3, 2013 | 3 Replies

  “Running the gauntlet” refers to a ceremony of passage, trial, or even execution wherein a person is forced to walk or run between two lines of people who are usually armed with clubs, whips, or other weapons. The people in the lines are then free to strike at the person running up the middle. […]

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“Ender’s Game” (the movie): a brief review w/spoilers

“Ender’s Game” (the movie): a brief review w/spoilers

| November 1, 2013 | 1 Reply

I read the original “Ender’s Game” short story when it was published in Analog (August 1977). I was startled, because I knew the author, Orson Scott Card, slightly. He and I attended Brigham Young University at roughly the same time (he was a year ahead of me), I had met him a few times, and […]

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Obamacare and the Testing Gap

Obamacare and the Testing Gap

| October 31, 2013 | 4 Replies

Much has come out in the past few days over the late, minimal, and unsuccessful testing done on Healthcare.gov before it was put into production. From what I’ve read so far, it was pretty appalling and highly unprofessional. Here is a slightly edited version of what I wrote several years ago, as part of my […]

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Obamacare and the Three Errors

Obamacare and the Three Errors

| October 29, 2013 | 2 Replies

[made some minor edits and corrected a few typos] A friend of mine, a staunch Obamacare supporter, made a comment the other day, saying in effect, “Since you Republicans are complaining about the lousy website launch, you must have already conceded the argument on healthcare reform itself.” Well, no. The current mess we find ourselves […]

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