technology, brings down government IT projects, experts say -->
"There are a lot of projects like this that are designed by committee, and computers don't really like committees," said John Miri, a former executive with
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
"In an ideal world there would have been a lot more testing, but we didn't have the luxury of that," Sebelius said at the CommUnityCare health center. "We had a law that said it's go time on
Shortly after HealthCare.gov opened
The risk of failure could have been reduced by ramping up slowly rather than taking a "big bang" approach, Miri said.
"These types of things need to be broken down into smaller projects. They're biting off too much in one project, and then it becomes too unwieldy," Miri said.
The problems could have -- and should have -- been anticipated, said
"These projects almost never fail because of technology. They fail because of people and process," Kappelman said.
In government projects, there tends to be a lack of strong management who will own the project from beginning to end and be held accountable if it fails, Kappelman said. That is particularly true given the mix of short-term political appointees and the longtime civil servants who will be there after the current administration leaves office, he added.
Often, there is also a disconnect between those making political demands about deadlines and about the parameters of the projects and those who are responsible for making it work.
"In most government IT (information technology) projects, there is no way to say no to a requirement," Miri said.
Private-sector information technology projects also have a high rate of failure, but that rate is continuously improving, Kappelman said. And companies sometimes have the benefit of failing outside of prying eyes.
By 2012, the project was woefully behind schedule, and the state parted ways with
The State Auditor's Office recently examined 13 major information technology projects and found that nine were completed late while one was canceled after five years and
Many of the projects also came in way over budget because the initial cost projections were inaccurate, according to the auditor's report issued in March. Eight of the projects exceeded their budget by an average of 57 percent.
Contractors also have some incentive to submit unrealistically low bids to secure a job, only to drive up the final cost with change orders.
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