If you check out one thing from this week
... Clay Shirky had a typically erudite piece examining the gulf between planning and reality
that led to the abject failure of Healthcare.gov, which is well worth the read. The key lesson is (again) about the perils of cultures that build up risk through rigid waterfall approaches, a failure to adopt test and learn approaches with technology, and that make it difficult to pass bade news back up the line:
"An effective test is an exercise in humility; itâ€™s only useful in a culture where desirability is not confused with likelihood. For a test to change things, everyone has to understand that their opinion, and their bossâ€™s opinion, matters less than what actually works and what doesnâ€™t".
David McCandless had a quite remarkable visualisation
comparing the (reported) 500 million lines of code that went into the Healthcare.gov website to such things as the Large Hadron Collider, old and current operating systems, and the total DNA basepairs in a Mouse genome.
An interesting counterpoint to this came in the form of the transparency exhibited by the Govt Digital Service in publishing their guiding principles
for a technology transformation programme they have been commissioned to run to showcase a different way of delivering technology to the civil service.