– The Oregonian, by Charles Jennings, CEO of Swan Island Networks, Inc., February 22, 2014
…I decided to do a rare bit of housecleaning in my home office. As I was tossing out unwanted mail, I noticed the October, 2013, issue of one of the many high-tech trade magazines that periodically show up at my house, unsolicited. What caught my attention was a teaser on the cover about an article inside….
The project? Cover Oregon.
Here are a few choice quotes from the article:
Article subhead: “With the launch of Cover Oregon, state officials expect their commitment to design thinking to pay off.”
“Thanks to design thinking … the Oregon team feels a lot more confident of hitting the mark,” said Cover Oregon CIO Aaron Karjala…
As we now know, the result of all this balderdash was a high-tech train wreck.
But let’s be fair: Cover Oregon is hardly the first big government IT project to fail. The list includes the Affordable Healthcare website and various sustainable energy programs under President Obama; the SBInet border control project under President Bush ($1 billion spent, zero results); and countless others….
Our Response & Your Comments
“Cover Oregon is hardly the first big government IT project to fail. ”We wonder why?
First, There’s a nasty little secret about government. It’s that is sees its first job as (are you ready?)…creating more government. More government means job security, more people to hire who will produce more government and, best of all – more money, which will lead to more governmental functions and (you guessed it) more government.
When you or we need a new sofa, table saw or whatever, our kneejerk reaction is to go to stores, identify the best product for the lowest price and buy it. We don’t start building the sofa or saw ourselves.
Not so with government. Because they know that if they do it themselves they’ll need to hire people, managers to manage them, assistants to serve them and lawyers to defend them. Who will hire more people, etc.
Does it cost more? Sure, but they have an infinite supply – your money. Does it result in “IT train wrecks?” Yeah – but you’ll pay for that, too.
So remember “The Iron Rule of Government:” More government always means even more government – at your expense.”