Management improvements fixed HealthCare.gov

The failed launch of HealthCare.gov created headaches for insures and patients alike. But when President Barack Obama recruited "the best and brightest" tech experts things started to turn around for the beleaguered enrollment website.

An article in Time magazine credited much of that turnaround to changes in work culture--including these three management policies that were posted on the wall outside the operations center, according to Quartz:

1. "The war room and the meetings are for solving problems. There are plenty of other venues where people devote their creative energies to shifting blame."       

2. "The ones who should be doing the talking are the people who know the most about an issue, not the ones with the highest rank. If anyone finds themselves sitting passively while managers and executives talk over them with less accurate information, we have gone off the rails, and I would like to know about it."

3. "We need to stay focused on the most urgent issues, like things that will hurt us in the next 24-48 hours."

Even though many of the engineers on the rescue team had helped create the problematic HealthCare.gov, without fragmented contractor management, the various engineers could work together to get the site running smoothly, Quartz noted.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had blamed contractors for the rocky exchange launch. And two of the contractors played the HealthCare.gov blame game, with CGI Federal blaming another contractor's software for initial problems and Quality Software Services (QSSI) citing unexpected consumer demand, as FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To overcome contractor disputes, Jeff Zients, a former corporate executive and one of Obama's economic advisers, was tapped to lead the "tech surge" team focused on fixing the flawed HealthCare.gov website. He was later replaced by former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene, who will stay on the job through at least the first half of 2014.

With new leaders and better management, the Obama Administration in early December said the federal enrollment website was working for most users and ready to a traffic blitz.

To learn more:
- here's the Quartz article

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