Affordable Care Act (ACA) Web Site: Too Much Help Will Slow The Project

Bill Conerly | Forbes | October 21, 2013

What’s the problem with ObamaCare? Recent technical problems call that question to mind, but the answer is not what you may be thinking.

ObamaCare’s [Affordable Care Act] web site is getting help in what administration officials called a“tech surge.” The Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is bringing in “the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve” The youngsters in the administration probably don’t know that “the best and the brightest” is the label given to those who ran the Vietnam war. (See Wikipedia on the Best and the Brightest.) They may not even know how that war turned out. (I feel old just mentioning such a long past event.)

The tech surge flies in the face of one of the classic books on computer programming, The Mythical-Man Month by Fred Brooks. In what is now known as Brooks’ Law, the author wrote “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” Like all simplifications, this one may be overdone, but it has two key truths behind it. [...]