How To Fix

Clay Johnson | Department of Better Technology (DOBT) | October 21, 2013

Late last night, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services finally communicated with the public and let us know their plans on fixing with a “tech surge”. Their plan?

Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve

So, it’s a good step — admitting that something has gone wrong is a big deal, especially for a modern presidential administration in the 24-hour, hyper-partisan news cycle. But the solution of “bring in experts”? Yikes! With the total cost of speculated to be anywhere between $100 and $500 million dollars, I’d have hoped that plenty of “experts” have been in there already.

The problem here isn’t just the result of bad programming. It’s the result of bad systems and bad architecture from the get-go. When you try and build the world’s biggest shopping mall and the only place you can buy your support beams from is a balsa-wood mill, your building is going to collapse. The best thing that any outside experts can do in any reasonable amount of time is replace some drywall and paint. Otherwise, your experts are going to have to figure out where the balsa-wood is falling apart, and replace it with iron. That takes time.