Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where is the trans-formative presidency?

It is one of the most common sights to observe in a Valley Company needing to get its act together - new incoming managers would promise to "kick out" outdated Waterfall model of Software Development and would promise to bring in the "agile SCRUM based Spiral Model of Software Development". That was the implicit expectation in Obama Presidency - at least among legions of his "techie supporters" when he raised millions upon millions campaign dollars from them.

"We would have done this for a fraction of the price."


There is no better person than Benioff to appraise and comment on this whole miserable show of Healthcare.gov. Salesforce.com is one of the world's most prominent and ultra-competitive websites pulling off all sorts of "complex workflows" what Healthcare.gov needed to pull off. So he is right on that Obama's Washington failed to take advantage of capabilities, skills and technologies of people like Marc and their Valley Organizations. (It is irrelevant how techie savvy Obama Campaign was....)

The scale of incompetence and sense of missed opportunity is hard to miss here. Commentators are right to point out that the whole reason of Obama Presidency - the government can be a good force to change people's lives  - is thoroughly and completely undermined by President Obama's failure to understand the 'gravity' of the situation. When whole of America is flocking to movies like "Gravity"; change in American People is palpable; it is Obama Administration which has failed to deliver on these hopes of people who have supported him to the hilt through thick and thin.

"Obamacare isn't a political abstraction any longer. Its success doesn't depend on spin or solidarity. What matters for the law -- and for the people who are depending on it -- is how well it actually works. So far, it's not working well at all. If and when that changes, our coverage of the health-care law will change, too."


Do we say then betrayal of Progressive Cause by Obama Presidency? It is hard to escape that conclusion when one of most ardent original ObamaCare supporters like Ezra laments this way. 

May be Obama Administration would be unable to use Agile Software Development process at such a late stage of the project. They may very well be stuck with Waterfall Model for this project. But if and when they complete that (else Obama Presidency with be tatters no doubt); what President Obama needs to do is bring America's Federal Procurement process into the 21st century. It is no brainer that tomorrow's Public Infrastructure will be more and more about Information Infrastructure in Digital and Cloud Computing World. The procurement and execution processes which are devised for Military Industry Complex Era and Public Works Administration of FDR Era are no good. This is all mostly "executive reform" arena where President Obama can make substantial improvements without much tangling with Congress. 

Way back in History pages, those emperors and rulers were eulogized who brought in substantive "administrative reforms". Here is an opportunity for Obama Administration to do similar to drag Federal bureaucratic behemoth to  contemporary times - where failures are acceptable, execution is agile and processes are rescued from the corrosive and detrimental influences of legislation and zero-sum politics. 

President Obama failed to grasp importance of such an administrative competence in first five years of his presidency. It was all about legislative agenda and fiscal grand bargains, unfortunately where he came out empty handed. (History does not care though how hard Obama Administration tried for those goals; results matter.) But if he is focused, he can still achieve some redemption for himself in the remaining three years. Otherwise, Healthcare.gov will prove to be his Katrina moment and along with his Presidency he will bring down the whole Progressive Edifice of "Government for People". Regardless of electoral fortunes of Tea Party, that will be the ultimate victory for Nihilists of this country and President Obama will be singularly responsible for that, he will be remembered as the fateful bookend to what FDR started - how to bring Government to help in people's lives. 

Tea Party wants to drive our capable and passionate public employees from Federal Government. They do want to bring chaos to render spectacular failures of government so that it can exploit political advantage. Job for the Progressive Leader is to 'see through' this game plan and understand the importance of getting ObamaCare right. So far President Obama is late and in the danger of failing miserably. With his legislative agenda in tatters due to obdurate GOP, American People wanting him to go 'completely fetal' when it comes to foreign involvements, his own Intelligence Apparatus destroying foundations of truly Open Global Internet (and there by singularly undermining America's unique advantage in computing); holding on to Administration Competence is the last straw for Obama Administration. He better hold that and deliver something to American People.

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