IT QA and testing managers have gotten a major shot of respect thanks to Healthcare.gov’s recent debut debacle. Too often QA departments are the stepchildren of IT, where they are given minimal funding and are the first to be cut when times get hard. Now they can point to a very public example of what happens when IT neglects proper testing.
Today’s WSJ reported that Congressional hearings uncovered that “No one in the government made sure the many complex parts of the federal health-insurance website worked together properly, and testing of the complete site didn’t take place until two weeks before its Oct. 1 launch”.
Healthcare.gov, the centerpiece of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, is the responsibility of the federal agency Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS. They hired a myriad of software development firms to design and code the application, but apparently didn’t think to integrate and test the modules. One of the contractors gave a typical vendor response to the very public failure: “Our portion of the application worked as designed. The end-to-end testing was the responsibility of CMS.”
All the recent efforts and expenditures of the Republicans to discredit the new health law paled in comparison to this self-inflicted injury.
QA managers can forgo all their business cases, begging, and pleading at their next funding request, and instead mention one simple url – http://healthcare.gov.