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The Goverment Needs Product Managers

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Straight talk from Mickey Dickerson about the healthcare.gov meltdown and the creation of U.S. Digital Service.

I’m glad to see that someone is addressing the organizational issues that led to dozens of contractors pocketing millions of dollars while no one was in charge or accountable.

It’s amazes me that there was no one in charge of a major product launch like healthcare.gov. Just furthers my suspicion that the government has no repeatable product delivery capability. 

So what should be done? After the meltdown I heard a lot of  calls for having the government do more IT outsourcing but I think the answer is the exact opposite.

What the Goverment needs to do is hire real product managers.

More specifically, hire awesome, experienced PMs and put them in charge of the government’s core web products and services. 

A good PM would never let a situation like healthcare.gov happen. Yes we have a U.S. CTO, but if we want to have real product delivery in government we need a product management corps run by a Chief Product Officer.

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