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What Went Wrong with Obamacare's Website, and How Can It Be Fixed?


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Deep Dive with Dr. Geoffrey Malafsky, Dr. Robin Bloor and InsideAnalysis
Live webcast on Oct. 28, 2013

The high-profile federal Web site,, suffered an epic failure to launch on Oct. 1, but what, exactly, went wrong? Tune into this inaugural episode of Deep Dive to find out! We'll interview veteran federal contractor and Data Scientist, Dr. Geoffrey Malafsky of Phasic Systems, Inc., and Dr. Robin Bloor, Data Scientist and Co-Founder of, as they discuss the brass tacks of why Obamacare's flagship sank in the harbor, and what can be done about it.

Malafsky and Bloor will provide granular details surrounding's Web architecture, as well as the development atmosphere, critical strategic choices taken, the constraints of federal Information Technology acquisition practices, and the value of realistic data resolution practices and methodologies. We'll take questions live from our Web audience, and from Twitter participants who use the hash tag of #FixOcr.

The presenters will then discuss various ways to get the site up and running. In particular, Malafsky will outline his PSI-KORS Methodology, which was used to save a $300 million data resolution project with the United States Navy. He'll explain how the process effectively circumvents office politics while creating a simple meta-model that resolves even the most complex and heterogeneous environments in days or weeks instead of months and years. The methodology is now freely available to the public.

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What Went Wrong with Obamacare's Website, and How Can It Be Fixed?

  1. 1. Grab some coffee and enjoy the pre-show banter before the top of the hour!
  2. 2. Deep   Dive  
  3. 3. GUESTS   Host:  Eric  Kavanagh  |  CEO,  The  Bloor  Group     Dr.  Geoffrey  Malafsky  |  CEO,  Phasic  Systems,  Inc.     Dr.  Robin  Bloor  |  Chief  Analyst,  The  Bloor  Group  
  4. 4. COMPUTERS   DON’T     LIE    
  5. 5. Logs   remember   EVERYTHING  
  8. 8. The  OperaBonal   Intelligence   Marketplace  at  
  9. 9. HealthCare.Gov  Issues   Community  Awareness  and   SuggesPons  to  Aid  Recovery  Effort   (Be  Nice  To  Taxpayers)  
  10. 10. What  We  Know   •  Site  is  experiencing  serious  problems  with   handling  capacity   •  Site  is  experiencing  serious  problems  with   data  aggregaPon  and  accuracy   •  Program  has  had  a  lot  of  Pme  to  design,  build,   and  implement   •  Program  has  spent  and  is  conPnuing  to  spend   a  vary  large  amount  of  money  
  11. 11. Lessons  Learned  From  Others   •  Very  large  capital  investment  required  for   backend  and  network   •  Intricate  interacPons  among  many  interface   points  and  soXware  components  is  nearly   impossible  to  forward  engineer  so  must  be   conPnuously  tested  and  monitored   •  Human  decision  making  is  the  most  vulnerable   and  error  prone  part  of  the  architecture  
  12. 12. This  is  the  simple  picture  created  for   Congress  so  real  architecture  is  many   Pmes  more  complicated.  Note  all  the   interacPon  points  =  points  of   vulnerability  per  transacPon.  Any   one  blockage  will  stymie  transacPon.     QuesPons:   1)  Why  this  architecture?     -­‐  AuthoritaPve  sources?   -­‐  Partnerships?   -­‐  Cost  reducPon?   -­‐  Management?   2)  Other  strategies:                  a)  simple  web  broker  feed  to   other  systems  who  handle  sign  up  as   part  of  their  exisPng  web  based   client  interacPons                  b)  rent  backend                  c)  …..  
  13. 13. Govt  Never  Learns   •  10  secs  of  Govt  debacles  (10B  in  1  breath)   –  FBI  Trilogy     –  NGA  GeoScout   –  DOD  DIMHRS   –  FAA   •  Devil  in  details   –  Business  logic  CANNOT  be  arPculated  with  linear   requirements  process   –  Technical  issues  WILL  conPnuously  arise  regardless  of   GANTT  project  plan  
  14. 14. A  Few  of  Many  Gotchas   •  InteracPng  Pme  outs.  Every  soXware   component  in  the  chain  has  1  or  more   Pmeouts   –  Any  Pmeout  expiraPon  kills  transacPon  to  user   –  Some  are  easy:  web  server,  app  server   –  Some  are  opaque:  DB  concurrency,  trigger   –  Some  are  unreliable:  authenPcaPon  
  15. 15. How  to  Solve  1   •  Break  the  quagmire  of  misinformed  decision   making,  naïve  technical  approaches,   irraPonally  exuberant  architectures   •  Money  does  not  grow  on  trees  it  comes  out  of   your  wallet  (i.e.    1000  teenagers  per  adult   instead  of  1  or  2)  
  16. 16. PSI-­‐KORS:  Sense  Making  from  People  to   ExecuPon  Technical  Architecture  
  17. 17. THANK  YOU!   All  of  our  Webcasts  are  archived   at   Image  credits:   Image  credit:  <a  href='hep://­‐view-­‐of-­‐big-­‐iceberg-­‐with-­‐beauPful-­‐polar-­‐sea-­‐on-­‐background-­‐-­‐illustraPon.html'>niyazz  /  123RF   Stock  Photo</a>   Image  credit:  <a  href='hep://­‐computer-­‐technician-­‐is-­‐trying-­‐to-­‐repair-­‐a-­‐computer-­‐with-­‐a-­‐drill.html'>stokkete  /  123RF  Stock  Photo</a>   Image  credit:  <a  href='hep://­‐and-­‐angry-­‐business-­‐woman-­‐destroys-­‐her-­‐laptop-­‐with-­‐high-­‐heels.html'>vladimirfloyd  /  123RF  Stock   Photo</a>   Image  credit:  <a  href='hep://­‐of-­‐hand-­‐with-­‐cup-­‐of-­‐coffee-­‐tea.html'>witchera  /  123RF  Stock  Photo</a>