News around how the Florida unemployment system has failed to keep up with the volume of new applicants. After reviewing this quality failure in numerous publications; here are some areas that should be focused on for future large projects.

Keep quality assurance early in projects to avoid additional costs.
Setup quality reviews in each phase of the project.
Combine all quality reviews into an overall release quality check.

Lessons Learned

  • Cost
    • This is an extreme amount of money spent to build out an unemployment system which had MULTIPLE contract revisions.  Roughly 78 million dollars to be exact! The question comes into play is if they rushed delivery and short-changed quality assurance phase. Given the multiple contract revisions, they likely spent all the effort on development vs testing.  My hope is this investigation will find the answer to that question.
  • Design
    • Some feel that the design of this new system was too complex and the integrations were designed to delay the payment of unemployment benefits.  To me this could be an issue with not having proper end user feedback on the system during design.  If the project had UX designer, this would be who you would want to interview.
  • Performance
    • All in all, the end result is how does this system perform.  Sure, the proper functionality testing was done and probably to the design but I highly doubt the volume of transactions was not tested.  Now this could be a limitation on the technology at the time, but in modern day era of the cloud, this should not be an issue anymore.  I recently heard they added 70 some servers to address but again, there are many configurations that need to be updated to resolve the performance.  There were likely coding related performance issues and no number of servers will completely solve that problem if the code is bad.

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