The Profession of F-A-I-L

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

Remember the Obamacare rollout fiasco of 2014? That cost US taxpayers a cool $840 million (as reported in the July 30, 2014 edition of The Atlantic) and signaled the start of a grand new business model in public service software development projects where failure is the new success.

I've been witnessing this interesting trend in the public service information technology sector whereby failure has become the norm and is even touted as success for years now. The person hired to replace me (to my great relief) as CIO at the IT department for the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer has been succeeding through failure for more than a decade since being hired on there.


After being paid more than $100K/year to burn through more than $1M of taxpayer funds leading a doomed project to develop a fabulous new Business Process Management System (BPMS) to replace an aging multi-tiered, but fully functional, rich web application my development team had successfully deployed, enhanced, operated and supported in production for several years (as well as an ancient 4GL application the agency had been limping along with a full decade before I was hired and dreadfully feared trash canning), she then proceeded to ride that wave of obvious, abject failure to land a juicy new $143K/year position as director of IT with the City of Santa Fe.


When I heard about that rat like bit of ship jumping finesse, I was like WTF flabbergasted as much by her gall as I was by the City of Santa Fe's depraved stupidity in hiring her. So I've been watching for her next act of success through failure and just a couple of months ago it was finally reported in regional newspapers.


In her job with the City of Santa Fe she was soon promoted to deputy city manager in charge of innovation and handily wasted $8 million on an FSA/BPMS project to modernize city IT systems and services which also totally, predictably failed. Now she has nimbly jumped that sinking ship (after handing out juicy, fat, unauthorized raises to fellow pro-failure cronies) to go to work for the City of Albuquerque while Santa Fe city government's new leadership frantically attempts to salvage anything they can from the aftermath of her epically crappy project leadership work there.


It's a hell of a show and I'm looking forward to watching how the dummies at the City of Albuquerque allow her to waste millions in taxpayer funds as she continues to excel in the lucrative, if not so honorable, Profession of F-A-I-L.