Steer Clear of Entrenched Success

Who says that the Federal government is not listening and adapting to changing times. With a medical scheduling system $140M+ in the hole with nothing to show for it, the Veteran Affairs Administration to advantage of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act and created a 21st Century Medical Scheduling Challenge. 40 teams competed including Google and HP. Will Smith’s MedRed one in partnership with British Telecom.

How they did it was by bringing the rapid prototyping methodology to the government. And by having a driven focus which a small company with a unified team can bring to bear.

To stay innovative with the product, they’ve turned to the community, donating the software to the VA Open Source Electronic Health Alliance.

Why do I like this story so much? Because it highlights a number of common attributes to current company innovation success:
>> Have the drive of a small company
>> Build light and fast
>> Iterate often
>> Collaborate outside your “ownership” to keep it fresh

From what I can see, the Reauthorization Act died in session in 2014 when seeking another tranche of funding. How much creative solutions and monetary savings has the government lost because of this? If you know, write in and tell us more.

by Limor Schafman

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