Friday, August 12, 2011

SSA Bureaucrat

The Post had a laudatory article on a Social Security bureaucrat Thursday. It seems she figured out that not all diseases/disabilities are the same. By segregating  out and fast tracking those disabilities which are in some sense obvious (i.e., Lou Gehrig's disease--ALCS, etc.) she drastically improved the turnaround time for the claims.

This fits one of my mantras I developed over the years.  If you tried to design a software system which would handle all possible situations, you rapidly got yourself into the weeds, lost in a maze of conditions and with software which would be hard to test, hard to train on, and late to deliver.  The better strategy was trying to handle 80 percent of the cases with something simple and fast.  The big advantage was intangible: software developers felt lots better because they were accomplishing something to help the county offices, the users; the users felt better because they got something halfway timely which helped them.

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