• (nodebb)

    So TRWTF is the RFP/RFQ bidding process that failed to specify what the lab needed the replacement software to do, right?

  • Rob (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    Either whoever signed off on the purchase were clueless, or (and this would be much more terrifying) every other available product was even worse.

  • Hanzito (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    The requirements probably included: "must be scriptable", but the lowest bidder usually has a dim view of requirements. When asked, the manager who oversaw the bidding process said: "I no longer work there. It's not my problem."

  • dusoft (unregistered)

    Typo: "if you wanted tho patient's age"

  • LZ79LRU (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    You have clearly newer worked with a government bidding system.

    Long story short, at least where I am from, you are obliged by law to accept the lowest bid that meets the specification no matter how "well technically" that meeting is.

    So your choices are either to accept the fact you will be using bottom tier crap, pray to what ever deity you think exists and hope for the best or unofficially figure out in advance what product you want and massage the requirements so that only that product qualifies. Good managers will try to do the later.

    But it is not always possible or easy even if you have the desire and know what you want because doing it opens you up to accusations of corruption if you make it too obvious. Mostly because the whole system is intended to prevent corruption in the first place so people will be watching.

    It's really just a race to the bottom born out of the paranoid desire to make everything transparent and fight corruption no matter the cost.

  • (nodebb)

    GUIs are indeed frequently a mistake, and I say that as a UX designer. You need the right tool for the job.

  • (nodebb)

    This is also a mistake, either on the author's part or the hospital system's:

    Since Initech was sunsetting its products, the hospital system put out an RFQ for a replacements, and after a multi-year bidding process, offered the contract for replacing the software to Initech.

    Did the author replace two different company names with the same pseudonym? Or did the hospital system put out an RFQ and undergo a multi-year bidding process just to end up with the same vendor they started with, despite the fact that that vendor was sunsetting its products? Or was it only iniLab that was being sunsetted? I'm legitimately confused here.

  • LZ79LRU (unregistered) in reply to jkshapiro

    I imagine that it is the same vendor but different products.

    Think of it this way. Microsoft is sunsetting Windows 10 so you need to switch to a new OS. And after a long and tedious process you decide to go to Windows 11.

  • (nodebb) in reply to jkshapiro

    Knowing TDWTF it's probably a typo and the second should have been Initrode (since they use Initech/Initrode as generic company names) to indicate it was a different company.

    But then again, this being TDWTF it COULD have been the same vendor with a different product...

    Addendum 2024-02-05 08:28: In fact, I think it's a bit more hilarious and WTF-y for it to be the same vendor with a different product.

  • (author) in reply to DocMonster

    The fact that the sunsetting vendor and the replacement vendor are the same company is indeed part of the WTF.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Remy Porter

    Kek. That makes it even funnier.

  • TS (unregistered) in reply to LZ79LRU

    "Long story short, at least where I am from, you are obliged by law to accept the lowest bid that meets the specification no matter how "well technically" that meeting is."

    That is certainly not the case in the UK, European Commission, or any well-run procurement system. Rather, the "most economically advantageous tender" will be selected based on a points system. Points are awarded based on price, certainly, but also technical merit, value-add, innovation, timescales, and other factors. The points available for each criterion are stated in the invitation to tender. There may also be framework agreements and suchlike.

  • (nodebb)

    So, almost as horrible as "CodeBeamer" . If your company switches your requirements/parts_tracking/labor_scheduling software to CodeBeamer, run away. Fast.

  • (nodebb) in reply to TS

    You're speaking about civilised world, and this is USA instead.

  • r (unregistered)

    Sounds like ALL new software at the uni where I work. Apparently the mantra is "functionality = BAD". Typical is the 27 mouse-clicks to access any function at all.

  • Svend Dellepude (unregistered)

    This sounds like MUMPS 3.4.6

  • valued internet subscriber (unregistered) in reply to TS

    Agreed - I work as a federal contractor in acquisitions/procurement and lowest price technically acceptable is not usually the defining criteria for who wins a contract. The government will state their evaluation criteria in advance as part of the solicitation, of which price is only one facet being evaluated.

  • Steve (unregistered) in reply to LZ79LRU

    I remember back in the day that vendors would happily provide potential clients with requirements that only their product would meet.

  • LZ79LRU (unregistered) in reply to TS

    That is how it should work in theory. But in practice I have seen it end up just as I described. That's because all those other factors are hard to judge, let alone quantify and prove where as price ain't. So picking a more expensive option on grounds of quality can leave you open to complaints and even lawsuits on the tender as the failed vendor can legitimately claim to have met all the requirements. And nobody want's to deal with that. Doubly so if you have a government intent on cutting spending breathing down your neck.

  • (nodebb)

    I was CTO of a small ISV that mostly did USA state-, regional-, and local government projects.

    "Lowest bidder meeting the specs" was THE criteria for virtually every procurement; using any other considerations was illegal. And yes, there was some specs gamesmanship to aim the specs towards a favored product. Sometimes ours, sometimes Those Other Guys.

    The real trouble started when our CEO said to say "Yes, our product does that" to every line item in a spec that was supposed to be a COTS procurement when 100% of "that" was going to be greenfield dev for us. We did not win that bid, thank goodness, but that was the beginning of the end of my relationship with that company.

    It doesn't matter how corruption-free you make the process, once lying liars and their lying lies are involved it's game over.

  • Eberhard Lisse (unregistered)

    If it was the same vendor I am sure it was a GUI frontend to the old software :-)-O

  • RangerBob (unregistered) in reply to TS
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