The Simplicity of Y2K: Deep Doo-Doo When .Gov is Ahead Of Industry? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Has anyone noticed that, around the world, including U.S., governments are reported as 85%, 90%, 95% and, of course, the delectable 99% complete with remediation while industry at large generally reports in at 50%, 60% or 70%?

Last I looked, government software organizations were/are quite a bit more inept than industry. Yet, mirabile dictu! With Y2K, they are well ahead!

Granting that the percentages themselves are self-reported and offered for a variety of comical reasons, the global pattern is ... just that. Behind the "self-reporting" is an observable pattern -- not only the wonderful completion rates of those top-notch government orgs worldwide but the TREMENDOUS percentage progress they have made in a matter of weeks or several months.

When Y2K turns out to be that BITR that our pollies predict, I expect dynamic recruiting of .gov programmers and, more, PROJECDT MANAGERS, by industry everywhere.

Or, gee, might it be that the government figures constitute a little of that deliberate misleading sometimes discussed on this forum?

-- BigDog (, October 12, 1999



Good point -- this defies common sense. But, as Paula Gordon will be happy to explain to you in detail, common sense is not a valid line of reasoning amongst the Y2K leaders in our happy land.


-- Ed Yourdon (, October 12, 1999.

BD, I "completed" and "finished" every calculus exam I ever took. I rechecked every answer. Unfortunately my responses were often erroneous.

The doctors I know who are contemporaries of mine are pretty smart folks. They completed every physical chemistry exam they ever took. Unfortunately, their responses were often erroneous as well.

Hey, I bet that NASA rocket scientist "completed" his trajectory calculations too!

-- Puddintame (, October 12, 1999.

Hey BigDog... great point! If'n the .gov is as ate-up as it appears to be, (i.e. a Chinese Fire Drill/Cluster F*ck), but still WAY ahead of Big Business, how jacked are the Big Businesses? As my (other) favorite dog is fond of saying

"Rut Roh Raggy!"

-- Billy Boy (, October 12, 1999.

Of course any lie is "justified" if in the interest of "national security." Remember, terrorism is the driving catchword, warranted and not. Too bad the "leaders" have completely forgotten and dismissed and dissed the American people.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 12, 1999.

Big Dog, it does seem to fly in the face of conventional wisdom.

Perhaps govt DID, this time, get the jump on the private sector, which surely employs some of the best IT professionals.

Thankfully (?) in some 80 days, the information systems (which do not listen to SPIN) will provide objective proof as to just who is telling the true remediation stor

-- G (, October 12, 1999.

Once again, the pessimists see what they want to see.

There are many potential reasons for this alleged discrepancy... not all of them "gloomy." First, there is no citation for the data in question. How about sources, Russ?

By the way, the financial services sector is mostly private... and we have self-reports (and data from regulatory agencies) that contend they are close to 100% Y2K ready. The utilities are a mix of public and private entities... and we hear the grid will stay up. Telecomms are private and Y2K ready. Where are these "unready" firms?

Provide some data to back up your assertion, Russ, and then let's see if your universe is large enough to contain an alternative to "we're screwed."

-- Ken Decker (, October 12, 1999.

Rut Roh Raggy indeed.

-- Regular in scooby doo boxershorts (fundamental_things_apply@s__time_goes_by.yjs?), October 12, 1999.

There is a metaphor floating around the net (attributed to a very astute and intelligent Y2K Guru whose name currently evades me) about how y2k is like a class exam. On his exams, the best people finished the earliest; the average students finished with a quarter hour to spare; the stragglers were the worst students.

Many (not all) exams I've taken were different, though. Por exemplo, we all are sweating bullets for two and a half hours, and none of us finish in time for the exam to end. We simply cannot write or think fast enough to get the answers down on paper. Then the professor says "okay class, time to wrap it up." He gives partial credit. The average grade in the class turns out to be a 55/100. These get B-minuses. The top scores are 79, 74, 71--genuine mental mutant outliers who can function at 600 Mhz. Afterwards we get a bit of a scolding at how we should have known the material better. We all feel like the stupid- ass, worthless morons we know we are...then wise up and not beat ourselves over this and enthusiastically crack the books to begin another cycle, hoping to do better next time (NOT!). Fact is, most of us knew the stuff pretty well but it was a poorly designed and impossible test. That's okay, though, because ability to thrive under pressure and "impossible" situations is a desirable trait.

I suspect that Y2K shouldn't be expected to behave like a regular class taking a regular exam--the kinds of people fixing it are more used to exams of the type I just described above. They are used to an all-out blowout work mode where perfection is impossible but you simply do the best you can.

How does this relate to the govt. vs. industry "performace" discrepancy? Govt. issues "standardized" tests. Muliple guess. I happen to be an extremely good "guesser" so my abilities are greatly exaggerated on these types of exams. I don't have to think on these, just react.

My point: industry "tests" of remediation are like in an upper level biochem class. Government "tests" its remediation efforts like with the California Achievement Test. One score is naturally going to be higher than the other. One is naturally more prone to be the result of guesswork, and less reflective of reality. Can you guess which one?

-- coprolith (, October 12, 1999.

Methinks I might have been seriously BSing on what I just wrote. Please disregard.

-- coprolith (, October 12, 1999.

LOL, coprolith. Nah, it's clearly admissible as evidence and we'll keep it, thank you very much.

-- lisa (, October 12, 1999.


Look at the project failures in entities such as the SSA, the FAA, the IRS, etc. where huge projects costing millions of dollars and lasting years were simply scrapped because they were, in the end, not viable. The government doesn't have a great track record for software implementation/management, etc. It's well covered in the press over the years at every level from local to state to federal.

It isn't pessimism, it's realism.


I laughed out loud when I read the subject line of your post. It says it all. Irony is good fodder for comedy.



-- Michael Taylor (, October 12, 1999.

The survey, sponsored by Cap Gemini America, Inc., a leading information technology and management consulting company, finds a majority of large corporations  56 percent -- now expect 100 percent of their critical systems to be compliant by year's end, up from 48 percent in August.

-- Linkmeister (, October 12, 1999.

Thanks, Linkmeister! Let's add that to the lower percentages offered by SMEs, many of whom are just FOF-bound based on decisions to do no remediation at all.

'Course Hoff says that there are no NON-mission critical systems anyway, since those are just "inactive". That's a relief.

I have felt better about that anyway ever since the .gov decided that they only needed to fix 6,000 or so (the "mission-critical" systems) out of 60,000 systems. We can thank algore, the inventor of the Internet, for that hands-on decision. Ever since he made government more efficient, we've been doing swell. And we'll be doing sweller still within a few months. "Black is white". "Peace is war". "I didn't have sex with that woman".

I can't understand why anyone would consider this post "pessimistic"?

-- BigDog (, October 12, 1999.

Maybe Bill Clinton has been feeding the guv programmers Scooby Snax...that is, if he hasn't eaten 'em all for himself.


-- Tim (, October 12, 1999.

Come'on link you can do better than that! Cap Gemini, you know they do Y2K remediation for a living, don't you, no bias there. Further how many were in that survey? If I recall correctly it was close to 120 companies. Wow, that many!!

Ken's right. The .gov must report on progress, private businesses don't have to tell you squat.

-- Maria (, October 12, 1999.

State-Run Programs Face Y2K Failures - Experts
Even as the federal government nears completion of its internal Y2K fixes, disturbing new reports indicate that locally administered federal programs such as Medicaid, Child Welfare and Unemployment Insurance face potential Y2K failures in several states, a panel of experts said at a congressional hearing today. "The information in the last (White House Office of Management and Budget) report seems to overstate the readiness of states," General Accounting Office (GAO) Y2K expert Joel Willemssen said today. Willemssen testified at a joint hearing of the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology and the Science Committee's Subcommittee on Technology. -

-- (, October 12, 1999.

Yeah, it does give one pause, doesn't it? And we can also look at the miracle of a country going from 30% to 90 or even 100% in a few weeks or a month!

What can we do? Have a good laugh, and keep preparing!

-- Mad Monk (, October 13, 1999.

The FAA comes to mind here. They went from being a big concern, to 100% done, tested, installed and verified, in a few months. And they are known for not having much success with earlier projects. Miracle?

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (, October 13, 1999.

Oh, come on, Maria..."the .govs must report on progress..."

And, they must tell the truth, too. Yeah, right.

Sometimes, you really crack me up.


-- Pinkrock (, October 13, 1999.

Pinrock so glad I give you a laugh. But please read BD's comment, "When Y2K turns out to be that BITR that our pollies predict, I expect dynamic recruiting of .gov programmers and, more, PROJECDT MANAGERS, by industry everywhere." Of course, that's probably tongue n cheek but he seems to believe that gov is better than industry.

You guys really need to read the words not just look at the pretty pictures.

-- Maria (, October 13, 1999.

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