I was appointed to manage a study for a multinational corporation's "new" Payroll-Personal system. We were to start with domestic entities, and later to international locations.
I had no experience, so they first sent me to a seminar at IBM Hq. in NYC. I was chosen, because I was from the Finance user side. Other users, IT Dept. leads, were under me. We also retained a few "experts" from Arthur Andersen (a complete story in itself).
It was highly political, with each entity wanting to play a big role, as opposed to a top down approach. After a couple of years, we had largely failed.
System development to replace existing systems is really hard to do. We investigated off-the-shelf systems from leading companies of the era, like Peachtree. But each was found not sufficient for the specifics of our business. Did I say we failed, I failed.
A few years when I was gone, a friend was given a similar assignment for Financial systems. He failed, too.
I hated it, and wanted to be done with it. I can imagine doing it in a government environment is beyond comprehension, considering the infighting, responsibility avoidance, risk aversion, etc.
Obama and his supporting team of hyper-political flunkies have their hands full. They picked an inexperienced firm, but the system architecture is now set.
They will probably patch the turkey, tell us it is running fine, but it won't be fine.