VISTA Enterprise Network - Successful Implementation, World Class Support

Monday, August 3, 2009

Point 8: Declare Interdependence & Confederate

Dear Reader,

Once upon a time, Ted O'Neill and Marty Johnson set into a motion the VISTA software lifecycle, which resulted in continuously improving medical software so popular with the users that the VA and congress reluctantly agreed to set aside their multi-million dollar failed boondoggles and do the right thing. For seventeen years the VISTA lifecycle made VA the main hub of VISTA development worldwide. With VA providing such a reliable heartbeat for that lifecycle, everyone else could afford to remain comparatively disorganized so long as they stayed in a symbiotic relationship with VA and its lifecycle.

The future before us is very different. With VISTA spreading all over the world at an increasing pace and VA's mandate restricted to healthcare for veterans, VA will shift from the center of the worldwide VISTA lifecycle to become a peer. That will require a radically different form of relationship among the various VISTA-interested organizations, one in which the heart of the lifecycle does not exist within a single organization but across multiple, sometimes competing organizations. This form of relationship has a formal name. It is called a confederation. The future of the VISTA community is a worldwide confederation.

The present, caught between that past and this future, demands a time of radical but wise change. Now is the time for the transformation of our community. Now is when we must breach the barriers that separated us into autonomous feudal kingdoms, each with its own dialect of VISTA. Now we must declare our interdependence and forge the formal alliances that will pave the way for confederation, supporting our need to compete and innovate while still collaborating on the shared lifecycle and software upon which the health of our patients depends.

The world has begun to marvel at VISTA, to realize the amazing power it has to help doctors and nurses save lives. But we know they haven't seen anything yet. We know the real power is in the software lifecycle that created VISTA, a lifecycle we are about to unleash again to work its miracles for us. We know the world is in for a wonderful surprise.

Yours truly,

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