The meltdown of Victoria’s vaccination booking system was avoidable.

From THE AGE: The state government was unable to deploy a high-tech management system it bought three months ago to support mass inoculation.

The short-notice expansion of the vaccination schedule to include anyone in their 40s pushed the state’s capacity to take new bookings beyond breaking point.

Microsoft Australia’s chief executive, Steven Worrall, promised in February that its technology needed only to be “fine-tuned” to adapt to the Victorian rolloutAll

Senior government sources conceded that bedding down the platform had not been given priority owing to the shortage of vaccines and tepid demand before this week’s outbreak in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, which forced the state into its fourth lockdown.

So it is quite clear what went wrong.

  • Microsoft didn’t deliver on its promises
    • Bureaucrats didn’t get the platform up and running.

Apparently, there were frantic phone calls to get more people to man the phones.

Does anyone do scenario planning in DHS? Scenario planning is when you ask the “What-if” questions.

Like: What if everybody suddenly wants to be vaccinated and demand goes through the roof?

When that question is asked, someone will be able to provide an answer. it will include how many people be needed, what infrastructure will be required, what the supply chain requirements will be. It’s not rocket science, is just planning.

And it’s not hard.

Nearly 20 years ago, I built a model for the ANZ for a call centre. They were launching a new credit card and wanted to know how many staff they would need after a media blitz.

There were a couple of constraints. They knew that people would ring up during tea breaks and lunchtime. They also had to employ their call centre staff for a minimum of six hours.

It’s a very simple model. It could be applied to the vaccination call centre.

And I would be much cheaper than Microsoft.

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