You Are Now in Charge of The Vaccine Distribution Program

Some people thought I was a little harsh on Agile last week in my post Agile is Not Replacing Waterfall.  If you didn’t read it, I suggested that Agile was not meant for every project like some people think.  It is not even meant for most of them.  

So, this week, let’s look at one case where Agile is perfectly suited, in my opinion.

You are now in charge of the vaccine distribution program of your state or province.  What are you going to do?

You have:

  • an unknown timeline
  • a very fuzzy success definition
  • an undefined budget
  • an array of stakeholders
  • most likely confusion as to who the sponsor is
  • a huge client base very anxious about your progress
  • an ever-watchful press on you every day.

I am not sure we could find a more visible, critical and large-scale project/program than this to consider an Agile approach.  Or maybe you have a different idea?    

This week I want to do something very different in this space.  I am not the right person to layout your first 90 days.  Maybe you are.  Or maybe we all are and with our combined brains, we could figure out a solid, fair, logical, and Agile approach

Here is my challenge to all of you.

You are now in charge of the vaccine distribution program.  What does the first 90 days look like?  What are you going to do?  Who are you going to meet?  How are you going to lay this out for everyone?  Will you use Agile, straight Waterfall or a hybrid??

I look forward to any and every submission. 

RULES!  Yes, we have to have rules, or this will get unreadable – 300 words only.  Keep it to the executive summary level only.

I have created a Linkedin post for this.

Let’s use that to respond.  If you are not on Linkedin, leave a comment on this post.

Or submit using my email at


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2 thoughts on “You Are Now in Charge of The Vaccine Distribution Program”

  1. I believe the most logical and objective way to undertake this is to use a hybrid approach: determine priority levels for vaccine recipients while maintaining tight social bubbles until the population is vaccinated. In this very high-level summary, it’s assumed that vaccine quantity will be delivered to the province in waves (ie, cannot manufacture vaccine doses for all of province population at one time), will need to meet the numbers in each priority level to how much vaccine is available. Below is the (very general) priority list, each level will start to vaccinate people in the most populated areas of the province to the least populated. Some may overlap if quantities allow (Agile!):
    #1: all healthcare workers (includes hospital staff, first responders, caregivers/staff of nursing homes, lab technicians).
    #2: “essential service staff” for businesses (as per provincial guidelines to date)
    #3: teachers
    #4: gen pop that cannot work from home
    #5: rest of population, focusing on older recipients first (invitational per census data)
    – if the vaccine works on already diagnosed/sick individuals. If it does, this population will become priority #2.
    – If any level of government will mandate all residents be vaccinated
    Will need to involve the below decision makers.
    – Federal level Health Minister or their minions (how much vaccine and when, determine which labs can produce the vaccine)
    – Provincial leadership (communicating to public, tech infrastructure funds & resources)
    – Municipal leadership (bring the census numbers, communication to public, coordinate logistics within their division)
    To determine numbers, use census data. Inform Priority level 1 vaccine recipients first. Set up sign up forms online for essential businesses and the general public to “register” their business/household for the vaccine. This should provide each priority level with a good quantity estimate to feedback to Federal level to schedule delivery.

    1. Thanks Jennifer – well thought out in terms of priorites. I am very concerned about stakeholder expectations and changing deliverables. Communicating honestly and quickly will be imperative.

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