Wednesday, May 25, 2005

FBI Says Past Failure Guides New Attempt to Modernize Computers

A news article by Bloomberg reports on the launching of a second try:

Of the $170 million the FBI spent on the project it abandoned in April, about $105 million was lost on services and equipment that can't be reused, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate appropriations subcommittee in February. Yesterday, he told the same subcommittee that the bureau would avoid repeating its mistakes in its next effort, dubbed "Sentinel."

The failed project, called "Virtual Case File," was vaguely defined at the start, changed on the fly after the Sept. 11 attacks, didn't have stable oversight by the FBI and suffered from misunderstandings between the bureau and Science Applications, according to statements by leaders of both organizations and reports by analysts...

Sim and other experts who studied the costly failure said the FBI neglected to define requirements at the project's inception, then failed to guard against what FBI Chief Information Officer Zal Azmi called "runaway scope."
Now, if they can just avoid the Second-System Effect...



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