Premium Essay

Fbi's Upgrade That Wasn't

In: Business and Management

Submitted By StudiesReference
Words 734
Pages 3
Introduction: FBI Virtual Case File project was to build a networked system for tracking criminal cases, designed to replace the bureau’s antiquated paper files. The VCF project was of a larger initiative called Trilogy. A project, started in 2001, which should have taken 3 years, abandoned in 2005 by FBI after spending $170 million with requirements still not met.
Discussion: The FBI’s attempt to move from a paper-based to an electronic case management system began in 2001 with the Virtual Case File (VCF), a major component of the Trilogy project. The VCF was supposed to automate the FBI's paper-based work environment, allow agents and intelligence analysts to share vital investigative information, connect the dots and replace the obsolete Automated Case Support (ACS) system because they lacked a central, shared database between applications. However, the outcome of the project was a product consisting of about 730,000 lines of code that didn’t even begin to approach the functionality laid out in the requirements.
FBI’s mission evolved over the time along with their technological needs and without complete set of defined requirements, FBI faced various obstacles and the project experienced major cost and schedule overruns and never achieved its objectives. The project demonstrated a systematic failure of software engineering practices.
a. Overly ambitious goals: Readjust to a complete overhaul of the system after 9/11 attacks, fully replacing the existing system and to be built from scratch. Keeping estimate of time and budget resources before setting the objectives can help with better project planning, such was not in the case with Larry Depew, project manager of VCF as he had no prior IT project management experience which made it impossible for him to give a time estimate required to complete the project. Make goals more attainable, look at what resources…...

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