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Thursday, January 13, 2005

FBI Rejects Its New Case File Software

Washington Post - FBI Rejects Its New Case File Software

How does this happen? How does $170 million get spent before they realize it won't work? Just give me 1% of that and I'm pretty sure I could make it happen.


Philip Storry said...

Heck, it's easy to spend money like that!

It's sad but true that such projects are often completely let down by the pilot, in my experience. The project staff do their best, but without adequate feedback and testing the software will always be useless.

This sounds like a large bit of software (and possibly infrastructure) - do you believe that everyone asked to test it did a thorough job?

Recently, we rolled out a tool to transfer emails into a long-term storage system. It has some issues, all of which were raised on the pilot. The system was labelled "working as designed", because it turns out that there are good technical reasons why it did (or didn't) work in certain ways.

However, we still have people asking us about these issues. Some of whom were on the pilot. So they can't possibly have tested it.

My suggestion is simply this: Build in some logging, and turn it on for your pilot. If your logs are empty or sparse when the pilot ends, your pilot wasn't successful, and you should try again. If you have multiple unsuccessful pilots, you need management support...

1:53 AMlink  
Anonymous said...

I have some problems with the RSS feed



8:50 AMlink  
Anonymous said...

I heard this mentioned on NPR last night and I was completely amazed. This represents the utter incompetence of all involved, and it's even more insulting that it was our tax dollars that were wasted.

If you break it down, and assume $170/hr as a blended rate just to make the math easy ($250/hr for PMs and software architects, $100/hr for developers, etc), this amounts to 1 MILLION man-hours. That's 500 man-years!

Lou Schilling

Now, I'm sure this effort wasn't all consulting, there was probably quite a bit of cost involved in purchasing COTS software like Oracle DBMS licenses and such. But even if just half of it was services, that's still absolutely mind-boggling.

9:12 AMlink  
Damien said...

Somtimes I can't believe how much incompetence there is in this world. I'm glad I don't work for the government.

3:11 PMlink  
Anonymous said...

I do work for the government and I see nothing out of the ordinary here.

Now, on with nationalized healthcare!

-Ron D.

12:05 PMlink  

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