Another Large Government IT Project Implodes

Despite the doom-and-gloom title to this post, I fully sympatize with what the FBI is trying to accomplish, and the very public pain that they will feel as a result of the failure of Virtual Case File 1.0.

What I find interesting is that the biggest technology company no one has ever heard of, SAIC, failed to deliver a product that met the client’s needs. They are noted for their cutting-edge development and technology, especially in skunkworks and black ops.

This project demonstrates that incredibly complex software projects can and will fail to deliver unless the needs of the users are carefully considered, and the project is not rushed for political purposes.

What is the goal of Virtual Case File? I hypothesize that it is to make the process of handling case documentation and correlation more effective and efficient, with the additional benefit of being able to link disparate bits of information into a more effective whole more quickly, saving lives, etc.

Ever line of code needs to be developed with this purpose in mind. Does this function allow a user to achieve the goals that have been defined for the entire project? If not, what do we need to do to improve this function?

It is very easy to lose sight of the corporate goal when working on atomic-level components of a larger project. Happens to me every day. That is why I sit back at the end of each day and consider how my efforts contributed to my strategic personal and professional goals. I have to do it, or else I get trapped by the minutiae.

I wish the FBI luck, as this project is a much-needed advance for law-enforcement.

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