The FBI Virtual Case File Case Study





The FBI Virtual Case File Case Study

The Virtual Case File was designed in the year 2000. This software system was developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in its case management. However, in 2005 the FBI abandoned the Virtual Case File System. The aforementioned act drew a lot of criticism from the general public since it had wasted a lot of the tax payers’ money (Kymmell, 241). The FBI’s technological setup and its archaic network system provided impetus for the implementation of the case management software system. Through the proposed FBI’s Information Technology Upgrade Project; the American Congress allotted approximately $340 million to the project. Soon after this the aforementioned project was separated into three folds. Additionally, the case management system software encompassed a case handling regime, an evidence controlling regime and finally a records management setup (Gabrys et al, 46). Due to the sense of consolidation in the FBI department brought about by the Virtual Case File, there was a general perception that the department would be able to execute its tasks more professionally.

The successful description of a software-intensive system requires the adoption of models which aids one to envisage the probable effects of the system. According to Webster’s definition, a model is coined as a pattern of something to be designed or an analogy employed to assist envisage a task. It is important to note that analysis falls within the realms of conception. The models may be employed acted upon jointly with the system or separately as a factor which aids in developing the system. The sources of the models vary since they can sprout from imposed laws, conventions or even from long term experience (Kuhn et al, 304) .

Any form of inconsistency among the models results in a model clash.

In the Virtual Case File system there was a clash between the waterfall model and the product model.

The waterfall model calls for the progressive determination of the adopted system requirements such as its codes and design.

On the other hand product model demands the visualization of operational concepts together with their interrelationships.

The waterfall model has a number of assumptions that are to be considered for its successful implementation.

The first assumption is that the partakers in the project determine all necessities prior to implementation.

Secondly, the determined requirements must not have costly repercussions.

The partakers in the project must have sufficient knowledge about the architecture to be implemented so as to achieve the determined requirements.

The stakeholders’ expectation must be realized through the actual implementation of the requirements.

The project’s generic nature will not undergo mammoth transformation during its development.

Finally, the deadlines set for the project must permit ample time for sequential progress.

If any of the aforementioned assumptions proves to be false then the project which adopts this model will grind to a halt.

The Virtual Case File system second, third and fourth assumption of the waterfall model contradicted with the underpinning principle of property model.

With regard to the second assumption under the waterfall model the parties in the project determined requirements which had high risk consequences.

The SAIC devised a new management system which would phase out the ACS. This was considered to be a high-risk maneuver since in the event of VCF failing to work there would be no contingency plan.

The other assumption which made the two models clash is the participants’ insufficient understanding of the right architecture for the successful implementation of the requirements.

Majority organizations rely on enterprise architecture acts as a blueprint which guides vital determination of requirements.

The enterprise architecture gives a description and organizes the IT structure and proceeds to outline the objectives of the project organization.

However, the problem with the VCF project was that the FBI did not have the enterprise architecture.

Results from numerous reports such as the one conducted by the National Research Council reveal that the FBI department without the blueprint could not make coherent determinations on the project’s requirements.

The final assumption which contributed to the model clash was that the determined requirement was not equivalent to the stakeholder’s expectations.

The FBI working with the SAICapproached the Congress for more funds to quicken the process of developing the system. The congress accepted the request and in exchange to that act they expected the system to be ready in December 2003 instead of June 2004.

However, the FBI had not mapped out a strategic course for the achievement of completion within the stipulated deadline.

The project contract was amended to show the new deadlines but the original software contracts were not amended to reflect the formal criteria for the FBI to accept the VCF system.

Works cited

Kymmell, Willem. Building Information Modeling: Planning and Managing Construction Projects with 4d Cad and Simulations. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Gabrys, Bogdan, Robert J. Howlett, and L C. Jain. Knowledge-based Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems: 10th International Conference, Kes 2006, Bournemouth, Uk, October 9-11, 2006 : Proceedings. Berlin: Springer, 2006.

Kuhn, Thomas S, and Ian Hacking. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, IL [etc.: The University of Chicago Press, 2012.

Feenberg, Andrew, and Norm Friesen. (re)inventing the Internet: Critical Case Studies. Rotterdam: Sense, 2012