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FBI's Troubled Sentinel Project Delayed Again 96

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the project-delays-cost-american-lives dept.
gManZboy writes "The FBI's Sentinel project, a digital case-management system meant to replace outdated, paper-based processes, has been delayed again. The FBI's CIO and CTO bet big on using agile development to hasten the project's completion. But now performance issues have arisen in testing and deployment has been pushed out to May. It's the latest in a series of delays to build a replacement for the FBI's 17-year-old Automated Case Support system. In 2006, the FBI awarded Lockheed Martin a $305 million contract to lead development of Sentinel, but it took back control of the project in September 2010 amid delays and cost overruns. At the time, the FBI said it would finish Sentinel within 12 months, using agile development strategies."
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FBI's Troubled Sentinel Project Delayed Again

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  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:30PM (#38644976)

    Funny that, building software in small pieces and slapping them together doesn't while trying to shoe-horn in new functionality doesn't help you create a scalable system and meet all the non functional requirements.

    Disclaimer: Working along side an agile project with a 7 month "build phase" that is currently 15 months in and still hasn't delivered anything.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday January 09, 2012 @08:26PM (#38645676)

    I think most Agile projects don't really do it the right way, if there is such a thing. People use it as a magic bullet. They're never "behind" in a project as long as the sprints are done on time. There's a whole cottage industry of Agile consultants who go out and get paid to screw up your company for you.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday January 09, 2012 @09:18PM (#38646282)
    What they've build is a hodge podge of pieces that have been built against half finished other pieces since they dropped everything at the end of 2 weeks and started the next sprint with their waste-of-time planning sessions where they spend half a day pulling numbers out their ass to estimate the build length of a story of less than 10 words. Every time they fix a bug in one place they uncover/create another one somewhere else. This isn't how open source works.

    I've failed to find any Agile success story for a large project. All I find is marketing hype and buzzwords from vendors selling Agile training and mentoring services.

    Agile is no silver bullet or golden hammer. It all seems a bit more like the Emperors New Clothes to me.

  • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:51AM (#38647796) Homepage

    Like most such management fads, it is an attempt to capture the success of existing teams. The problem is, the successful teams were employing a great deal of experience and common sense in a flexible manner. That is, their one rule was "do the right thing". When you have an experienced and conscientious team that knows what "the right thing" is, and a management that's smart enough to stay out of their way, magic happens.

    Alas, at the same time it gets a marketing name stamped on it, it is cast into a series of inflexible rules and chopped into sound bites for managers to spew back later. Rather than staying out of the way, management pesters incessantly to make sure everyone is doing exactly 'flavor of the week' exactly as they (mis-)interpret it. Nobody is even thinking about doing 'the right thing', they're too busy playing language lawyer with the magic juju manual that defines 'flavor of the week'. Meanwhile, the whole team forgets that 'flavor of the week' isn't actually the deliverable, it is supposedly just a means to get to the deliverable.

    In it's most extreme form, a team infected with 'flavor of the week'-ism begins to eerily resemble a creepy cult complete with special meanings loaded onto common words and phrases and reverence to the leader (author of the book/consultant) and a group blindness for the whole herd of elephants in the room.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

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