The new system is already months behind schedule and more than $200 million over budget, and its backbone component will not be ready this week, senior FBI officials acknowledged Tuesday. One senior FBI official said it might not be launched until the middle of 2004. Another FBI official said there would be additional cost overruns, which are expected to total up to $30 million.
The system is being built to upgrade sorely needed services for the agency. The big winner is the capacity to do searches from agents' desktops instead of going to the research room. This is the aspect that is sorely delayed.
And senior FBI officials have been promising for months that they would meet Saturday's deadline.
I am not damning the FBI, this happens everywhere. At some level people know there will be delays, even early in the project, but no one is willing to admit that this is really going to happen. People keep hoping that by some miracle, the project will get back on track. No software tool will change this, the organization must approach project management differently, addressing the behaviors that create these undesirable effects.