FBI Case Study: Scope and Cost Management

 

FBI Case Study: Scope and Cost Management

 

Executive Overview

Beginning with the end in mind is a key factor for the ultimate attainment of the project goals and objectives. The team has to identify the goals they aim to achieve as well as the means of achieving the project goals. Scope management is a critical knowledge area within project management that outlines the sum of the products and services that the IT project will deliver at it conclusion. With a clear and concisely articulated scope the IT project will be undertaken in manner in line with the set deliverables. This is not the case for all IT projects with some high profile projects failing to succeed due to inadequate scope management. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Virtual is a well known example of a failed IT project because of scope management issues. The FBI had failed, in the first place, to clearly illustrate to Science Applications International Corp.’s (SAIC) engineers of what they wanted the software to accomplish. The agency had illustrated a number of requirements which were, however, not fully aligned to what they wanted and needed to be achieved by the software. Changing sections of the plans midway as the project progressed meant the cycle rotated between the planning, executing and controlling processes. Without full identifying and collecting all requirements and defining the scope of the Virtual Case File (VCF) project, the federal agency had little information to enable SAIC engineers decompose the scope into work breakdown structure. Furthermore, the constant shifting of the requirements of the VCF by the agency presented challenges in the finalization of the project. Subsequently, any of the implemented scope management strategies could not be effectively aligned. Issues of scope management impact on other knowledge areas including cost management and planning processes.

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