Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


The FBI wasted $170M on a failed collaborative knowledge sharing application

Okay, this is a whole bunch of subjects near and dear to me. Security, content management, collaborative workflow, information sharing. The FBI’s new collaborative case file system is being scrapped after spending $170 million with a result of less than 10% of the functionality being delivered.

This really bugs me. This kind of project is totally doable, and it could have (nay, should have) been done right. This wasn’t random chance, it wasn’t happenstance. Somebody fucked up bigtime, and somebody else fucked up in writing a check to that first somebody.

Maybe $170 million wasn’t enough to do this right – that’s certainly possible. But there’s no excuse for spending $170 million and getting nothing, or spending $170 million before you figure out that it’s not enough.

(Yes, I’ll put my mouth where their money is. I think I could do better.)

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