Jack Whalen 
Member since Aug 19, 2017


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Re: “Oakland Police Spent $6 Million on a Computer System to Track Officer Misconduct, and It Doesn't Work

The technical problems so often cited in the account are plainly what can be expected from a system integration project like this. These kinds of projects are notorious everywhere for big cost overruns, plagues of bugs, inability to deliver anything like what was envisioned by the client (and certainly the end users). Why? Because they are very, very difficult, both technically and operationally (challenged by organisational dynamics and often politics, for want of a better term). They are completely different in terms of the design and programming requirements and problems, from building a completely new system something absolutely new from the ground up, from the very start.
This system, PRIME, was based on the idea that it would seamlessly integrate information (and especially challenging, info in different forms, including video) from several other systems, each of which had their own data formats, access protocols, and, more basically, design principles. All of this quite varied stuff was supposed to be available to users of the new system in a way that was truly integrated, so the users did not have to know all about or really, much of anything about each of the systems being integrated here and their distinct uses, they only had to know how to use this new interface and its system requirements. That it all turned out to be a mess should be no surprise.

Posted by Jack Whalen on 02/01/2018 at 11:36 AM

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