Sentinel Audit II:  Status of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Case Management System (Redacted)

Audit Report 07-03
December 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix 6
The FBI’s Life Cycle Management Directive

The FBI’s IT Systems Life Cycle Management Directive (LCMD) is comprised of interrelated components. They include Life Cycle Phases, Control Gate Reviews & Boards, and Project Level Reviews. Sentinel is currently in the Design phase of the LCMD.


The LCMD has established nine phases that occur during the development, implementation, and retirement of IT projects. During these phases, specific requirements must be met for the project to obtain the necessary FBI management approvals to proceed to the next phase.

Control Gate Reviews & Boards

The approvals to proceed from one phase to the next occur through seven control gates, where management boards meet to discuss and approve or disapprove a project’s progression to future phases of development and implementation. The seven control gate reviews provide management control and direction, decision-making, coordination, confirmation of successful performance of activities, and determination of a system’s readiness to proceed to the next life cycle phase.

Project-Level Reviews

Project-level Reviews support the IT Systems Life Cycle process. Project Level Reviews determine program or project readiness to proceed to the next activities of the project life cycle. Each Project Level Review feeds information up to the Executive-level Control Gates, as data is developed and milestones are completed.


  1. Concept Exploration

Identifies the mission need, develops and evaluates alternate solutions, and develops the business plan.

  1. Requirements Development

Defines the operational, technical and test requirements, and initiates project planning.

  1. Acquisition Planning

Allocates the requirements among the development segments, researches and applies lessons learned from previous projects, identifies potential product and service providers, and identifies funding.

  1. Source Selection

Solicits and evaluates proposals and selects the product and service providers.

  1. Design

Creates detailed designs for system components, products, and interfaces; establishes testing procedures for a system’s individual components and products and for the testing of the entire system once completed.

  1. Development and Test

Produces and tests all system components, assembles and tests all products, and plans for system testing.

  1. Implementation and Integration

Executes functional, interface, system, and integration testing; provides user training; and accepts and transitions the product to operations.

  1. Operations and Maintenance

Maintains and supports the product, and manages and implements necessary modifications.

  1. Disposal

Shuts down the system operations and arranges for the orderly disposition of system assets



Gate 1

System Concept Review approves the recommended system concept of operations and occurs at the end of Phase 1 of LCMD.

Gate 2

Acquisition Plan Review approves the Systems Specification and Interface Control documents as developed in Phase 2 and the approach and resources required to acquire the system as defined in the Acquisition Plan as developed in Phase 3.

Gate 3

Final Design Review approves the build-to and code-to documentation and associated draft verification procedures. It also ensures that the design presented can be produced and will meet its design-to specification at verification. The gate review occurs after the contractor is selected in Phase 4 and system design is completed in Phase 5.

Gate 4

Deployment Readiness Review approves the readiness of the system for deployment in the operational environment. The gate review occurs after the system is developed and tested in Phase 6. Approval through the Gate 4 signifies readiness for the system implementation.

Gate 5

System Test Readiness Review verifies readiness to perform an official system-wide data gathering verification test for either qualification or acceptance. The gate review occurs mid-way through Phase 7.

Gate 6

Operational Acceptance Review approves overall system and product validation by obtaining customer acceptance and determining whether the operations and maintenance organization agrees to, and has the ability to, support continuous operations of the system. The gate review occurs at the end of Phase 7.

Gate 7

Disposal Review authorizes termination of the Operations and Maintenance life cycle phase and disposes of system resources. The gate review occurs at the end of Phase 8 and results in Phase 9.



  1. Mission Needs Review

Examines the user need or technological opportunity, the deficiencies in the current set of systems, alternative and the proposed solution, and a business case or rationale for further investigating changes to the FBI’s information systems.

  1. System Specification Review

The decision point to proceed with the development of an Acquisition Plan, the allocation of high level system requirements to segment specifications, and the development of Project Plans that will manage the acquisition.

  1. Source Selection Acquisition Review

Approves source selection results and authorizes contract negotiations.

  1. Contract Implementation Review

The first Review between the customer and the solution provider following a contract award.

  1. Requirements Clarification Review

Ensures the solution provider has a full understanding of the requirements for the system or segment and can articulate this understanding through proposed implementations of the requirement.

  1. Design Concept Review

A review of the decomposition of the system or product (hardware, software, and manual operations).

  1. Preliminary Design Review

Can be a single event or can be spaced out over time during the Design Phase to cover logical groupings of configuration items.

FBI's LCMD IT Systems Life Cycle

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