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Achieving Successful Program Execution: A Research-Based Approach 

July 8, 2021

Hosted by William Ulrich

Guest Jim Johnson 

Episode Description

Why do projects fail, or fall well short of their original goals? That is the topic that this episode of The North Star will explore. Jim Johnson, researcher, author, inventor, and Standish Group Chair, will join William Ulrich to share what he has learned over the past three decades on this topic. Jim is the author and researcher behind the widely quoted Chaos Report. He will share his insights into the report’s findings based on 25 years of data into failed, challenged, and successful projects, discussing why some projects fail, where others succeed. The Chaos Report has consistently shown that roughly only one third of projects have historically been successful. Jim will also discuss the concept of decision latency and its effect on project performance. In addition to latency, Jim will discuss team maturity, scoping challenges, user involvement, complexity, and a host of other project performance factors. He will also share what he sees as a way to shift historically poor project performance to more positive trends based on his latest work, which involves implementing software without using project management. Join the discussion as Bill and Jim explore the project deployment challenges that have plagued so many organizations around the globe over the past three decades. For more Information: https://www.voiceamerica.com/promo/episode/131880

The Laws of CHAOS a New Adviceblog Series

The Standish Group’s CHAOS Manifesto: The Laws of CHAOS and the CHAOS 100 Best PM Practices was published in 2010. You can download this report off the dashboard. The report covered 10 laws that if used properly, we believed, would increase the chances of software project success. As we were going through each of the laws some of the things we said were confirmed by further research and made us feel smart.  Other things we said made us grimace. One thing for sure is these laws became popular and were displayed on and talked about in the halls of many companies. Over the next 10 adviceblogs we will explore some of the ways these CHAOS Laws helped influence the Infinite Flow Method.

Noise a new adviceblog series.

Noise a new adviceblog series from The Standish Group Noise as defined in context of this new adviceblog series is the unwanted variability of judgement. This definition comes from the book by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony, and Cass Sunstein titled Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement.  As a researcher, I have worked hard to reduce bias. I was aware of noise, but I just did not have a label or word to call it. It was very evident in the over 500 focus groups and workshops Standish conducted.  As I look back at the 25 years of CHAOS Research on software projects I can clearly see projects are filled to the top and overflowing with noise.  Then as I look at the Infinite Flow methodology and I see that many of the principles and skills were created to root out noise and bias. Over the next 5 adviceblogs we will explore some of the ways how Infinite Flow reduces noise.



Out of the Shadows

In a recent Linkedin activity Bill Murphy asked “Do you agree that the existence of Shadow IT in your organization implies that your coworkers view you, the Business IT Leader, as a roadblock?”  A few days before I saw this discussion, I had published on Café CHAOS a post titled, The Elephant and the 1,000 Mice. While I did not call it Shadow IT, my focus of this post was that people use hundreds of applications that are not covered by a central IT authority. At The Standish Group we have a central IT department, and I am their main sponsor.  On my iPhone alone I have 70 applications.  Yet I am told that is not many. I also have as many more applications on my Mac, iPad, and many cloud applications such as Zoom, Slack, and Dropbox that my central IT department does not cover or even know about. I never think about IT being a roadblock, I think about using these applications as helping me get things done.  We define Shadow IT as the use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual without the knowledge of the IT or security group within the organization. Shadow IT not only exists, it is running rapid throughout organizations, departments and individuals.  Over the next 5 adviceblogs we will shine light on Shadow IT and bring it out of the shadows.  

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