Sample Research

The Standish Group is focused on our Value Portfolio Optimization and Management Service. This service provides for on-going management and optimization for software project portfolios.  In addition, The Standish Group offers a Single Project Appraisal Service and Modernization Project Appraisal Service. These services rely heavily on a platform of our extensive research database. This primary research database has over 50,000 detailed projects covering 1,000 organizations.  The Standish Group also maintains several skills and practice databases for skills assessments, report development and advisory engagements.  The Standish Group provides member services of special research reports and assessments.  This sample research offering provides insight into these benchmarks and assessments services, plus special research reports. 


Featured Report

Factors of Value

Factors of Value Research Report: outlines the Top Ten attributes that return the highest value of IT projects and investments. The report considers the top 10 percent of the organizations measured by project value and their skill levels for the 10 CHAOS Factors of Value. In this report we present the definitions of each of the Factors of Value.  The report also provides guidelines to improve the value of project investments. Note: This report is only available FREE to qualified IT executives.  Access to the report requires a code provided at the end of the Factors of Value Video.  Please watch the video to get the access code. Vendors, consultants, and all others must join our membership

Big, Bang, Boom Revisited: Why Large Projects Fail, A case study research of NPAC

research of NPAC

NPAC is the US's authoritative routing platform for telephone number-based communications and provides the ability for users to keep their telephone numbers while moving to another telecommunications provider. For the last 19 years, Neustar has acted as the operator for NPAC, custom-developing the application as well as the database. In 2010, the communications industry and the FCC initiated an RFP process.  In 2014, iconectiv won by submitting a materially lower bid to replicate Neustar's platform. In 2013, prior to the award, Standish Group did an in-depth single project assessment on the likely outcome of the possible transition of the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) from, Neustar to iconectiv. 

The title of the original paper was called "Big Bang Boom".  The reason it was called Big Bang Boom is the transition calls for a single date or a complete cut over from one system to the other. '' The single cut over is known as the big bang approach.  If this single cut over does not work the system goes boom.  This new paper looks at the current status of that project. The paper is written in accordance with the academic case study method - beginning with an overview of the current NPAC migration and conversion project, followed by an extended explanation and an exploration of the background, the current state, and the future of the project.

In CHAOS We Trust

Heuristics are helpful guideposts along the roadmap of product development, but some decisions won't get made without strong data to back them up. Fortunately for the emerging FIRE enthusiast, there's plenty of research validating the principles Dan is promoting. One such body of research is The Standish Group's CHAOS Report. In this video, Dan gives you facts and figures to support a business case for simplicity.



Resolution Benchmark Report

Our Resolution Benchmark is perfect to measure your organization against 1,000 other organizations. The Resolution Benchmark measures your closed projects against our CHAOS Database. Your projects are profiled and segmented by industry, project size, organization size, methodology, types, geographic area, skill levels, and other attributes. Our Resolution Benchmark measures the six success metrics (individually and in combination): on time, on budget, on target, on goal, valuable, and customer satisfaction. The Resolution Benchmarks provide great insight into your organization.   resolution benchmarks are convenient, rewarding, and economical. 

Download the report for example of the benchmark. 


My Life is Failure

100 Things You Should Know to Be a Successful Project Leader. My Life in Failure is a summation of over two decades of work on project failure. The Standish Group has been collecting case information on real-life IT environments and software development projects since 1985. Standish's cumulative research encompasses 20 years of data on why projects succeed or fail, representing more that 50,000 completed IT projects. Note: Updated 17 charts with 2015/2016 data.

You can purchase this book from LuLu for $24.99.


Executive Sponsor Research Report

Executive Sponsor Research Report is a concise overview of the roles, responsibilities and skills needed to be an effective executive sponsor. The research report is broken-up into three sections: 1) Overview of the executive sponsor role with CHAOS statistics; 2) the fifty skills needed to be an effective executive sponsor and 3) summary.

You can purchase this report from LuLu for $24.99.

Emotional Maturity Research Report

Emotional maturity is the collection of basic behavior of how people work together. In any group, organization, or company it is both the sum of their skills and the weakest link that determine the level of emotional maturity. In this research report we consider the skills needed to have a healthy emotional maturity environment.

You can purchase this report from LuLu for $24.99.

The Public Execution of Miss Scarlet

Sex, violence and project management emotional maturity highlights The Public Execution of Miss Scarlet. This fictional mystery book is based on our first workshops on emotional maturity. Through this fast paced narrative we explore the Five Deadly Sins of project management and emotional maturity. The book is a composite of real project appraisal engagements. The project management professional will enjoy the setting while gaining a better understanding of the effects of emotional maturity.

You can purchase this report from LuLu for $24.98.


Haze report adds value to “Rethinking the Public Spending on ICT projects” report.  The report considers the current state of software developed and innovation as a comparison to the current state of government projects.  The report provides a number of data points reflecting the current state of government projects.  It also provides a reflection on the lifestyle of high efficient transformational projects.  The purpose of this thinking is to highlight that most government projects are not innovative, but transactional.  Transactional projects are generally less complex and easier to manage and complete than transactional projects.  Government projects become complex and hard to manage because of bad decision-making on the part of government bureaucracy and practices. Two companioned papers can be found in the Haze resource page.

Big Bang Boom

Big Bang Boom is an example of two single project appraisals. In this research report we compare a proposed project to start up a new Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC) to other large projects within the CHAOS database. The NPAC provides a vital service to the public by allowing landline and mobile users to keep their telephone numbers when changing carriers or locations. This research report showcases two of our standard Single Project Appraisals for a possible proposed new vendor to replace the current vendor, Neustar (, as prescribed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.


Exceeding Value

The Standish Group Exceeding Value report looks at the balance between success and value.   In this research report we consider measuring value as the prime metric for success and achieving portfolio nirvana.  We consider the benefits of replacing individual project success with rapid delivery portfolio success. We also consider the benefits of replacing absolute values with relative value.  Additionally, we provide an overview of Our Value Portfolio Optimization and Management Service. Our Value Portfolio Optimization and Management Service is a forward-thinking and predictive visualization of the value of your software investments.