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Jun 23, 2021

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: 



Success Ladder Benchmark 2.0

Feb 6, 2021

Success Ladder Benchmark is now fully “Do It Yourself” (DIY). Premium members can execute a Success Ladder Benchmark at any time.  Premium members can run as many benchmarks as they want. They can benchmark all their software projects no matter the state using the Success Ladder Benchmark.  Premium members can run the benchmark before they start a project, in the middle, or at the end. Success Ladder Benchmark is a rough order of magnitude of what you can expect from your software projects. You can use the benchmark to decide to start a project or not if you do not like your chances of success.  Premium members can change  process to improve chances of success.  You can use the Success Ladder Benchmark to research results of competed projects.

We have upgraded the Success Ladder Benchmark to include an organization profile.  The profile provides additional information to improve the accuracy of the rough order of magnitude base results. In order to improve the accuracy of the upper 3 rungs, good place, good team, and good sponsor we added these appraisals to the skills appraisal section.  Users can assess the maturity of these 3 areas and add the results to the Success Ladder Benchmark.  The results themselves can also be used to improve each of the areas. Such improves can also be feed back to the Success Ladder Benchmark.


If you are not a premium member, you can join by buying a membership here: https://standishgroup.myshopify.com/

OnDemand Skills Appraisals

Jan 30, 2021


We added on-demand Skills Appraisals, a new service, to the premium membership. Premium Members can access Skills Appraisals by the dashboard Icon. All members have to do for an appraisal is click on “Start an Appraisal”. Select the appraisal you want to do, then give a name for your custom report. Our first listed appraisal is “Infinite Flow Readiness”.  This appraisal helps as a guide to get ready for Infinite Flow.  The appraisal starts out with the first question and will go through all 50 questions. It should take no more than about 20 minutes.  For instructions on this appraisal go here: https://www.standishgroup.com/IFA.   If you are not a premium member and want to do the appraisal, go here to upgrade or get your membership: https://standishgroup.myshopify.com

TechBeacon Article

Jan 27, 2021


How continuous app modernization delivers remote access at scale by Christopher Null, TechBeacon. Go here to read



2021 Plans

Jan 4, 2021


Now that 2020 is in the rearview mirror and we have presented our Predictions for 2021, It is time to talk about our plans for the next year.  

Here is what we are thinking about for the Premium Membership:

Success Ladder Benchmark: requires that you indicate the skill level of the project sponsor, team, and environment.  However, unless you do an assessment this will only be a guess. We have decided to add these 3 assessments to the premium service.  You can first do the assessment for the 3 skill levels and then add the scores to the benchmark.  Expect to see this new feature by the end of January. 

Skills Assessments: besides the  project sponsor, team, and environment we are adding an Infinite Flow Readiness Assessment. The Infinite Flow Readiness Assessment follows the same format and process of the other 3 project assessments. Each assessment has 50 questions over a set of principles. You will be asked to answer each of the questions from Poorly Skilled to Very Skilled. The Standish Group will calculate your score and provide recommendation for improvement. All 4 assessments are free to premium members. In addition, there is no limit to the number of assessments or Success Ladder Benchmarks.  

CHAOS2021 Report: will be an updated 2020 report with new guidance for improving the three Factors of Success project sponsor, team, and environment. This guidance can also help improve the scores of the assessments if followed.  We will also be adding some new observations for the current CHAOS Database. However, it will not be a new report, but just a revision to current CHAOS 2020 Report.

Education: courses for 2021 are planned to be streamlined and integrated into the premium offering. We will be offering five 12-hour classes. The five courses are:

1.    Overview of CHAOS Research  

2.    The Good Sponsor: Principles & Skills

3.    The Good Team: Principles & Skills

4.    The Good Place: Principles & Skills

5.    Infinite Flow Principles & Skills

The courses are companion to the daily adviceblog with that over Life-Long Learner (L3) points.  Each course provides 12 hours or 120 L3 points   After 60 hours or 600 L3 points we will issue you a Life-Long Learner (L3) Certificate from CHAOS University and The Standish Group. Therefore, doing the 5 courses you will earn a L3 Certificate or for any combination of course and adviceblogs. The courses are limited to an individual premium member and are not transferable. 

FlowMate: we plan many new features and functions for 2021.  The main highlight of 2021 is the 4-level of rating and feedback function (Happiness Circle). The 4-level rating starts with the producers to rate each daily task script for value and customer satisfaction, the second level is the sponsor doing a similar rating after the daily task is implemented, a few days later the users get to rate the daily tasks for the third level.  The fourth level rating is during a collaborative retrospective. Other features will include ways to improve general collaboration within the team. 

Infinite Flow: will be our research and publishing focus. Besides the readiness assessment and improvements to FlowMate our plan is to publish a guide to setting up and managing an Infinite Flow team. We also want to give guidance when to use an Infinite Flow verse a software project. In addition, how to hand off a completed software project to an Infinite Flow team. We also want to look at where and when to deploy an infinite Flow team or teams. We are working on internal and external contracts for Infinite Flow.  In addition, we will layout the relationship to an external outsources Infinite Flow and how to manage the relationship from both to customer and vendor viewpoint.  

To upgrade or become a premium member go here: https://standishgroup.myshopify.com




Henny Portman - New Advice Contributor:

Dec 30, 2020

Henny Portman is consultant, author, international speaker, coach and trainer for both traditional project management (MoP, MSP, PRINCE2, P3O) and agile approaches like AgilePM, AgilePgM, PRINCE2 Agile, AgileSHIFT and SAFe. He performs PPM maturity scans, and his past experience includes directing PMO’s in Europe and Asia for ING and NN Group.  Henny will be filing advice posts.  For more information on Henny see:



Annual Predictions for 2021

Dec 22, 2020

Just released our annual predictions. The first three predictions in this report were created by Jim Johnson and The Standish Group but  were influenced by surveys and interviews of leading technology executives, including a few from the Boston CTO Club, that sought their views on what is on the horizon for 2021. The rest of the predictions are direct from more than 50 executives. Go here to read the paper.  

Biden v. Trump: Who Makes a Better Project Executive Sponsor?

Sep 29, 2020

As a request from one of our research members, we have updated our “Would Joe Biden be a Good Executive Project Sponsor?” video by adding our opinion on Donald Trump. This video is my opinion of the level of competency of both men.  

Would Joe Biden be a Good Executive Project Sponsor?

Sep 14, 2020

Jim Johnson appraise Joe Biden’s skills at being a good sponsor using Our Good Sponsor assessment system.

Take a look: 



FlowMate 1.0

Aug 27, 2020


We just added FlowMate V1.0 to the Dashboard: https://www.standishgroup.com/flow. FlowMate is an easy to use real-time information support solution for creating and maintaining work for an single Infinite Flow team. The purpose of FlowMate is to allow you to digitally set-up and manage your Infinite Flow Team.  Once the Team is created, FlowMate connects you and your team to the daily work thus creating a pipeline of work. There are six parts to FlowMate that are highly intuitive and are generally progressive in their movement. FlowMate helps prioritize the workflow and provides instant feedback on completed work for continuous improvement. This feedback allows you to make rapid adjustments and provides clarity on the status of work at a glance. 

Click here to view the instructions on how to use FlowMate.



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