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. 

CHAOS Report 2015

CHAOS Report 2015: focuses on presenting the information and data on success and failure in different forms with many charts. In this report we have 21 charts and 12 tables. A main feature of this report is presenting the six elements of success: time, budget, target, goal, value and customer satisfaction. Another key feature is the new definition of success as OnTime, OnBudget with a satisfactory outcome. We used this definition for most of the charts including size by resolution, the resolution by size, industry, type, method, world’s area, complexity, strategic alignment, and capability.

CHAOS Report 1994

This is the original 1994 CHAOS report on software project success and failure. This report was our first research mission on project resolution. Since 1994 we have continually collected data, cases and best practices on project resolution. This 20 year journey lead us to provide 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. By focusing your project portfolio on value, our service frees your organization to create value.

Modernization: Clearing a Pathway to Success

Modernization is an example of a Modernization appraisal service. The purpose of this report is to provide the reader with a fair comparison of differences between rewriting, buying a package, and modernization of a software application. The comparison includes information on their cost, risk, and reward. This report is broken into five sections: case comparison, new development, application package, modernization, and proof points. Much of this report is based on the CHAOS Research project on the creation and implementation of application software. This report also demonstrates our project valuation consulting services.

Project Resolution Benchmark

Our Project Resolution Benchmark is perfect to measure your organization against 1,000 other organizations. The Resolution Benchmark measures your organization, project environment and 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 and project skills and environment Project Resolution Benchmarks are convenient, rewarding, and economical. For more information go to:

Download the report for example of the benchmark. 


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.



CHAOS Manifesto 2013: Think Big, Act Small

CHAOS Manifesto 2013: Think Big, Act Small is a subset of the online version of the CHAOS Chronicles, known as the CHAOS Knowledge Center (CKC). This version of the CHAOS Manifesto focuses on small projects and is based on the CKC version 40-12. The online CHAOS Chronicles contains 100 Best Practice Points and 300 practice elements. CHAOS Chronicles is a work in progress, and new research is added and updated every month along with other supporting features. Currently there are more than 900 charts in the CKC. This report is broken into 12 main sections. Sections 2 to 11 cover the CHAOS Success Factors for Small Projects.

The Good Sponsor

The Good Sponsor Appraisal is a self-administered assessment. The assessment is completely online and private. The CHAOS database consistently shows project improvement and success is dependent on the skills of the project sponsor. The larger and more complex the project the greater the difference between success and failure by the skills of executive or project sponsor. For example, greater than fifty percent of successful very large complex projects had a highly skilled project sponsor. Get your Good Sponsor book and appraisal. Get your Good Sponsor book and appraisal NOW!

Also, check out our project sponsor resource page:



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.

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.