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Negative-Value Portfolio

Recently I was told of a story about a major Brazilian bank that completed a project to service foreign visitors during the World Cup. The project was OnTime, OnBudget, and OnTarget, with a total cost of just under half a million dollars. The total return of their investment was $10,000. This is a 50 times negative return rate. As a standalone project this sounds like a major management failure with a project management success. Project… Read more

The Dog that Never Returned

Well, let me tell you of the story of a dog named, OscarTo his groomer in Southie Oscar rode the UberIn the winter of 2015 on a tragic and fateful dayCame record snowfall and nothing gave wayNothing except for the Redline of the MBTA Later Oscar was put on the Redline in Andrew SquareBut he couldn’t get off not for lack of fareIt was lack of service that was his misfortuneWell, he never returnedNo he never… Read more

CHAOS Charts for 2015

The Standish Group has replaced and updated the primary 12 CHAOS Charts in the chart section with the following charts. All the charts are from the new CHAOS Database from fiscal years 2011 to 2015.  Fiscal year runs from March 1st to the end of February of the following year. Unless otherwise noted the total number of software projects is over 25,000 with an average of 5,000 per yearly period.  In addition, all charts, except… Read more


by Jim Johnson & Han MulderThe Standish Group plans to release a report on Modernization in Place very soon. The Modernization in Place paper includes a section on what we shall call “Crapola”—code that is rusting away and preventing progress on lifeblood advancements. Even brand-new applications have plenty of Crapola or unused features and functions. During the agile development process refactoring or pruning is a best practice. Refactoring improves the understandability of the code and… Read more

Modernization in Place

Last week we released The Standish Group’s Modernization in Place Report.  Modernization in Place report recommends ways to modernize and update critical applications.  A highlight of the Modernization in Place report is the use rate and value of features and functions by the age of the application.  The Modernization in Place report suggests a concrete path to a successful resolution of a modernization project.  Modernization in Place report outlines the six steps to a successful… Read more

Blame Rio

By Lou Vianna and Jim JohnsonThe unfortunate 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta was the scene of a bombing that ultimately killed two people and wounded more than 100.  Those Olympic Games also proved to be more of a tumultuous experience than IBM anticipated. IBM performed poorly. Reporters around the world, who relied on IBM's technology for real-time scoring and information on athletes, were frustrated that certain information was inaccessible. The press began to lambaste IBM… Read more


Once upon a time in the world of green dragons, a blue dragon was born.  At first the dragon’s parents were upset that their baby was blue, not green like all the other dragons, but they were happy that their baby dragon was healthy. They named their new baby dragon Bleu. During the first 12 months of every dragon’s life they breathe regular air, so except for Bleu’s color, this young dragon was like all… Read more

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