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Holiday Reflections and Resolutions

The Standish Group family wishes your family a great holiday season and happy New Year.  As you trim your Christmas Tree, light your Menorah, eat your sacrificial goat, burn your Yule Log, and dance round the Festivus Pole it is time to reflect on the past and look to the future.  We reflect on those misty water-colored memories of those scattered pictures of the smiles of people that have left us.  We cherish the thoughts… Read more

Small Projects: Like Riding a Bicycle

Hans Mulder & Jim JohnsonIn a follow-up to our Double Dog Dare post, we are comparing small projects to bicycle rides. Many projects are naturally small. In many parts of the world people commonly ride bicycles for transportation. In other parts of the world it takes a little more effort to encourage and make bicycles safe for transportation. For example, Holland has built special bike paths throughout the country. In the Netherlands there are laws… Read more

CHAOS Report 2014

Twenty-one years ago we published the “CHAOS Report”. Every year since we have published a variant of the original CHAOS Report, but never calling it the CHAOS Report.  We have called new CHAOS reports: CHAOS Rising, Extreme CHAOS, CHAOS Chronicle, CHAOS: A Recipe for Success CHAOS Manifesto, and CHAOS Knowledge Center.  That changes now and this year we are publishing a new traditional CHAOS Report.  The title of the new traditional report is CHAOS Report:… Read more

Double Dog Dare

Let us consider two different paradoxes: the Montana Paradox and Cobb’s Paradox. First, the Montana Paradox. It is widely believed by traffic professionals, law enforcement agencies, and bodies of government that reducing speed and enforcing speed limits saves lives. However, is this really the reason behind the results, or are there more commercial aspects to this belief? After all, there is a whole industry built around enforcement of traffic laws. The National Highway Traffic Safety… Read more

Buffalo Jump

The American Buffalo would jump over a cliff rather than step out of alignment with the rest of the herd. Hunters steered the buffalo and drove them over a cliff, breaking their legs and rendering them immobile. Tribe members were waiting below to finish them off.  A growing body of project management professionals has been promoting the virtues of institutional alignment. The definition of Institutional alignment includes governance, partnership, value analytics, communicative/interpersonal, and HR.  A… Read more


Today we released the SURF Database. SURF stands for Standish User Research Forum and has 3,000 members.  The SURF database is a single perpetual and active survey database that contains 20 questions with multiple sub-questions with a variable number of answer choices. A key feature of the database is the ability to be able to select any answer choice to narrow the view. For example question #12 asks “Do you require your project managers to… Read more

Your Best Friend

By Lee Gesmer I’ve often advised vendor-clients that one of the best ways to protect themselves is to include an acceptance clause in their agreements. This can be accomplished either through an explicit acceptance clause or a short warranty period, which can function as a de facto acceptance clause. For some reason, many customers seem to forget about the acceptance clause, giving the vendor a strong defense to a claim of breach.This is what happened in Samia… Read more

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