Organizations aren’t good at doing projects

Organizations aren’t good at doing projects. The popular Chaos Report shows mediocre results at best. In short — only every third project is a success. The rest? Failures or challenged — breaching time, buget and/or scope constraints.


Source: The Rise and Fall of the Chaos Report Figures

Some argue the methodology used in the report isn’t correct. It’s good to consider this criticism (see bottom links if you’re interested in details), but as practitioners we can see for ourselves. After several years of project work, when it comes to projects and success, I am moderately optimistic. The good thing is… there’s plenty of space for improvement!

[1] The Rise and Fall of the Chaos Report Figures

[2] Quantifying requirements volatility effects

[3] Let’s say “No” to groupthink and stop quoting the Chaos Report

Updated — Nov 26, 2010:

[4] Standish Report

3 thoughts on “Organizations aren’t good at doing projects

  1. Lech,I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Verhoef, of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and co-author of “The Rise and Fall of the Chaos Report Figures”. In the interview, Mr. Verhoef elaborated on his team’s research findings and provided some very interesting data and additional references that busted the myths around IT project failure promoted by the report.It is a great reading to complement the research paper. you.


  2. Hello Samad!Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your work and your valuable comment, Samad!Doubts concerning Chaos Reports seem well-grounded. I like your remark to the Let’s say “No” to groupthink and stop quoting the Chaos Report article in particular:”But we will never know because we don’t know the metrics. And that is where I am having a real issue with the statistics we quote.”From a practical point of view — if the new “opposing” methodology is too sophisticated or complex, there’s little likelihood it will be embraced by the general public. Perhaps this is The Standish Group’s biggest accomplishment — to make their findings accessible enough to be quoted and referred to, even if not entirely correct methodologically, transparent or cheap.Question is — how to make a successfully popular counter-offer?Greetings!


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