You are on page 1of 4

CHAOS MANI FESTO 2013

Think Big, Act Small
THE CHAOS MANI FESTO
Copyright © 2013. The CHAOS Manifesto is protected by copyright and is the sole property of The Standish Group International, Incorporated. It may not
under any circumstances be retransmitted in any form, repackaged in any way, or resold through any media. All rights reserved.
THE CHAOS MANI FESTO
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Executive Management Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
User Involvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Skilled Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Project Management Expertise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Agile Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Clear Business Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Emotional Maturity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Execution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Tools and Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Copyright © 2013. The CHAOS Manifesto is protected by copyright and is the sole property of The Standish Group International, Incorporated. It may not
under any circumstances be retransmitted in any form, repackaged in any way, or resold through any media. All rights reserved.
THE CHAOS MANI FESTO
PREFACE
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 Standish Group has been collecting case information on real-life IT
environments and software development projects since 1985. We get many
questions about how we populate the CHAOS database. First, you should understand we
are analysts and advisors, not data collectors. Second, each piece of data and every project
is reviewed thoroughly by an analyst before it goes in the database. Third, we have a standard
and nonstandard list of questions to determine the accuracy of the data given to us that goes into
the database. Fourth, nothing is taken at face value and everything is questioned. Fifth, we have
been rebuilding the CHAOS database starting in June 2012 to create a standard format. The new
database will be used to present the current data analytics.
CHAOS Manifesto is based on the collection of project case information on real-life IT environments
and software projects. This version and past versions have used eight different instruments in the
collection of this information, which includes project profiles, project tracking, individual project
surveys, case interviews, general surveys, project postmortems, and other instruments. CHAOS
research encompasses 18 years of data on why projects succeed or fail, representing more than
90,000 completed IT projects. However, for our new database we eliminated cases from 1994
though 2002, since they did not match the current requirements for analysis. The new database
has just under 50,000 projects.
CHAOS DEMOGRAPHICS: CHAOS results provide a global view of project statistics but do tend to
have a heavier concentration on the United States and Europe. For each reporting period, about
60% of the projects are U.S. based, 25% are European, and the remaining 15% represent the rest
of the world. A little more than half of the companies are considered Fortune 1000-type companies;
another 30% would be considered midrange; and 20% are in the small-range category. They span
a diverse number of vertical industries and organizations. Participants are made up of a variety of
CIOs, VPs, directors, and PMO project managers.