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InfoQ Homepage News InfoQ Interview: Jim Johnson, Creator of the CHAOS Chronicles

InfoQ Interview: Jim Johnson, Creator of the CHAOS Chronicles

Jim Johnson, the founder and chairman of the Standish Group is probably best known for his research on why projects fail, published in The CHAOS Chronicles. The Chronicles comprise 12 years of independent commercial research on project performance of over 50,000 completed IT projects.

The objectives of CHAOS research are to document the scope of application software development project failures, the major factors for failure, and ways to reduce failure.  In 1994, The Standish Group made public its first CHAOS Report, documenting the billions of dollars wasted on software development for projects that were never completed. That report included statistics such as: "84% of projects fail or are significantly challenged", and "45% of developed features are never used" and is among the most oft-quoted in the industry since then.

Taking time out from his vacation, Johnson spoke with InfoQ in this interview about how this research came to be, how it is done, and the role of Agile in his findings.  Johnson's work with project failure has reinforced his belief that small is best - small teams, small projects, and the Agile approach to software development.

Related News: 
    Standish CHAOS Report Methods Questioned, August 2006.
    Standish: Why were Project Failures Up and Cost Overruns Down in 1998? October 2006

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