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Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson is the founder and chairman of The Standish Group. He has been professionally involved in the computer industry for over 40 years and has a long list of published books, papers, articles and speeches. He has a combination of technical, marketing, and research achievements focused on mission-critical applications and technology. He is best known for his research on project performance and early recognizing technology trends. Jim is a pioneer of modern research techniques and continues to advance in the research industry through case-based analytical technology.

Advice Articles

Absorption

How skilled is your organization in introducing small changes to improve absorption?

Abstinence

Jim Johnson suggests you understand the reasons of abstinence. 

Abstinence

How skilled is your organization at recognizing and overcoming abstinence?

Agile

In general, how skilled is your organization at using agile techniques in developing and implementing software.

Agile Conversations

Jim Johnson reads Agile Conversations: Transform Your Conversations, Transform Your Culture by Douglas Squirrel , Jeffrey Fredrick after Henny Portman’s review.  

Antifragile

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is about surviving and even flourishing when things break.

Arrogance

How skilled is your organization at overcoming arrogance?

Attentive Listening

How skilled is your organization at attentive listening?

Awareness

Jim Johnson suggests awareness provides the attachment to the project success and goals. 

Awareness

How skilled is your organization at being aware and making everyone aware of the issues and events of projects?

Balanced Team

How skilled is your organization at creating balanced project teams?

Being All-In for the Team

How skilled is your organization of getting teammates to be all-in for the team?

Brain Drain verses Brain Rain

Would you like to stop the brain drain? 

Broad Learning

In general, how skilled is your organization at widening the range of learning experiences for members on delivery teams.

Builds and Releases

Infinite Flow is a non-project-based environment that builds and releases software daily.

Business Value

How skilled is your organization at optimizing business value?

Celebrate Events

Jim Johnson suggests after a major event or the end of the project the executive sponsor should hold an event, like a party or dinner out.

Celebrate Recognition

The Standish Group suggests that one the easiest and most effective methods of celebrating is through recognition of an accomplishment.

Celebrate Success

The Standish Group suggests that It's important to celebrate success.

Chemistry

How skilled is your organization at creating the right chemistry?

Choose Happiness

Malcolm Gladwell in his Ted talk titled “Choice Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce” considers how many different kinds of spaghetti sauce makes people happier.

Common Data Structure and Databases

In general, how skilled is your organization at limiting data structures and databases?

Common Platform

How skilled is your organization at creating and maintaining a standard communication platform?

Community Values

Jim Johnson suggests you establish values and benefits for the organization as motivation to create and maintain a PM community.

Complexity/risk

How skilled is your organization at keeping things simple?

Composure

In general, how skilled is your organization at everyone remaining calm when negotiating?

Concordia Could have Flowed

Do you think you spend too much on managing software projects? 

Concurrency

Jim Johnson suggests that all executives should be in the same boat.

Consensus

Jim Johnson suggests gaining consensus through conversation.

Continuous Delivery

Jim Johnson suggests you stop doing releases.

Control Technical Diversity

In general, how skilled is your organization at controlling and limiting technical diversity?

Conversation

Jim Johnson suggests conversation is the first step in any agile process.

Count Only What Counts

How skilled is your organization at only counting what counts?

Critical Success Factor

Infinite Flow critical success factor is Decision Latency.

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast!

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast! Culture also eats tools for lunch and processes for dinner.

Decision Distribution

Distribution of decision-making power is the segmentation of decisions based on roles and responsibilities.

Decision Pipeline

A decision pipeline is a method to make decisions quickly and easily by the right people at the right time.

DevOps Handbook

Jim Johnson gives DevOps Handbook 4 out of 5 butterflies. 

Discernment

How skilled is your organization at discernment?

Diversity

In general, how skilled is your organization at providing a diversity of views and experiences during software development?

Do What Matters

How skilled is your organization at the discriminating use project/ portfolio tools and processes?


Empathy

How skilled is your organization at being empathetic in your Negotiations?

Equality

In general, how skilled is your organization at creating a level playing field for participants when negotiating?

Evangelist

Jim Johnson suggests that all projects need an evangelist

Explorers Wanted

In our workshops we do not have speakers and attendees. We have guides and explorers.

Filters for Flow

What are your filters?

 

Finding a Project Sponsor Mentor (Part 1)

Standish defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted adviser that helps train a colleague.

Finding a Project Sponsor Mentor (Part 2)

Finding a good project sponsor can be hard.  This is because the project sponsor is not a permanent full-time job or even title.

Finding a Project Sponsor Mentor (Part 3)

The project sponsor role can be confusing.  That is because project sponsor role is much different than a…

Finding a Project Sponsor Mentor (Part 4)

In an earlier PM2GO Blog, Theo van Leest suggests that no sponsorship means a serious challenge to make your project a success. 

Five Deadly Sins

Jim Johnson suggests the executive sponsor understand the five deadly sins of project management. 

Fix it and Forget It

Jim Johnson suggests fix it and forget It is the big advantage of no releases.

Flow

In general, how skilled is your organization at a fast-paced production flow?

Flow Automation

Infinite Flow requires lots of automation.

Forming New Habits

Christine Carter in her Ted Talk Titled “The 1-minute Secret to Forming a New Habit” suggest that forming new habits is hard and often leads to failure.

Fraudulence

Jim Johnson suggests fraudulence is an action intended to deceive.

Fraudulence

How skilled is your organization at recognizing and preventing fraudulence?

 

 

Go with the Flow

Jim Johnson suggest you consider adopting Infinite Flow.

Good Manners

Jim Johnson suggests good manners is the starting point of respect.

Greenlights

Jim Johnson reviews Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey.

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

The Original Valentine Love Story

How We Decide

Jim Johnson Snow rates “How We Decide” written by Jonah Lehrer 3 out of 5 butterflies.

Ignorance

Jim Johnson suggests ignorance is the condition of being unaware. 

Ignorance

How skilled is your organization at recognizing and overcoming ignorance?

 

Information

In general, how skilled is your organization at gathering and maintaining information for negotiation.

Information Selection

Jim Johnson suggests the main barrier to awareness is information overload.

Integrated Operations

In general, how skilled is your organization at quickly integrating software into operations.

Interviews

Jim Johnson suggests you start your project research with interviews.

Iterative Process

How skilled is your organization at executing an iterative process?

Jim reviews “The Infinite Game”

Jim reviews “The Infinite Game” 

Jim reviews “The Innovator's Dilemma”

Jim reviews “The Innovator's Dilemma” 

Jim reviews “The Innovators”

Jim reviews “The Innovators” 

Jim reviews “Think Like a Rocket Scientist”

Jim reviews “Think Like a Rocket Scientist”

Jim reviews “Upstream”

Jim reviews “Upstream”  

 

Kill Switch Overview

Jim Johnson suggests that every project should have a kill switch.

Listen Learn then Lead

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military in this Ted Talk.

Loonshots Reviewed

LoonshotsHow to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall.

Maintaining Objectivity

How skilled is your organization at being objective?

Make Your SHIFT: Part 1

Jim Johnson suggests you listen to CHAOS Tuesday Make Your SHIFT: Part 1: http://www.chaostuesday.com/index.php?r=podcast/view&id=106

Make Your SHIFT: Part 2

Jim Johnson suggests you listen to “Make Your SHIFT: Part 2” http://www.chaostuesday.com/index.php?r=podcast/view&id=107

Make Your SHIFT: Part 3

Jim Johnson suggests you listen to “Make Your SHIFT: Part 3” http://www.chaostuesday.com/index.php?r=podcast/view&id=108

Managing Expectations through Infinite Flow

Infinite Flow manages expectation through a close collaboration with the business and technology. 

Managing Scope

How skilled is your organization at containing the scope of a project?

Measurements: Role Models

Jim Johnson suggests that you have access to similar projects to use as role models against the current project.

Meeting Optimization

In general, how skilled is your organization at reducing meetings and meeting time?

Motivation

How skilled is your organization at providing the proper incentives to motivate project teams?

 

Motive, Means, and Desire

How skilled is your organization at identifying users with the motive, means, and desire to help?

Negotiate Information

Jim Johnson suggests that the executive must understand the real needs, not just the expressed needs.

Negotiate Power

Jim Johnson suggests all power resides and emanates from the executive sponsor whether or not he or she realizes this fact.

Negotiate Time

Jim Johnson suggests that time is an area of considerable consternation for many executive sponsors.

No Replacement Needed

Would you like to avoid replacing non-participating stakeholders? 

 

Optimal Team

How skilled is your organization at creating and maintaining an optimal team that is the right size and includes the right skills and diversity?

Overambition


How skilled is your organization at recognizing and dealing with overambition?

 

Prediction #1: Infinite Flow

The Standish Group predicts Infinite Flow will take hold in replacing “projects” as a method of software development.

 

Prediction #2: Healthcare Research Convergence

The Standish Group predicts that the major employment and investment opportunities for 2021 reside in the convergence between three distinct areas: healthcare research, data science, and artificial intelligence.

 

 

Prediction #3: iBike

The Standish Group predicts the breakthrough consumer products for 2021 will feature the development of Personal Transportation Devices (PTDs).

Principle #1: Deliverables Only Count

Principle #1: Deliverables Only Count means that there is a daily delivery and the daily task is the only measurement.

Principle #2: Have a Good Sponsor

Principle #2:  Have a Good Sponsor to ensure the daily deliverable are both valuable and customer satisfied.

Principle #3: Have a Good Team

Principle #3: Have a Good Team to ensure the focus on the present tasks.

Principle #4: Have a Good Place to Work

Principle #4: Have a Good Place to Work is essential for good outcomes.

Principle #5: Always Promote Antifragility

Principle #5: Always Promote Antifragility is the ability to make mistakes and learn from the mistakes.

Project Saboteur

How skilled your organization at discovering and dealing with a project saboteur?

Quick Decisions

A quick decision in the context of project management is the smallest possible time frame to make a decision.

Quickly Get the Facts

Jim Johnson suggests you quickly get the facts. 

Radical Interdependence

Lorna Davis in her Ted Talk Titled “A Guide to Collaborative Leadership” explains the difference between heroes and leaders.

Rapid Consensus

Consensus is a general agreement or an accord, indicating harmony regarding the project's direction and other decisions.

Real User Needs 


How skilled is your organization in producing requirements that meets the needs of the user?

Reducing Decision Intervals

Decision latency is the root cause of project stress, delays, and failures.

Release Baseline

Jim Johnson suggests you consider how WebEx develops and releases software.

Require Participation

Jim Johnson suggests you require participation. 

Retrospective Actionable

Jim Johnson suggestions that ideas and recommendations that come out of a retrospective must be able to be implemented by the team.

Same Page

How skilled is your organization at making sure that everyone has the same understanding of a project's business objectives?

Selling Evangelists

Jim Johnson suggests you select an evangelist and then engage him or her as an evangelist and/or primary user representative.

Sharing the facts

How skilled is your organization at obtaining and sharing the facts?

Single Source

Infinite Flow encompasses configuration management as part of the daily deliverables.

Social Media

How skilled is your organization at using social media products and concepts to manage, collaborate, and communicate project information and activities?

Standard Development Environment

In general, how skilled is your organization at having a standard development environment?

Standard Operating Infrastructure

In general, how skilled is your organization at having a standard operating infrastructure?

Subject Matter Expertise

How skilled is your organization at correctly identifying the right subject matter expertise?

Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People...

Team Topologies

Jim Johnson reads Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow By Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais after Henny Portman’s review.

Test Your Objectivity

Jim Johnson suggests use feedback to tests your objectivity.

The Flow Edge

Do you think you spend too much time on risks? 

The Flow Runs Through IT

Infinite Flow should be focused on the business.

The Good Leader

Jim Johnson suggests the project manager needs to be a good leader.

The Little Pie Chart that Could

I presented a little pie chart on the percentage of features and functions that were actually used. http://blog.standishgroup.com/post/62

The Worry-Free Mind

Jim Johnson reviews The Worry-Free Mind, Train Your Brain, Calm the Stress Spin Cycle, and Discover a Happier, More Productive You by Carol Kershaw EdD, Bill Wade PhD. 

Thinking Like an Economist

Jim Johnson reviews Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making by Randall Bartlett. 

Time Boxing

Jim Johnson suggests you consider the use of time boxing,

Timeliness

Jim Johnson suggests that stakeholders need to give feedback on a timely basis. 

Trade-offs

How skilled are your organization at managing and collaborating on trade-offs?

Tribal Leadership

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization...

Tribal Leadership

David Logan in his Ted talk titled “Tribal Leadership” is a very brief discussion based on his book “Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization”.

Tuned In with Empathy

Jim Johnson suggests you tune in with empathy.

Turn Enemies into Allies

Turn Enemies into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace is...

Vocabulary

How skilled is your organization at developing and maintaining a common vocabulary?

Will It Fly?

Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea...

Would IT Flow: Consultants

There is always a trade-off with using consultants for software projects.

Would IT Flow: Flash Boys

In our research paper titled “Money Pit: The True Cost of a Project” we compared two projects that were exactly the same...

Would IT Flow: NYCAPS

A few years ago, we profiled the New York City Automated Payroll (NYCAP) System.

Would IT Flow: SACWIS

The Federal Government funded and promoted a nationwide SACWIC program.

Would IT Flow: To RMVs

Over the years, The Standish Group has reviewed many of registry of the motor vehicle (RMV) projects across the globe.