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Noise a new adviceblog series.

Noise as defined in context of this new adviceblog series is the unwanted variability of judgement. This definition comes from the book by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony, and Cass Sunsteintitled Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement.  As a researcher, I have worked hard to reduce bias. I was aware of noise, but I just did not have a label or word to call it. It was very evident in the over 500 focus groups and workshops Standish conducted.  As I look back at the 25 years of CHAOS Research on software projects I can clearly see projects are filled to the top and overflowing with noise.  Then as I look at the Infinite Flow methodology and I see that many of the principles and skills were created to root out noise and bias. Over the next 5 adviceblogs we will explore some of the ways how Infinite Flow reduces noise.



Out of the Shadows

In a recent Linkedin activity Bill Murphy asked “Do you agree that the existence of Shadow IT in your organization implies that your coworkers view you, the Business IT Leader, as a roadblock?”  A few days before I saw this discussion, I had published on Café CHAOS a post titled, The Elephant and the 1,000 Mice. While I did not call it Shadow IT, my focus of this post was that people use hundreds of applications that are not covered by a central IT authority. At The Standish Group we have a central IT department, and I am their main sponsor.  On my iPhone alone I have 70 applications.  Yet I am told that is not many. I also have as many more applications on my Mac, iPad, and many cloud applications such as Zoom, Slack, and Dropbox that my central IT department does not cover or even know about. I never think about IT being a roadblock, I think about using these applications as helping me get things done.  We define Shadow IT as the use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual without the knowledge of the IT or security group within the organization. Shadow IT not only exists, it is running rapid throughout organizations, departments and individuals.  Over the next 5 adviceblogs we will shine light on Shadow IT and bring it out of the shadows.  


New Series – Tales from Over the Edge of CHAOS

We are starting a new humorous true story series of Bob Kelley’s experience implementing a grand ERP system at a large Pharmaceutical company in California.  The names of the company and the people that work there have been changed to protect the guilty and some of the innocence. Robert Kelley is a senior professional with experience in IT from start-ups and Fortune 200 companies. Mr. Kelley has much experience with SAP and Oracle, especially in FDA compliance and governance.  Bob has been a frequent participant in our CHAOS University, Standish Workshops, CHAOS Tuesday and other Standish events and research projects.  The series is titled Tales from Over the Edge of CHAOS starts Monday May 10, 2021. 

What is a Scrum Master?


A Scrum Team consists of team members who work closely together to develop and deliver valuable products and services to their customers within a Sprint – a team planning cycle with a boundary of 30 days or less.

A Scrum Team consists of only three formal roles: the Product Owner (1), the Developers (5-7 typically), and the Scrum Master (1).


So, I was curious what does a Scrum Master do all day? So, I asked Gene Sorbo, an Agile Coach, trainer and long-time certified Scrum Master “what does a Scrum Master do all day?” So, for the next 5 advice blogs (April 19th to 23rd), Gene will breakdown what a Scrum Master does all day.


BTW: Also wanted to understand if Infinite Flow needs a Flow Master.



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Micro Focus Universe Conference Q&A

On March 24th,  Ed Airey of Micro Focus and Jim Johnson of The Standish Group presented the Infinite Flow method of mainframe modernization and digital transformation at the annual Micro Focus Universe Conference.  As highlighted within the new report, Endless Modernization, Infinite Flow is a non-project-based software sustainability process that is the culmination of two and a half decades of research.  The Infinite Flow process is a highly productive method that substantially reduces costs while greatly improving customer satisfaction. It’s also a platform that promotes emotional agility, transparency, and high levels of active organizational engagements. To replay this presentation, go to on-demand recording.  

There were several questions from attendees on the presentation. Starting April 5th and for the next 10 business days, Ed Airey and Jim Johnson will answer some of these questions in our advice blogs.  If you have any questions or comments, please send them to Jim Johnson at jim@standishgroup.com or to Ed Airey at Ed.Airey@microfocus.com. Here is a list of the current questions:  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Jim Johnson answers the question, “Can you use Infinite Flow for new apps?”

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Ed Airey answers the question, “Who are the top modernization partners working with Micro Focus?” 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Jim Johnson answers the question, “What are the cultural changes needed in implementing Flow?”

Thursday, April 8, 2021 

Ed Airey answers the question, “What are the driving factors for digital transformation?”

Friday, April 9, 2021 

Jim Johnson answers the question, “Do Flow teams have to be located in one place?”  

Monday, April 12, 2021 

Ed Airey answers the question, “What is the suggested strategy to introduce and promote a DevSecOps modernization approach?”

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 

Jim Johnson answers the question, “What are the main stumbling blocks for those attempting to implement Infinite Flow in their organization, and how did they overcome them?”

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 

Ed Airey answers the question, “How is technical debt handled and managed within a Flow-like modernization approach?”

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Jim Johnson answers the question, “How hard is it to go from Waterfall to Flow?

Friday, April 16, 2021

Ed Airey answers the question, “What services or assistance does Micro Focus and the Standish Group offer their clients interested in Continuous Modernization and Infinite Flow?”  




March Book Review Week

Jennifer Lynch is our reviewer for the March Book Week 3-8 to 3-12-2021. Jennifer looks at some of our favorite books in relationship to Infinite Flow. Jenny is reviewing these five books:

Monday, March 8, 2021: In Search of the Obvious: Jennifer Lynch suggests that Search of the Obvious is a key practice of Infinite Flow.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021: The Ten Faces of Innovation: Jennifer Lynch suggests that team persona diversity is must as much as skills diversity.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021: Beyond the Goal: Jennifer Lynch quotes the first principle of economics is a scarcity of resources against unlimited wants.


Thursday,  March 11, 2021: Tuned In: Jennifer Lynch suggests that focusing on user needs is really hard.  


Friday, March 12, 2021: Blink: Jennifer Lynch suggests that Malcolm Gladwell book titled Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking confirms our Decision Latency Theory.  




ERPU Week 2-22-2021 to 2-26-2021

In a recent inquiry, a consultant for a large well-known university asked us about the chances of success for implementing an ERP system package, the university estimates the direct labor cost was in double digit millions of dollars.  In our lexicon the project would be considered “Grand”. Doing a direct query of the CHAOS Database on “Grand ERP” projects we found that the chance of success was about 11%. We had over 300 Grand ERP cases in our database. This would be considered a very high risk.  Over the next 5 days we are going to present the chances of success from the Success Ladder Benchmark using different scenarios for the ERP University System. The following is the ERPU Line-up:


Monday 2-22-2021


ERPU Scenario #1 Big Bang Boom: The results of the Success Ladder Benchmark for the University project with large, big bang approach show a…


Tuesday 2-23-2021


ERPU Scenario #2 The Good Team: In scenario #2 we upgraded the team to mature this increase the caused the likelihood of success to go up to…


Wednesday 2-24-2021


ERPU Scenario #3 The Good Sponsor: In Scenario #3 we upgraded the sponsor to highly mature.  This one change moved…


Thursday 2-25-2021


ERPU Scenario #4 Small Slam Shine: In Scenario #4 we changed the project size Grand to Moderate. We reduce the complexity to…


Friday  2-26-2021


ERPU Scenario #5 Infinite Flow: is a non-project approach to developing, implementing, and sustaining mission-critical application software. 


February Book Review Week

For the last few months we have been doing a book week, where we review five books. February Book Review Week is from of 2-11 to 2-15 2021.

Jim Johnson will review these five books:

Monday  2-11-2021


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


Tuesday 2-12-2021


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


Wednesday 2-13-2021


Jim Johnson reviews Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey.


Thursday 2-14-2021


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.


Friday 2-15-2021


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



Week of Principles


Infinite Flow Principle Week is from February 1st to February 5th, 2021. In this week’s adviceblogs, we present the 5 current principles of Infinite Flow. Infinite Flow (Flow) is a non-project-based software development and implementation environment. Flow is a method to manage software development, implementation, and maintenance through a continuous process. The Flow process is a service-oriented method to reduce friction and delays associated with traditional project-based software development methods. Infinite Flow is not only a new method, but is culture change. Here is the line-up for Infinite Flow Principle Week:

Monday 2-1-2021


Principle #1: Deliverables Only Count


Tuesday 2-2-2021


Principle #2:  Have a Good Sponsor


Wednesday 2-3-2021


Principle #3 Have a Good Team


Thursday 2-4-2021


Principle #4: Have a Good Place to Work


Friday 2-5-2021


Principle #5: Always Promote Antifragility

Week of Ted Talks


Ted Talk Week is from January 25th to January 29th, 2021. In this week’s adviceblogs, Jim Johnson presents some of this favorite Ted Talks and relates their content by applying the speakers’ messages to Infinite Flow. The nice thing about Ted Talks is they are generally less than 20 minutes long and have a singular focus.

Remember Infinite Flow is an anti-project way of developing software. However, Infinite Flow needs an application as a base.  This application base may be the result of a minimal viable product (MVP) from a small software project. Malcolm Gladwell talk is on spaghetti sauce.  In a Zoom meeting about this Ted Talk,  prompted Hans Mulder to quip “a project is building the kitchen, Infinite Flow is making the nightly dinner”.  Here is the line-up for adviceblogs for Ted Talk Week:

Monday 1-25-2021

Christine Carter Ted Talk is Titled “The 1-minute  Secrete to Forming a New Habit”

Tuesday 1-26-2021

Lorna Davis Ted Talk is Titled “A guide to Collaborative Leadership”

Wednesday 1-27-2021

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership in his Ted Talk

Thursday 1-28-2021

David Logan Ted talk is titled “Tribal Leadership”

Friday 1-29-2021

Malcolm Gladwell in his Ted talk titled “Choice Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce”



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