February 2014

True Cost of a Project

CHAOS Tuesday #34: We are going to discuss the true cost of a project. Last year we published an advisory on the true cost of a project.  In this research and report we saw that hidden costs were 50% or more of the budgeted costs.  Hidden costs included executive time, user time, education & training, user acceptance testing, and even cost of project management.  In one budget we found they did even include labor cost which is how we size a project.  In this program we explore:

  • Should hidden costs be calculated in a return of value?
  • Should executive cost include lost opportunity costs?
  • Should user’s time include lost work costs?
  • Is 50% over the project cost a good rough number for hidden costs?
  • Our Panel’s take of breadbasket budgets

Part of CHAOS Tuesday: looks at resources that can be used to calculate the true cost of a project.

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Great Panel

This panel is made up of notorious IT executives. In these panels the IT executives discuss and debate critical issues. Guests on the panel include Jim Crear, Bob Kelley, Bill Niemi and Jennifer Lynch.


Robert Kelley

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.


Bill Niemi

Bill Niemi is a professional IT advisor. For twenty-four years Mr. Niemi was a Technology Vice President of Fidelity Investments. During his time at Fidelity, Bill oversaw the a variety of system technical implementation for distributed systems, computer graphics, network protocols including decisions on operating systems, databases and middleware. Working at NBC News, Bill was a pioneer in computer graphics in reporting presidential campaigns. Bill is a graduate with a Masters degree from Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute.



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.


Jim Crear

Jim is the chief information officer and architect for The Standish Group International. He is an experienced executive with over 40 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. He has had a diverse career leading IT organizations in academia, biomedical, manufacturing, and software companies.


The Standish Group


Jim JohnsonJim
Jim CrearJim


Jennifer LynchJennifer
Great PanelGreat
Lon AllanLon
Thornton  MayThornton
Hans MulderHans
Dick LeFaveDick

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