Success in projects and Chaos Report

André Terceiro
3 min readFeb 19, 2021


I remember that in time of the Software Engeneering Course where I am an alumini, studies where made using the Chaos Report (e.g.

In agile approach I listen frequenty for “kiss” (keep it simple stupid). See the Chaos Report. The chance of success is major.

There was also an comparatible agile x waterfall.

At least we see that:
- In doubt questions (more) is more valuable an agile approach
- Keep it simple to get a success

And more can be viewed in this paper.

The Chaos report dos not intend to say you: your project will be sucessfull or not. This report tell you what projects are sucessfull or not and where are the fails.

One point as example I saw in the past is a big scope and less of focus. I worked in a project with 100 pages of specification, envolving web and 3D as example. It don’t have a 1.0 stage, only a 19.0. And obviously fail. Money is sent to trash.

Various cases is not a technology only question. Ok, technology is important. But is not a unique question. Facebook as example is not very hard to develop an equal ideia. Ok, at the stage of Facebook, they have a lot of things. But is not impossible to achieve his stage. “The secret” is Facebook developed the idea in the right time, win the Orkut, had different items to offer to user. The right idea, the right time. Not only technology, although technology is important.

If you have a great ideia, try to achieve your final ideia in phases to your project not die. You don’t need the 19.0 version in the start.

Chaos Report shows problems in other projetcs, then it not says “do not make something that depends on technology. It says: problems occurred in projects with this characteristics. You have to pay attention. This problems can be a big problem to you and your project can fail.

As example we have agile x waterfall analysis in Chaos Report:

This is not my image, ok? Is from

Other image from Chaos Report is a comparative using the complexity of the project:

The final example is an analysis of the capability:

As you see, high capability do not guarantee a success.