As a “high priority” management practice, the project selection process must be designed to ensure that project proposals are evaluated fairly and objectively, with a focus on business value and project viability.
Project selection can be “fast tracked” through standardized practices that establish parameters and boundaries for how projects are to be proposed and selected. Fast tracking sets the stage for timely action through pre-defined steps and established “viability criteria” against which all proposals can be measured. And this paves the way to consistent, informed and timely decision making (a.k.a the ultimate goal).
Every project begins with a proposal, but not every proposal can or should become a project. In a world of limited resources, choices have to be made. Not every project has viability. And, amongst those that do, any limited resources, (including people, time, money and equipment), must be applied judiciously. Consider the risks if resources are misapplied:
"Fast tracked" project selection is streamlined and standardized to produce consistent results with minimal process overhead. The key to fast tracked project proposals and selection decisions is the question of "viability" and the use of pre-defined steps and strategies (standards). (Also Read: Are You Ready for a Risky Project?)
To maximize available resources, and avoid potential failures, project proposals must be evaluated and selected on the basis of overall viability. In a business sense, project viability is the degree to which a given project will provide the expected return on investment. Viability can be measured by three key variables:
In order to develop selection practices that are fully “defined, aligned and approved” the following questions must be considered and addressed:
Project selection is a cog in the project management lifecycle, but informed, effective selection decisions are essential to management success and the ability to deliver on time, on budget projects. Selection steps kick things off, providing the basis for all of the planning and decision making that lies ahead. You can never be reluctant to re-examine selection decisions as time passes and project circumstances change. That’s the whole point of a lifecycle approach to managing projects. (Also Read: Preparing the Project Request for Proposal).
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