Managing Project Selection
Updated: October 28, 2013
The project selection process should be designed to ensure that project proposals are evaluated fairly and objectively, with a focus on business value and project viability. 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, limited resources (people, time, money and equipment), must be applied judiciously.
Consider the risks if resources are misapplied:
1. Valuable resources can be "used up" before projects
are completed and finalized.
2. Resources might be used less effectively through assignment to projects of lesser value and priority.
3. Credibility and influence can be lost as perceived project failures pile up.
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:
1. Value: The project must provide measurable benefit to the organization, in terms of revenue, cost reduction, productivity, or some other desired result.
2. Alignment: The project must be consistent with, and supportive of, overall business goals and objectives (including technology goals).
3. Probability of Success: The project must present a realistic opportunity for success, relating to outcome and process, and as can be measured by business, project management, and technology standards.
As the project selection process is developed, the following questions must be considered:
1. How will project proposals be submitted into the "pool"
of potential projects?
2. How often will the project "pool" process be undertaken (yearly, quarterly, monthly)?
3. Who is responsible for managing the project "pool" selection process?
4. How will project proposals be reviewed and evaluated?
5. How will selection decisions be made?
6. How will selection decisions be approved?
7. How will selection decisions be communicated?
8. How will disputes be resolved?
Who is responsible for the review of "as-needed" project proposals? (e.g. project selection committee, company management, line of business management, individual business units.)
1. How will as-needed project proposals be submitted?
2. How will as-needed project proposals be reviewed and evaluated?
3. How will selection decisions be made?
4. How will selection decisions be approved?
5. How will selection decisions be communicated?
6. How will disputes be resolved?
Planning Project Scope
Project scope is a key project definition variable used to define the overall project vision and work effort. To have a good chance of success, scope must be fully defined, aligned and approved.
What is a project without measureable requirements? At best, a missed opportunity. At worst, a fiasco. Every successful project begins with a specification of realistic global requirements.
For tangible success, project teams must be organized according to project needs and capabilities. Team structure can either help or hurt, and you want to ensure the former.
Making Committees Work
What are the most important characteristics of committee success? Size? Composition? Organization? Communication? A documented charter? Learn all about the "top 5" ways to deliver committee success in this quick reference IT-Manage infographic.
Get it Defined.
Define, align and approve is a management strategy and working guideline used to promote informed decision making and successful project delivery. Get started with the definition phase, illustrated in this informative IT-Manage infographic.
Project Selection Made Easy
Before it becomes a project, proposals have to made, evaluated and selected. In the fast track model, project selection is all about finding fast track opportunities. Learn how its done with the Fast Track Project Toolkit.