• Elizabeth Warlick

Select Successful Projects with Greatest Impact

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

Whether big or small, projects provide new services, products and processes within organizations. Organizations greatly benefit from having a structure in place to solicit, review, and decide on new project ideas. How does an organization go about creating a structure to select projects that will have the greatest return on investment and avoid the proverbial 'bad apples'? Let's take a look at what effective project selection methods have in common and how organizations can strengthen their ability to triage new ideas and decide which ones to pursue.

Weeding out project ideas that will be a drain on time, budget and personnel will greatly benefit the organization in the long run.

What do effective project selection methods have in common?

The most effective project selection methods have a common foundation that stems from asking "what are the strategic objectives of my business?" Organizations that have a strategic plan can easily identify strategic business objectives, and therefore, have the ability to determine if project ideas align with short-term and long-term organizational goals.

Effective project intake and evaluation matches project ideas with business objectives.
Effective project intake and evaluation will match project ideas with business objectives.


The project evaluation process is equal parts governance and planning that coincide with the strategic plan. Whomever oversees the project intake and evaluation process, should also be knowledgeable of the business strategy and objectives.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. SUBMISSION: Have a common format for how project ideas should be submitted and how much detail is required.

  2. CRITERIA: Define criteria to objectively determine project worthiness.

  3. EVALUATE: Identify who will review the project ideas and evaluate business worthiness

  4. PRIORITIZE: Prioritize worthy project ideas by urgency, funding, needed resources, etc.

  5. PLAN: Projects that are selected will move into the planning and execution phases until complete.

  6. MONITOR & REPORT: Monitor project progress through regular status updates; assist in removing barriers to successful project execution and provide other support for the project team as necessary. This could be the same governance structure that evaluates project worthiness at the front end.

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