Project Portfolio Management

4 Tips for Perfect Project Selection

In life, as in project portfolio management (PPM), there may be times when we make poor decisions that cost a lot of money and waste a lot of time. In retrospect, these misplaced management calls appear ludicrous, though they probably seemed “sensible” or “inevitable” at the time. In a post for PM Hut, Brittany Andrews explains how four essential project selection habits can change your life, from a PPM perspective at least.

4 Project Selection Partners

  1. Team Insight
  2. Analyzing Options
  3. Strategic Alignment
  4. Project Evangelists

To start, Andrews identifies how easy it is for things to go wrong:

…even the most forward-thinking leaders have their minds set on a particular project, then pursue it full force without considering the alternatives or taking the time to stop and think about whether it is the best choice for their organization. One bad decision can cost a company or organization thousands, if not millions, of dollars–not to mention ruin the personnel morale.

Choose people from among the ranks of your organization (as a Project Selection Board or an ad hoc Project Selection Team) who are capable of making good decisions, because those people are going to be making decisions with you, the PPM! That’s right, if you are going to avoid that catastrophic call, you’ll want good feedback to weed out any biases or blind spots you may have (don’t worry, we’ve all got them).

An advantage of assembling one of the above-mentioned teams boils down to weighing the options. Now, intuition is a fabulous thing and can be helpful for a number of familiar tasks in everyday life, but project selection should be treated with more deliberation than what a strong “gut reaction” will allow. Wherever there exists an array of factors (cost, time, impact, and probability of success), there needs to be a careful and thorough selection process.

Third, do not overlook the needs of the organization! This can be more difficult than it sounds, since managers are people with individual goals and desires, and separate (and often conflicting) opinions. But when making organizational decisions within the organization it is imperative to align your thinking, and hence your project portfolio decisions, with a broader set of strategic goals.

Lastly, there are also instances where we do make the right decision, though it appears otherwise because the desired outcome is never effectively reached. We may blame ourselves, when in fact the responsibility was too great for one person all along. This occurrence applies to PPM. Good intentions must be matched with adequate support, and every project needs a project champion, an evangelizing agent who is thoroughly invested in the project outcome.

Read the original article at:


Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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