Project Selection Methods – An Overview

Projects are undertaken for various reasons. Each project should have clear justification and methods defined to show its ‘worth’ taking it. Strategic goals of organization, Market Need, Technological Advancement, Competitive Advantage, Profitability, Project/Portfolio Management Office (PMO), Sponsors are key in project selection.

Below I presented the gist of few widely-used project selection methods. Decisions are made based on the best information in hand about a particular project at a given point of time. One can use either Benefit Measurement Methods(Comparative approach) or Constrained Optimization Methods (Mathematical approach) or both to arrive conclusion on project selection.Out of these two benefit measurement method is most commonly used.

Benefit measurement methods are based on measuring the benefits in taking up the project and comparing the results against other projects or a strategy benchmark. Cost-Benefit Analysis, Scoring Models, Economic Models, Discounted Cash Flow(DCF), Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return are different types under Benefit measurement methods.

Constrained optimization methods uses complex mathematical calculation based on different worst/best case scenarios and probability of outcome and then selecting project on best results. Generally known methods are Linear programming, nonlinear programming, multi objective programming.

Project Selection Methods

Project Selection Methods

Let me explain about each of these methods in brief in a later post.

Update on July 19, 2010

Here is the detail post on Project selection methods Project Selection Methods

Four boats that leads to self-destruction

Leading oneself in the right path is more difficult task than advising others. Leadership starts with correcting one’s self image. ‘What we think about what we are’ has greater impact on everyday life. Behavior and character are mirror reflection of our inner mind. Here I like to present four pleasure boats that take you to worst side of the life. I like to term them as ‘pleasure’ boats as you will surely get addicted to them once you started practicing it.



1. Procrastination – Putting off critical stuff till it pinches you. Every author in Management especially Time Management surely deals with this topic. It is not a new topic but it is the vital topic. Procrastination has no excuse for it & most often it gives bad results. Some bloggers posted advantages of it too 🙂 To-do list, prioritization, finishing up bigger task at first, quick wins, etc would be the ideas to beat procrastination. I found following text in one of the site:

I think the way to “solve” the problem of procrastination is to let delight pull you instead of making a to-do list push you. Work on an ambitious project you really enjoy, and sail as close to the wind as you can…[1]

2. Forgetfulness – Repeatedly missing appointments, blaming it on your memory, not following up a written schedule are all some examples. Don’t think it can happen only for elderly people! It happens to all. Stress, anxiety, or depression can make a person more forgetful. Keeping mind relaxed, write the activities to-do, review activity list in equal intervals will help you getting out of this dreadful boat.

3. Idleness (or Laziness) – To pass time without working or while avoiding work. When used to describe a person, idle typically carries a negative connotation, with the assumption that the person is wasting their time by doing nothing of value. Such a view is reflected in the proverb “an idle mind is the devil´s workshop”. We are here to live. Life is enjoyable when we do activities of our interest or activities that bring happiness to others. So don’t get into something and be useful.

4. Fond of sleep – This is the fourth boat of self-destruction. Sleep is good only to some extent. Sleep gives refreshment to mind and body. But it turns to be ugly when sleep becomes one’s work. If you give more importance to sleep, you will surely lose time. Loss of vital time lead to unsuccessful life.

Can you think of a soldier sleeping in war front?

Can you think of a Police official sleeping in early hours of a day?

Can you think of a Country President/Manager/CEO sleeping in a press meeting?

Anyone who wants to reach greater heights in life & be successful should get out of bed and get into work. Take a oath from today – “As a leader of my life I don’t encourage myself addicting to above four things anytime in my life.”

Procrastination, forgetfulness, idleness, and sleep, these four things, form the vessel which is desired by those destined to destruction.[3]


1. Good and Bad Procrastination, December 2005 retrieved from on 03/15/2009

2. Thirukkural (Tamil) by Thiruvalluvar

3. Thirukkural – English Translation and Commentary by Rev Dr G U Pope, Rev W H Drew, Rev John Lazarus and Mr F W Ellis First published by W.H. Allen, & Co, 1886, Reprinted by The South India Saiva Siddhantha Works Publishing Society, Tinnevelly, Madras, India , 1962, 1982.

What are the parameters to be considered before starting any activity?

Failure – The word most of us hate! But this is the word most of us talk every moment & whole of our life! Isn’t it?

Though we take utmost care towards success path, we do miss something and the result is unexpected (failure) most of the time. So, What is going wrong with us? Why did we fail executing a particular activity? Have we considered every possible options, risks and solutions? All these questions comes to our mind after failure 🙂

Few reasons which we generally give are:

  1. I thought this would be easier task to do. Later on I found it was complex.
  2. I thought there would be any hurdles to my activity. The situation & the market were unfavorable when I started it.
  3. I thought I have enough knowledge and skill to perform this activity. But it required Java expertise skills.
  4. I thought he would help me in doing this activity. He was in bad financial status to do so.
Knowledge of Power

Knowledge of Power

Certain parameters need to be considered before starting an activity. In a broader sense it is called as Planning. How well one can plan an activity? Before acting, let (one) weigh well

1. the strength of the deed (he purposes to do),

2. his own strength,

3. the strength of his enemy, and

4. the strength of the allies (of both). (Thirukkural. Couplet.471)

If you start an activity after considering complete information on the above four parameters then no one can stop you from reaching the success.


1. Thirukkural (Tamil) by Thiruvalluvar

2. Thirukkural – English Translation and Commentary by Rev Dr G U Pope, Rev W H Drew, Rev John Lazarus and Mr F W Ellis First published by W.H. Allen, & Co, 1886, Reprinted by The South India Saiva Siddhantha Works Publishing Society, Tinnevelly, Madras, India , 1962, 1982.