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Topics: Organizational Project Management, Utility
Project Selection Criteria

Hi PMI Community,

I work in a local utility distribution company and we are trying to overhaul our Portfolio Process. I wanted to ask the PMI community if you use any other project selection criteria beside the "usual suspects":

- strategic alignment
- est total cost
- est total direct benefit
- est duration
- resource requirement
- est direct risk (expressed in time and €)
- indirect benefits
- reputation (media, press,...)

Looking forward to your responses.


Erik from Belgium
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Hi Erik -

As an independent consultant I've seen a wide array of selection criteria for Portfolios. The only item I would add to your list would be a regulatory. or compliance factor that often catapults a 'loser' project (little or no direct or indirect benefit) to the top of the list.


- Cris

Hi Erik

I was thinking redundancy (utility distribution) but You probably include it in an other criteria such as strategic alignment!

You could add any regulatory, federal, state, city or county mandates.

Hi Erik,

First of all I wholeheartedly agree with your #1 criteria. If a project does not align or contribute to corporate strategy/goals, I would immediately be questioning the rationale for it.

I’m also assuming estimated total cost also includes any economic indicators such as ROI/NPV/IRR/etc.

In addition to your list I would include:-

- whether it’s a mutually exclusive project or an enabler for other projects in the portfolio
- organisational capability
- project complexity
- current project performance (for in-train projects only)
- a ‘do nothing’ option

I’d also agree with Cris/Naomi and would include projects that are externally mandated. Be it Compliance, Regulatory, Environmental, Legal, et al.

As an aside, I often see intangibles – such as reputation – used as a business justification. I’m yet to be convinced by their inclusion. How anyone puts forward something that can’t be quantified in a case for change is a little bit of a mystery to me.


Darren Kosa

Great idea, usually your PMO Director, CEO, CTO, CIO and other c-suite executives should weigh in on your PPM process. This is a good start; I'd get this in front of you executives before you spend too much time on it. Also, think about the data you are currently gathering and what processes you have in place to get good data; it'll be the next step.
You may add any regulatory, federal, state, city or county mandates.

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