Funnels, Filters, and Phase-Gate
Evaluating and selecting projects for a portfolio is a crucial step in project portfolio management. It is at this point that an organization is making the all-important decisions about which projects will be funded and executed and which ones won’t. While managing the mix of projects in the portfolio is an on-going process and the components of the portfolio will likely change as business conditions change, choosing the wrong projects now will waste time, money, and resources.
Using a structured, systematic approach with well-defined evaluation and selection criteria will help organizations make the best decisions. Kodukula (2014) describes two conceptual models for evaluating and selecting projects: funnel and filters and the phase-gates approach. “The funnel represents the project candidates, projects, and products created by projects. Filters are the decision checkpoints for go/no go decisions related to the fate of project candidates and projects” (Kodukula, 2014). Phase-gates are aligned with the phases of a project where go/no go decisions are made at some designated point between project phases. Both models require that the organization define the specific criteria against which the projects will be measured.
For this Discussion, think about the organization you work for, one with which you are familiar, or one that is fictitious. Define one major strategic goal of the organization. Define at least two projects that would be candidates for inclusion in a project portfolio.
- 1-Briefly describe the organizational goal and the candidate projects.
- 2-Explain how you would apply the funnel and filter process to evaluate and select the projects.
- 3-Explain how you would apply the phase-gates process to evaluate and select the projects.
- 4-What specific criteria would you use to make the go/no go decision for each approach? Are they the same? Are they different? Explain.
- 5-Which method would you recommend? Why?