Archive for July, 2013

Selecting Projects to Achieve a Competitive Strategy

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

(A featured article for Cheetah’s PMP Career Builder. Click here to the entire newsletter)

Last week we explored how you can use Project Management as a key competitive strategy.  This week we are going to show you how you can create a decision making process to pick the projects that could best help you achieve your competitive strategy.   This is a process we call the “Opscan” process.   Cheetah students learn how to do this technique in the course we call Project Turnaround where they learn how to turn around a floundering career or organization.

Below is the list of competitive strategies discussed in last week’s newsletter with the ranking criteria you can use to evaluate possible projects.   With this criteria, you then rank how well each project fits the criteria.

Opportunity Quality Criteria


Threat of New Entrants – barriers to entry

Hard for others to enter, but easy for us – 5, easy for others to enter – 1

Bargaining Power of Customers

Customers have little choice – 5 to customers have lots of choice  – 1

Threat of Substitutes

Unique way of solving a problem that cannot easily be replicated  – 5 to problem can be solved a number of different ways –  1


Power of Suppliers

Many suppliers to supply goods or services to create the end product – 5, few suppliers to supply goods or services to create the end product -1

Power to Influence Suppliers

Large enough to get economies of scale from suppliers – 5 to no leverage because you’re a small time player – 1

Rivalry – Jockeying for Position

# Competitors

few – 5, lots – 1


high – 5 – low – 1

Differentiation (ability to make unique)

unique way of meeting customers needs –  5 to fairly standard – 1

Stability of product

high – 5 – low – 1

Capacity demand fulfillment

scalable – 5 – one off approaches – 1

Ability and/or interest in exiting

high interest – 5, low interest -1

Click here to see larger image

So lets say you have five possible projects that you can pursue to achieve your competitive strategy  – you would evaluate how well each of these projects meets the above criteria and rank them based on how you can answer the questions for each project.   The project with the highest score will give you the most competitive advantage.

Stay tuned next week where we look at how executives can inspire better project performance.