How to select an engineering mini project

Selecting a project can be a very difficult job even if you have a lot of ideas or none. This is a situation which everyone face in his/her engineering life.

Project Selection is a process to assess each project idea and select the project with the highest priority.

Projects are still just suggestions at this stage, so the selection is often made based on only brief descriptions of the project. As some projects will only be ideas, you may need to write a brief description of each project before conducting the selection process.

Selection of projects is based on:

  • Benefits: A measure of the positive outcomes of the project. These are often described as “the reasons why you are undertaking the project”. The types of benefits of eradication projects include:
    • Biodiversity
    • Economic
    • Social and cultural
    • Fulfilling commitments made as part of national, regional or international plans and agreements.
  • Feasibility: A measure of the likelihood of the project being a success, i.e. achieving its objectives. Projects vary greatly in complexity and risk. By considering feasibility when selecting projects it means the easiest projects with the greatest benefits are given priority.


  1. Find ideas :
    Finding ideas is one of the most difficult part in selecting a project.Wouldn’t it be nice if ideas came nicely packaged and fully formed, waltzing up to us and proclaiming “Here I am, a brilliant idea ready to change the world!” That would make it so much easier! But no, they don’t just come — you have to go out and find them.

    They say “necessity is the mother of invention.” So, where can you find necessity?
    To find ideas, find problems. To find problems, talk to people.
    When you will talk to people, they will share there problems, and a solution to their problem is an idea.
    Ideas also come from other ideas. Combine 2 problems its a big problem and its solution is a new idea .
    Try to find as many ideas as you can.

  2. Categorize ideas:
    de Bono believes all ideas can be classified into one of the following eight categories:

    • 1. Directly usable – These are our best ideas. We’ve determined they have value and could be used. These ideas are worth finding resources and creating margin to execute. These ideas are “game changers” and need to be treated as such.
    • 2. Good ideas, but not for us – These ideas have value and support your objective, but aren’t a good fit. Reasons they may not be a good fit include: not having enough resources, not having the team or margin to execute, and having our brand filters punt these ideas out of the cue before we can act on them. We shouldn’t try to force these ideas to happen when they often create sideways energy.
    • 3. Backburner ideas – These are good ideas, but not for right now. These ideas have value and fit – but aren’t right at this time. Current resources, capacity, or priorities may not allow us to execute these ideas. We can revisit these ideas later when the time may be more right.
    • 4. Needs more work – These ideas are full of potential, but are only partially baked. With more work we can transform these ideas into DIRECTLY USABLE ideas. We should try to find some margin for our teams to work on these ideas.
    • 5. POWERFUL, BUT NOT USABLE – These ideas are great ideas, but are getting blocked by an external force – something out of our control. Sometimes we can re-work these in a way that eliminates the block.
    • 6. INTERESTING, BUT UNUSABLE – These ideas are some of the most productive ideas we have. It’s not because they become usable, but because they spark other usable ideas. They often offer new ways of thinking. These ideas are like firecrackers that ignite other – and often better – ideas.
    • 7. WEAK VALUE – These ideas are dangerous. They risk brand, quality, and momentum. They are deceptive because they make us feel like we’re being productive. But, in reality, we’re costing ourselves more than we’re creating. These ideas work and they fit our organizations, but they lack value. The return on the effort invested is disappointing. The danger with Weak Value ideas is that sometimes we accept and implement these just to “get something done” or to “have something out there.” They support a “something is better than nothing” approach.
    • 8. UNWORKABLE – These ideas are pretty much impossible. No matter how hard we work, these ideas just aren’t going to fly. Abort on these ideas.
  3. Check Project Feasibility:

    Take help from the seniors, teachers, internet to find out what is trending, useful, new. Taking help will also help you understand the feasibility of your idea, you will get guidance while building your project and you will get pre responses about your project which will help you to understand the output of your efforts at very early stage.

TIP: Avoid pre used ideas while making a project, try advancing those ideas.

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