Scoring methods for evaluating and selecting early stage technology and innovation projects

Rick Mitchell, University of Cambridge

Rob Phaal, University of Cambridge

Nicky Athanassopoulou, IfM ECS


In the early stages of technology or innovation projects it is often necessary to make decisions about which projects to pursue and which to shelve when only scant information is available. This practiceoriented working paper provides guidance on how to make the best use of the information that exists by assessing projects against a number of appropriate factors and allotting scores to each. We show how to design an appropriate scoring tool for any particular case, including: the importance of treating measures of Opportunity and Feasibility separately; how to choose the factors; how to ensure that the scoring is as logical and objective as possible; how to include the inevitable uncertainty; and how to manage the process, including the treatment of portfolio-level considerations such as ‘balance’. It is important to manage the scoring process carefully to avoid cognitive biases. The results can be plotted in different ways to help the decision process.


Keywords: Scoring methods, early stage technology, innovation projects


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