This paper looks beyond more traditional evaluation activities to focus primarily on evaluation up front. It suggests that the early appraisal of an investment case or a project should apply essentially the same evaluation criteria that will be used in ex post evaluation, and thus increase the likelihood of a successful project outcome. However, the initial plan might be altered as result of subsequent analysis, assessment, negotiation, positioning, and the exercise of power. The last part of this paper presents an empirical study of 23 projects, which examines the complexity of processes that occur in the idea- and decision phases.
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