Murder Board Method of Project Selection

The name Murder Board method of project selection sounds quite unconventional and somewhat like some anti-social activity group or more so sounds like a title of a thriller movie. However, the name does not have anything to do with any anti-social activity. The name is more of derived from the fact that this method completely works on negative and constructive methodology.


In this method of project selection, you create a murder board. A murder board is also known as a scrub-down. You constitute a murder board, which is a committee that comprises of senior managers and subject matter experts from different areas. The murder board scrutinizes the project to find reasons why the project should not be selected. You must defend the project and counter all the queries of the board members.

The main responsibility of the murder board is to critically review the proposed project. As the name suggests, the members of the board are supposed to review the project aggressively. During this review, there is no scope of pleasantries and is done without any constraints.

The reviews are more like grilling sessions where every possible effort is made to prove that the project is not worth considering. It is the sole responsibility of the proposer to satisfy each and every query of the board members and prove the worth of the project. The murder board meets with a sole objective of killing a well prepared project proposal based on the technical merits. The name of the method itself is derived from the fact that the objective of board members is to murder the whole idea of the project.

The murder board makes sure that every aspect of the project is looked into and reviewed in depth. The review includes the following aspects of the project:

  • Problem statement
  • Assumptions
  • Risks
  • Mitigation
  • Proposed solution

As a part of its responsibility, the murder board is not supposed to tolerate on holding back even a least suspicion of a problem. The murder board session is supposed to be very aggressive and argumentative mostly because it consists of subject matter experts from various areas. These subject matter experts grill the presentation in their respective areas of expertise.

Notice that as per the nature and goals of the murder board, you can expect that all your skills be tested when you make a presentation. You should be prepared to face new challenges with a very high intensity.

In an organization that has a wide range of project to select from, the murder board plays a vital role. The board reviews each and every project proposal before these are given a final go ahead.


A murder board method of project selection has the following advantages:

  • It enables the organization to select best of the ideas and convert the same into projects.
  • You must be very well prepared before you present the proposal to the board.
  • With expertise from a wide range of fields, chances of committing mistakes are reduced considerably.
  • You can take an advantage of the knowledge of the board members to further enhance the project.


A murder board method of project selection has the following disadvantages:

  • The aggressive review can destroy the confidence of the presenter.
  • A really good idea with potential of generating good revenue might unnecessarily get shot down.
  • There are chances of board members tempted to prove their supremacy and compete to kill the project first.