Soft Computing

, Volume 22, Issue 16, pp 5535–5545 | Cite as

Project portfolio selection based on synergy degree of composite system

  • LiBiao BaiEmail author
  • Hongliang Chen
  • Qi Gao
  • Wei Luo


A synergistic perspective to selecting the right project portfolio is the key to realizing strategic organizational objectives. Based on the theory of the composite system, this paper identifies the factors that affect the science of project portfolio selection (PPS) and investigates the synergistic relationship among the organizational strategic objective subsystem, the project portfolio subsystem and the environment subsystem, which collectively constitute the composite system of project portfolio selection. Utilizing the concept of order parameters, an order parameter system is built for each subsystem to reflect the synergistic relationships in the composite system of PPS. The PPS model is constructed based on the degree of synergy in the composite system by describing the order degree of the subsystem and the synergy degree of the composite system, which helps to quantify the synergistic relationships among these subsystems. The effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed model are demonstrated and validated by a case study.


Project portfolio selection Composite system Order parameter Order degree Synergy degree 



This work is sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51708039), Ministry of Education Humanities and Social Sciences Fund (No. 17XJC630001), Soft Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (No. 2017KRM123), Social Science Planning Fund of Shaanxi Province (No. 2017S028), Social Science Planning Fund of Xi’an (Nos. 17J173, 18Z49) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Nos. 300102238620, 300102238303). The authors also thank the managers who participated in this study for giving of their time and sharing their experiences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.School of ManagementNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.School of Civil EngineeringChang’an UniversityXi’anChina

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