The dominant view in the information systems (IS) and software engineering literature is that the

application of a rigorous pre-investment evaluation methodology is the key to ensuring the selection of

the best IS projects – that is those with the highest expected value for the organisation and with the

highest probability of success. While the literature is replete with methodologies for the evaluation of

IS projects, there is insufficient attention given to the evaluation process itself and to what constitutes

successful IS evaluation. Whilst some within IS argue that the development of more elaborate

evaluation methodologies is necessary for the advancement of the field, many report that it is not

methodologies as such that need improvement. What is missing is an understanding of IS evaluation

processes in practice and how organisations adopt and apply evaluation methodologies. In this paper

we focus on the IS evaluation process in a company with a history of IS successes and examine the

ways in which the evaluation process shapes and ensures the selection of the best IS projects. By

adopting the Actor Network Theory lens we demonstrate a) that the view of pre-investment IS

evaluation in the literature is very narrow, b) that the practice of IS evaluation produces the ‘object’ it

evaluates, c) that this object, that is the IS project proposal document, is an inscription device

produced by relations in the actor network formed around it, and d) that these networks and relations

as well as the translation of actors’ expertise, experiences and interests into the document (inscription

device) are critical for IS project proposals evaluation and their chances of success.