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An important step on the roadmap to a successful quality improvement (QI) project is careful selection of topics and aims to be addressed by QI projects. Using information from a variety of data monitoring systems as well as individual events and experiences, leaders of neonatal units and QI teams should first identify quality and safety gaps in their unit. They should then use an explicit, formal process for selecting the best projects to which their limited time and resources should be allocated. Priority should be given to projects that address a quality gap of high magnitude and impact, have a high likelihood of success, have a champion, fit with the unit's state of readiness for change, have organizational support and align with organizational priorities. The scope of the project should also match the experience and expertise of the QI team.