Civilian Agencies, Intelligence Agencies, Joint Forces and Department of
Defense are looking for better ways to have a consistent methodology for decision
reliability of program, capability and/or project trade-off analysis. For
example, many capability and program managers attempt to justify a 'rack and
stack' practice by using desk top tools such as spreadsheets, word processing
documents and slide deck presentations to calculate and present a
prioritization analysis. This subjective practice requires intense meetings, biased input,
skewed calculations and in many cases, outdated information. The goal is to determine right decisions in a way that is systematic, audit-able and repeatable. A more standard
and quantifiable approach for optimal decision reliability of program, capability
and/or project trade-off analysis is using the Analytic Hierarchy Process. The
Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a structured technique for dealing with
complex decisions which provides the following capabilities:
- Rather than prescribing a "correct" decision, the AHP helps decision makers find one that best suits their goal and their understanding of the problem.
- It is a process of organizing decisions that people are already dealing with, but trying to do in their heads.
- The AHP converts these evaluations to numerical values that can be processed and compared over the entire range of the problem.
- A numerical weight or priority is derived for each element of the hierarchy, allowing diverse and often incommensurable elements to be compared to one another in a rational and consistent way.
The following figure is an example using AHP for selecting a leader where weighted quantifiable criteria such as Experience, Education, Charisma and Age is taken into consideration. You can click the image to enlarge the view in your browser.
IBM Rational Focal Point provides users with flexible,
configurable forms to capture, classify, prioritize (attribute or using the
analytic hierarchy process with voice of the stakeholder, using weighted
criteria), evaluate, and approve stage gates or check-offs; and dispose of any
type of demand, such as projects, work items, investment candidate proposals,
and resource allocations. These configurable forms allow users prioritize
accordingly with weighted configurable criteria by quantifying the 'rack and
stack' subjective input of the users. This accomplished with stakeholders
ranking (voting) via pair-wise comparison of the portfolio assets such as
investment candidates and capabilities.
The ability to quantify the decision reliability supports the Clinger-Cohen Act regarding Capital Planning & Investment Control (CPIC) by effectively selecting, controlling and evaluating Investment Candidates which includes: voice of stakeholders, weighted criteria, quantifiable prioritization, agency alignment, benefit realizations, portfolio and compliance governance, budget realignment and reporting capabilities. You can click the image to enlarge the view in your browser.
Not only does Rational Focal Point provide users the ability to 'rack and stack' input allows portfolio managers and decision makers to correlate stakeholder input with other weighted criteria such as strategies, costs, risks, time, resources, return on investment, scope and configurable metrics to your agency. This gives agencies an optimal 'what-if' scenarios based on risk/cost/benefit analysis. The following figure is a screen shot of Rational Focal Point 'rack and stack' visualization which correlates Risk, Harms Way, Expenses (Cost), Command Value, Financial Feasibility, Mission Objectives and Technical Feasibility. You can click the image to enlarge the view in your browser.