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Multicriteria decision analysis technique and their properties | PMBOK®Guide

Multicriteria decision analysis

Multicriteria decision Analysis is a technique that uses decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach for establishing criteria, such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank many ideas. Various factors can be weighted to score the choices, or a more qualitative evaluation can also be made.

This technique is widely used, considering multiple parameters to make an objective, balanced decision.

Where applied?

Within PMBOK® Guide Multicriteria decision analysis are used as techniques in the following processes:

PROCESSES

KNOWLEDGE AREA

PROCESS GROUPS

Acquire Resources

Project Resource Management

Executing

Collection Requirements

Project Scope Management

Planning

Define Scope

Project Scope Management

Planning

Manage Quality

Project Quality Management

Executing

Monitor Stakeholder Engagement

Project Stakeholder Management

Monitoring

Perform Integrated Change Control

Project Integration Management

Monitoring

Plan Quality Management

Project Quality Management

Planning

Plan Risk Responses

Project Risk Management

Planning

Acquire Resources

Using a multi-criteria decision analysis tool, criteria are developed and used to rate or score potential resources (for example, choosing between internal and external team resources).  Criteria are then weighted according to their relative importance and values arrived at for different types of resources. Some examples of selection criteria that can be used are:

Knowledge/Capability: Consider if the team member has relevant skill in the domain, knowledge of the customer, similar implemented projects, and nuances of the project environment.

Experience: Verify whether the team member has  relevant experience that will contribute to the project success.

Availability: Verify whether the resource is available to work on the project within the given time period.

Cost: Verify whether the cost of adding the resource is within the prescribed budget.

Attitude:  Asses whether the team member has the ability to work with others as a cohesive team.

International factors. Consider team member’s location, time zone, and communicative skills.

A sample multi-criterion decision analysis is shown below :

FactorsWeightageResource AResource BResource C
Score in a scale of 1-5
Knowledge/

Capability

40%3

(3*0.4=1.2)

4 (1.6)2.5 (1.0)
Experience20%4 (0.8)3 (0.6)4 (0.8)
Availability10%4(0.4)5 (0.5)5(0.5)
Cost10%2 (0.2)4 (0.4)4 (0.4)
Attitude10%3 (0.3)4 (0.4)5 (0.5)
International factors10%2 (0.2)3 (0.3)4 (0.4)
Total score100%3.13.83.6
Priority312

Decision: In the above analysis the selected candidate would be Resource B

Collection Requirements

A technique that uses  decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach for establishing criteria, such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank many ideas.

Define Scope

A decision-making technique that can be used in this process includes but is not limited to a decision matrix to provide a systematic approach for establishing criteria such as requirements, schedule, budget, and resources in order to refine the project and product scope for the project.

Manage Quality

Multi-criteria decision making is used to evaluate several criteria when discussing alternatives that impact project or product quality. Project decisions can include choosing among different implementation scenarios or suppliers. Product decisions can include evaluating the life cycle cost, schedule, stakeholder satisfaction, and risks associated with resolving product defects.

Monitor Stakeholder Engagement

Criteria for successful stakeholder engagement are prioritized and weighted to identify the most appropriate choice.

Perform Integrated Change Control

This technique uses  decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach to evaluate the requested changes according to a set of predefined criteria. For example we can consider only 5 CRs per iteration and we have at any given point of time 25+ CRs in the backlog. In order to prioritize the change request without any bias, we can use Multi-criterion decision analysis. The criteria to be used could be : impact to product quality, resources required, business benefits, time to delivery, etc.,

Plan Quality Management

Multi-criteria decision analysis tools (e.g., prioritization matrix) can be used to identify the key issues and suitable alternatives to be prioritized as a set of decisions for implementation. Criteria are prioritized and weighted before being applied to all available alternatives to obtain a mathematical score for each alternative. The alternatives are then ranked by score. As used in this process, it can help prioritize quality metrics.

Plan Risk Responses

While responding to project risks one or more strategies may be considered. Decision-making techniques can help prioritize risk response strategies. Criteria for risk response selection may include but are not limited to cost of response, likely effectiveness of response in changing probability and/or impact, resource availability, timing constraints (urgency, proximity, and dormancy), level of impact if the risk occurs, effect of response on related risks, introduction of secondary risks, etc. Different strategies may be selected later in the project if the original choice proves to be ineffective.

References:

PMBOK® GUIDE SIXTH EDITION

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