Blog Posts Process Analysis

Project Selection Process S090

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

S090 – Prioritise Requirements Matrix by Weights

SIIPS Selection Processes (S).png

DEFINITION

S090 Prioritise Requirements Matrix by weights.pngAgree importance weightings per detailed requirement or question in the Requirements Matrix (according to the agreed scoring scheme).

SUMMARY

The detailed requirements stated in the Requirements Matrix are weighted such that their relative importance is reflected in the weight they are given during the scoring and evaluation of vendors’ responses.  The approach was defined and agreed in Process S060.  These rules must now be applied by the project team in conjunction with the key user management to agree a complete schedule of weights including those applied at the higher levels of summarisation.

PATH PLANNING GUIDANCE

This process is  optional.  It is common practice except in simple selection exercises where selection weights can be based directly upon “criticality”.

DEPENDENCIES

Prerequisites (Finish-Finish):
  • Requirement Matrix
  • Agreed scoring scheme (S060)
Dependent procedures (Finish-Start):
  • Receive and mark responses (S190)

RECEIVABLES

  • Requirement Matrix
  • Scoring scheme

DELIVERABLES

  • Fully prioritised Requirement Matrix

TOOLS

  • Examples: Structured Scoring Scheme
  • Examples: Scoring Worksheet
  • Examples: System Scoring Worksheet
  • Examples: Request For Proposal (includes questionnaires in appendices)
  • Examples: Request For Proposal Signoff Letter
  • Examples: Evaluation Process Workshop Agenda
  • Requirements – library of example requirements matrices
  • Examples: System Requirements Worksheet
  • Examples: Data for System Quality Charts
  • Examples: SQ/VQ Charts –  (Overall Average)
  • Examples: Data for System Quality/Vendor Quality Charts

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF TASKS

This process is typically undertaken at one of three times:
  • with the detailing of the requirements,
  • with the definition of priorities by “criticality”, or
  • following the publication of the ITT.
Given that the weights are not required until the tenders are received, it makes efficient use of time to take the last of these options so that the work is conducted during the time delay when the vendors are preparing their proposals.

The scoring scheme

The scoring scheme should already have been defined and agreed in Process S060.  For a full discussion of the considerations that apply see that process.  The rules that were agreed at that time should now be applied to the Requirements.  The deliverable should be a fully prioritised Requirement Matrix showing the relative weights of all detailed requirements and other questions.

Approach

The relative importance of each requirement should be judged by the key users and management from the client organisation.  The project team can participate using the information and understanding they have gained during the definition of the detailed requirements, but it is essentially the organisation’s corporate viewpoint which should be reflected.
The best approach is usually to hold a workshop (or series of workshops) at which key users and managers discuss the weightings to attach to each detailed requirement within a given area of the requirements.  Participants should have received in advance the description of the chosen scoring scheme and the detailed Requirements Matrices prioritised by criticality if available.
To decide the high level weightings will normally require the participation of the project’s sponsor.  Detailed weightings are best left to staff with understanding of the detailed tasks and requirements.  The first step will, therefore, be to establish and agree the attendance and scope of each workshop.
An example workshop agenda is shown in Examples: Evaluation Process Workshop Agenda.  In this example, the workshop has been extended to review the analysis tools to be used, such as scoring spreadsheets, and to agree the allocation of duties in evaluating the anticipated responses.
The chairman of the workshops should try to make rapid progress.  Any one decision will be of relatively consequence at the end of the process and participants should be encouraged to come to a consensus rapidly.  The simplicity of the scoring scheme and the degree to which it is understood will help in this respect.
The results may be typed directly into the scoring spreadsheet version of the Requirements Matrices, which can subsequently be re-issued to document the agreed scheme.
Once agreed, the weights should not be revised unless a compelling reason is found.  It should not be routine practice to revise the importance of a requirement based on the proposals received as this encourages the manipulation of the questions to get the “right” answer.

Note that it is not normal practice to publish these weights as their publication does not increase the value of the process but can lead to distortions of the proposals and unnecessary arguments.

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