Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR) is a process area in CMMI at Maturity Level 3. DAR helps in the selection of best alternative from two or more alternatives. DAR can be applied in projects or at org-level for any kind of decision making which involves selection of best alternative from different available alternatives. The impact of the decision determines the nature of formalism that is required while implementing DAR. If the decision is having a very wide and significant impact, then the DAR is carried out formally with at-least four alternatives to be evaluated with minimum four to five evaluation criteria for best results. If the decision is having low-impact, then a simple brain-storming session will also suffice for conducting DAR.
Steps for conducting DAR
DAR is conducted using following steps:
- Define the criteria for evaluating alternatives: Criteria for alternatives have to be carefully selected to cover the features that are significant and critical to the decision. For e.g.: if a software life-cycle model has to be selected, then the criteria for evaluation should include the respective features of the various software life-cycle models and weightage should be given to the respective criteria based on the significance each criteria to the final decision. Types of criteria to consider may include Technology limitations, Impact on Environmental, Risks, Business value, Impact on priorities, Costs involved etc. We should atleast have four to five criteria for evaluation for an effective DAR.
- Identify alternatives: The alternatives are evaluated on the basis of criteria decided. Once again, the alternatives have to be carefully selected. Hence, certain measure of research has to go into finding out what the most relevant alternatives which are available. Wrong selection of alternatives will lead to wrong results. Hence all alternatives that are selected have to be relevant to the problem and they may differ in the degree of relevance or merit.
- Decide a method for evaluating alternatives: The most common method is to carry out the evaluation of the alternatives based on the criteria selected using a simple scale of 1 to 5 and then also using weightage for criteria. A simple Alternate Evaluation Form can be designed for this purpose. Other methods could include Rating, Testing, Modelling and Simulation, Engineering Studies, Manufacturing studies, Cost Benefit Analysis, Surveys, Prototyping, End-user Review, Expert Judgment (Delphi method), etc.
- Select Recommended Alternative. Based on the output of the step 4, we have the best or the recommended solution from alternatives based on evaluation criteria.
Where can we apply DAR?
DAR can be applied for formal evaluation, when we have two or more alternatives and objectivity is required for selection of best alternatives. Some examples where DAR can be applied for selection of:
- Tool (COTS, Server, Laptops etc.)
- Technology for project (programming language, design)
- Technical solutions
- Hiring, promotions, transfers, termination, increment
- Budget allocation
- Strategic Decision-making
Let experts train your Project team members for conducting DAR
We at DQS India (CMMI Institute Partner) have CMMI Appraisers and CMMI Consultants who have expertise in designing the DAR guidelines for use in your organization. We also provide comprehensive training on conducting DAR, on different evaluation methods, on evaluating alternatives and on selecting best alternative.
We also have a CMMI-Toolkit to help you quickly deploy DAR guidelines, process as part of QMS in the organization. CMMI-Toolkit contains processes and associated documentation – templates, checklists and guidelines.