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Re: Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach

by dws (Chancellor)
on Jul 07, 2003 at 17:43 UTC ( #272039=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to (removed by author, formatting problem) Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach

I applaud the work you've put into this, but as an introduction to AHP, it needs some work.

In no particular order:

  • You need a simple description of what AHP does. To my eye, you're not quite there. Try something like:
    "AHP is a technique for calculating an overall ranking and prioritization of items. Each distinct pair of items is presented, and a degree of preference for one item over the other is obtained. AHP uses these pairwise preferences to derive an overall ranking and an indication of consistency."

  • The initial table should be vertical. Nobody in their right mind lays out a table of alternatives horizontally. Ditto for tables 13-15.

  • By mentioning eigenevalues and eigenvectors in the opening paragraphs, you risk scaring people off. Eigenvalues aren't important to the discussion until you start talking about model consistency. (And when you're using AHP to help prioritize a feature set, model consistency doesn't really end up being that important. Breaking the "It's ALL important!" logjam is often value enough.)

  • If you mentiond the mapping of 1/9 to "Strongly prefer A over B", I missed it.

  • You mention that Perl scripts will be included, but then don't include them.

  • Using colors makes for a confusing example. For this audience, it might be more compelling to rank programming languages.

  • References. You mention Saaty. Cite his paper.

  • In any set of items, there may be a few "Go/No Go" items. As in "If we don't have this feature, then we don't have a product. Nothing else matters." Identify these early, and pull them out of the list. Having them "prioritized" makes little sense.

One of the more powerful uses of AHP is to expose the priorities of different groups of people (e.g., Developers vs. Marketing), so that those differences can get out into the open where they can be discussed. By forcing people (well, Marketing people) to consider alternatives pairwise, you can break the "Everything is Critical!" logjam.

  • Comment on Re: Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach

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