Purpose:

Decisions are based on an evaluation of alternatives using established criteria.

Objective:

Identify issues as early as possible to maximize the time available to resolve them.

Description:

Evaluate Alternatives is about making the right decisions through a structured approach. It involves identifying issues/situations that require analysis through formal and structured approaches and shall be applied for three key aspects of the project as given below:

    • Selection of Suppliers – Selection of Supplier is described in the IT Procurement/ SAM Process – Select Suppliers where Supplier Proposal Evaluation Matrix is developed to down select the Suppliers
    • Selection of Architecture Alternatives – Selection of Architecture Alternatives shall be done during Architectural Design sub-phase of Define Phase. Choosing Architecture Alternatives helps in careful comparison and evaluation of alternatives that enables designing a robust architecture. DAR process shall be applied only when selecting new architecture for a project. For projects that continue to use existing architectures, DAR process may not be needed.
    • Build/Buy/Reuse Tradeoff Study – Build/Buy/Reuse is about investigating options and documenting the rationale for “Building a new system”/”Buying a COTS product”/”Reusing an existing system”. Again at the Define Phase, this analysis is carried out both at product and major component level. DAR process shall be used to evaluate the options formally.

Risk Management is another area where a formal evaluation – DAR process may be used. High-risk areas are also subjected to formal evaluation to identify effective mitigation plan(s).

The process steps described below are generic steps that shall be followed for an issue, which is subjected for a formal evaluation.

Entrance Criteria:

  • Critical issues in the project are identified and documented in Project Plan for which DAR process shall be applied
  • Project has come across a high-risk area or critical issue, which has multiple alternatives for addressing its solution

Exit Criteria:

  • A solution provided to a critical issue by applying formal and structured decision-making approach.

Process and Procedures:

Tailoring Guidelines:

Decision Package or an other method may replace PUGH method to conduct formal evaluation.

Process Verification Record(s):

  • E-mail communication showing distribution of Evaluation Results for DAR issue to Stakeholders
    • Stored By: Project Manager

Measure(s):

  • Cost-to-benefit analysis for using Formal Evaluation, qualitative remarks recorded by the Moderator on the Cost-to-Benefit ratio of using formal evaluation process for arriving at the solution
    • Maintained By: DAR Owner
    • Submitted By: Project Manager
    • Frequency of Submission: Reported in the Senior Management Report conducted immediately after the DAR meeting

References: