Priority of values
11 May 11

Not all values are equal and not all projects are equal. There are many ways of determining the priority or 'weight' to be assigned to values when they are used to assess options.

Tools and techniques
Note the use of
stakeholders in these methods.

Priority-setting for projects
There is a detailed consideration of setting priorities for actions given by the US Air Force. This description considers how to weight tasks according to simple or compound criteria. [Mark Naglost, 5 Oct 01]
http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/usaf/afpam14-210/part18.htm#page158

The International Service for National Agricultural Research has a detailed description of priority-setting, with descriptions of supporting methods (such as AHP, unfortunately) and an extensive reference list. [Thiong See, 8 Oct 01]
http://www.isnar.cgiar.org/priority.htm

A simple but effective method for determining priorities for software projects, similar to the Net Gain calculation that is part of the risk-remedy cycle, is described by Karl Wieges of Process Impact. [Allan Francia, 12 Oct 01]
http://www.processimpact.com/articles/prioritizing.html

Weights for values in evaluation
The 1997 paper (in pdf) from Pöyhönen and Hämäläinen of Helsinki University compares Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with SMART, Swing weights, and Trade off. The results are interesting. [Michael Spencer, 11 Oct 01]
http://www.hut.fi/Units/SAL/Publications/pdf-files/rpoy97a.pdf

These professors have moved on to develop a series of Web-enabled software tools for decision-analysis, including values-trees.

Alan Schneiderman, as part of his description of Balanced Scorecard methods, describes several methods for setting priorities using QFD and other linkages between customer needs and strategy. [Tim Pearson, 12 Oct 01]
http://www.schneiderman.com/Concepts/Scorecard/How_to_Build_a_Balanced_Scorecard/2_Setting_Improvement_Priorities/setting_improvement_priorities.htm

A reprinted paper from 1974 by Johnson gives a detailed description of 'trading-off' between consumers' values to determine their perceived utility. [Michael Spencer, 11 Oct 01]
http://www.sawtooth.com/news/library/articles/johnson.htm

The use of 'weighted voting' (assigning votes from a fixed sized pool) in assessing options is described by the North Carolina Transportation Board. [Michael Spencer, 11 Oct 01]
http://www.dot.state.nc.us/financial/productivity/CPI/CPIToolbox/WEIGHT.pdf

Jia, Fisher, and Dyer (1997) provide a simulated comparison of weighting methods (ratio, ranking, and equal weights) for values. They found that the ratio weighting systems were superior. The paper includes many references concerning evaluation. [Isherwood, 12 Oct 01]
http://www.bus.utexas.edu/~dyerj/Dqpaper.PDF

Norris and Marshall (1965) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology give a detailed review of multi-attribute methods for use in evaluating building alternatives. They concentrate upon AHP and a variant (NCIC) that uses costs as the basis for the paired comparison. [Zulqarnain Ahmad, 12 Oct 01]
http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/publications/nistirs/5663.pdf

Use of weighted values/priorities in action
Examples of priority-setting (within projects for research support, mostly) include the Earth Observation Magazine, discussing selection of locations using GIS. [Ferdinand Grimminck, 12 Oct 01]
http://www.eomonline.com/Common/currentissues/Feb01/mendes.htm