Solution Desirability Matrix

Use the Solution Desirability Matrix form to evaluate proposed solutions by using weighted selection criteria. Solutions, or improvement proposals, are scored on how well they match the improvement goals of the organization.

Answers the questions:
  • How do competing improvement proposals measure up against organizational improvement goals?
  • Which of several competing improvement proposals best matches organizational improvement goals?
When to Use Purpose
Mid-project A team-based decision tool for evaluating different improvement proposals against weighted criteria established for the organization. The outcome is a score for each proposal so the team can select the improvement that best matches the goals.

Data

This form has no data requirements because you use it only to collect and organize data.

Guidelines

  • Use this tool as a team exercise. Do not complete the matrix individually.
  • The Solution Desirability Matrix is similar to the Pugh Matrix. Both tools are designed to facilitate a semi-scientific method for choosing the best proposal from a list of competing proposals by rating how well each one matches the selection criteria. The tools differ in the following ways:
    • Pugh Matrix:
      • Compares how well each alternative proposal matches the baseline proposal for each of the selection criteria
      • Penalizes an alternative that is worse than the baseline for a particular selection criterion by an amount equal to the importance rating of the selection criterion; no distinction exists for being slightly worse versus dramatically worse
      • Rewards an alternative that is better than the baseline for a particular selection criterion by an amount equal to the importance rating of the selection criterion; no distinction exists for being slightly better versus dramatically better
      • Can be easier and more consistent to use when the number of proposals and selection criteria is large because each alternative proposal is compared to the same baseline
    • Solution Desirability Matrix:
      • Rates all proposals directly on how well they match the selection criteria
      • Can provide a more realistic rating of the proposals because each proposal is rated directly on how well it matches the selection criteria, which creates much higher scores for better proposals

How-to

  1. Develop a list of all the organizational improvement goals (selection criteria) that you will use to select the best improvement.
  2. Develop a list of all potential improvement solutions.
  3. Enter the improvement solutions along the left side of the matrix and the improvement goals across the top of the matrix.
  4. Apply a weighting factor to all the improvement goals. These weights might not be the same for all projects; they may be changed to reflect different localized improvement needs. Use a 1-to-9 scale for weighting the importance of the improvement goals, or selection criteria.
  5. Based on team input, apply a score for each solution's match to each of the selection criteria. Use a 1-to-9 scale for scoring the solutions.
  6. Cross-multiply and sum the scores to obtain an overall value for each solution, as well as an overall score for each selection criteria.

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