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# Application of a Prioritization Algorithm in Requirements Planning Process

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000099887D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 110K

IBM

Yeh, AC: AUTHOR

## Abstract

Disclosed is an algorithm which provides a disciplined approach to prioritize requirements for potential inclusion in a product plan. This approach seeks to minimize biases and inconsistencies normally associated with such decision making. It brings focus on clear understanding and consideration of all critical factors in making such a decision. The algorithm makes use of simple mathematical concepts to transform intuitive, qualitative judgement into tangible quantitative numerical values that are easy to understand, manipulate and communicate. The resultant approach is simple yet comprehensive and flexible, and easy to implement.

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Application of a Prioritization Algorithm in Requirements Planning Process

Disclosed is an algorithm which provides a disciplined
approach to prioritize requirements for potential inclusion in a
product plan.  This approach seeks to minimize biases and
inconsistencies normally associated with such decision making.  It
brings focus on clear understanding and consideration of all critical
factors in making such a decision.  The algorithm makes use of simple
mathematical concepts to transform intuitive, qualitative judgement
into tangible quantitative numerical values that are easy to
understand, manipulate and communicate.  The resultant approach is
simple yet comprehensive and flexible, and easy to implement.

The algorithm consists of the following six steps:
1. Determine a set of criteria (attributes), C1, C2,...Cn,
which characterize the overall business goals of the product.

For example, criteria such as Potential Review Growth,
Technical Strategy, Competitive Positioning, Value to Customer,
Company Resource Required, etc., are key attributes to attain the
business goals of a product.  The criteria should be selected based
on their critical importance and be as independent (non-overlapping)
of each other as possible.
2. Assign relative weights (CW1, CW2,...CWn) to these criteria.

The criteria are evaluated against each other as to their
relative importance to the Product Manager in terms of the business
goals.  They are assigned corresponding "weights".  For example,
based on their relative importance to the product organization, the
criterion, "Potential Review Growth", may be assigned a weight of
"20" vs. a weight of "1" assigned to the criterion, "Company Resource
Required".

The above two steps of the algorithm may be accomplished by
consensus within an organization (such as the Product/Market Planning
organization) that is responsible for the product's business goals.

There can also be different "sets of criteria" in order to
represent different organizational views and/or to reflect the
availability of data at a certain point in time. For example:
Different groups of participants representing different
organizations (e.g., Marketing vs. Product Development organization)
can determine their own set of criteria with their own relative
weights.
At different stages of the Requirements Planning Process
(i.e., Raw Requirements Gathering stage vs. Problem Definition stage
vs. Solution Definition stage vs. Line Item Selection stage), a
different criteria set may be used given the availability of certain
data.

If needed, a given criterion may be deco...