Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Expert Choice's take on Analytic Hierarchy Process

Today's combination PMI Silicon Valley and SD Forum event Better Project, Program and Portfolio decisions using Expert Choice and the Analytic Hierarchy Process reminded me of brainstorming on steroids. For those who are not into project management Hippopotamus talk, Analytic Hierarchy Process is a way for a company to narrow down their choices and make educated decisions. Jim Devlin from Expert Choice primarily focused on ranking projects in an IT project portfolio. If you use spreadsheets to manually analyze, prioritize and rank projects, you could still use a product like Expert Choice. I think of it as the difference between a manual toothbrush and a Oral-B 3D Excel Action tooth brush. It can factor in many variable and let you adjust the weight of the variables on the fly. I don't know whether the best thing is the graphical representation of the results or the way the tool takes out the emotions out of decisions. You can lead a team to come up with portfolio decisions that stick because of buy in from all of the decision makers. Plus you have back-up and supporting data upp the wazoo. They'll do a training at your location or you can go to one of the public trainings. If you have a need a high powered decision making tool, Expert Choice may be worth checking out. OK, commercial over.

I ran into a former co-worker, Mike Crocker, and got an update on what happened to our project after I left and before he left. Good luck to him on his interviews.

I met Randy Englund, another of those enterprising folks with their own consultancy. Plus he's an author with a book on the Amazon Best Books on Project Management list, Creating an Environment for Successful Projects. Looks like he's coming out we a new book next year too, Project Sponsorship.


Anonymous said...

--- Randy Englund wrote:
Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 13:24:12 -0700

Hi Debra,

Yes, it was good meeting you, too. Good luck in your endeavors.

The AHP and Expert Choice are very effective tools but sometimes an overkill. Their current pricing model makes it difficult for us lone consultants to afford. I gave them lots of feedback on this aspect. The presentation both reminded me of ways I used their software within HP and inspired me of more things that could be done.

Best regards,

Randy Englund, NPDP, CBM
Executive Consultant, Englund Project Management Consultancy
228 Channing Road
Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone (& FAX): 650 343-6890
Cell: 650 465-0197
Co-Author: Creating an Environment for Successful Projects, 2nd Ed. and
Creating the Project Office: a Manager's Guide to Leading Organizational Change

Devans00 said...


I know what you mean by the price point being too much. There are other cool project management tools I discover but it's impossible to actually use them in a work environment. Either because the start up cost is too much and/or it would take too much of an process overhaul for the whole company for the application to be effective. I think that's why MS Project is so popular. It's easy for individuals or small groups to use in isolation at a relatively inexpensive price.