Establish and maintain criteria for evaluating alternatives and the relative ranking of these criteria.


Evaluation criteria provide the basis for evaluating alternative solutions. Criteria are ranked so that the highest ranked criteria exert the most influence on the evaluation.

This process area is referenced by many other process areas in the model, and many contexts in which a formal evaluation process can be used. Therefore, in some situations you may find that criteria have already been defined as part of another process. This specific practice does not suggest that a second development of criteria be conducted.

A well-defined statement of the issue to be addressed and the decision to be made focuses the analysis to be performed. Such a statement also aids in defining evaluation criteria that minimize the possibility that decisions will be second guessed or that the reason for making the decision will be forgotten. Decisions based on criteria that are explicitly defined and established remove barriers to stakeholder buy-in.

Example Work Products

  1. Documented evaluation criteria
  2. Rankings of criteria importance


1. Define the criteria for evaluating alternative solutions.

Criteria should be traceable to requirements, scenarios, business case assumptions, business objectives, or other documented sources.


Types of criteria to consider include the following:
  • Technology limitations
  • Environmental impact
  • Risks
  • Business value
  • Impact on priorities
  • Total ownership and lifecycle costs

2. Define the range and scale for ranking the evaluation criteria.

Scales of relative importance for evaluation criteria can be established with non-numeric values or with formulas that relate the evaluation parameter to a numeric weight.

3. Rank the criteria.

The criteria are ranked according to the defined range and scale to reflect the needs, objectives, and priorities of the relevant stakeholders.

4. Assess the criteria and their relative importance.

5. Evolve the evaluation criteria to improve their validity.

6. Document the rationale for the selection and rejection of evaluation criteria.

Documentation of selection criteria and rationale may be needed to justify solutions or for future reference and use.