PennDOT Planning Partners Conference 2009

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PennDOT Planning Partners Conference 2009

  1. 1. PennDOT Planning Partners’ Conference 2009:Structure and Quality to Key Decisions for Transportation Planners<br />20 October 2009<br />Jonathan Malpass, Sr. Account Manager, Decision Lens<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Introduction to decision making and Decision Lens<br />Comparing apples and oranges<br />Applying Decision Lens to transportation<br />Interstate model / Decision Lens demonstration<br />2<br />
  3. 3. What makes decision making difficult?<br />3<br />
  4. 4. About Decision Lens<br />Decision Lens is a decision-support solutions provider based in Arlington, Virginia with…<br /><ul><li>A software solution and an advanced process for group decision-making based on a proven and robust methodology
  5. 5. A technique for quickly collecting and synthesizing qualitative and quantitative information from multiple data sources and stakeholders for trade-off, prioritization and/or resource allocation decisions
  6. 6. An approach to quantifying and making explicit the subjectivity that is part of all decision-making in order to use experience and judgment more effectively</li></li></ul><li>Customer qualifications<br />Government<br />Commercial<br />
  7. 7. Decisions are based on judgments<br />Making judgments is one of the most basic of innate human skills<br />By breaking up problems and then comparing discrete elements, we are able to arrive at a decision<br />Even babies can discern between a smile and a frown. They are applying their innate ability to judge.<br />
  8. 8. Let’s compare apples and oranges<br />How do you choose a piece of fruit from a bowl? <br />
  9. 9. Identify characteristics of fruit<br />8<br />sweetness<br />tartness<br />texture<br />juiciness<br />size<br />
  10. 10. Prioritize characteristics to match our craving<br />9<br /><ul><li>What do we want in the fruit we are going to eat? Let’s compare two of the characteristics.
  11. 11. The result is a measurable output of something that normally seems intangible – if sweetness is 3 times size, we also know size is 1/3 sweetness:
  12. 12. Sweetness: 3
  13. 13. Size: 1/3</li></ul>size<br />Here we have decided that sweetness is 3 times more important than size<br />sweetness<br />vs<br />
  14. 14. “Relative Importance” enables us to compare tangible and intangible criteria<br />By definition, an intangible is something for which there is no scale of measurement<br /><ul><li>Sweetness is an intangible factor that may differ significantly from one person to another</li></ul>Even “tangibles” such as “Size” use “made-up” measures<br /><ul><li>“Size” is an invention. A unit of size such as an “inch” or a “pound” is an agreed upon measure of size.
  15. 15. “Cost” or “dollars” are similarly an agreed upon unit of value. They have no meaning outside of this agreed-upon value</li></ul>10<br />“Intangible” factors must be interpreted according to what they provide toward your goal. The power of pairwise comparisons is that it enables you to trade-off both Tangible and Intangible factors against each other<br />
  16. 16. Derive overall “priorities” using pairwise comparisons of the criteria<br />In decision making, we express judgments using a fundamental numerical scale (1 to 9)<br />These represent our interpretation of dominance—one criterion may be twice as important (Moderate – 2) or five times as important (Strong – 5), all the way up to nine times as important (Extreme – 9). A “1” is Equal importance<br />Comparing one factor to another gives its relative importance<br />11<br />To select a type of fruit, which is more important?<br />Sweetness<br />Tartness<br />Texture<br />Sweetness<br />Texture<br />Juiciness<br />Juiciness<br />Size<br />Each criterion is compared to the others to assess their relative importancefor our decision<br />
  17. 17. Priorities are based on the importance of each criterion relative to all others<br />12<br /><ul><li>The result of multiple sets of pairwise comparisons at each level is a weighted value hierarchy, with all of the priorities in the decision concisely captured and expressed as numerical values
  18. 18. These priorities will be the guidepost used to evaluate your choices</li></li></ul><li>Now that we have our priorities we can select the fruit that best fits our desire<br />13<br /><ul><li>Compare each alternative under the characteristic to establish which has more of that quality that you want</li></li></ul><li>The selection<br />14<br />
  19. 19. Transportation problems have complexity<br />Not just a technical problem, but a “socio-technical” problem with many subtle facets<br />Many and diverse stakeholders<br />Many, often competing, considerations<br />Goals may not be sharply defined<br />Transportation problems are multi-criteria<br />How do we accommodate the growing number of users of our transportation system?<br />Can we continue tomaintain and preserve such a vast transportation network? <br />Costs continue to rise, but our budget continues to shrink.<br />How do we increase our partnerships and integration with other transportation networks for the most efficiency and effectiveness?<br />15<br />
  20. 20. Structure our decision framework<br />Decision making is about being clear and articulating what is important at various steps along the process<br />To start, we need to identify and structure those factors important in making our decision<br /><ul><li>Brainstorm potential decision criteria
  21. 21. Cluster like criteria to build an overall decision model
  22. 22. Finalize model including definitions of each criterion</li></ul>16<br />
  23. 23. Build Model in Decision Lens<br />17<br /><ul><li>Create a structured grouping of factors important in the decision, called a criteria hierarchy
  24. 24. Criteria can be both qualitative and quantitative in nature</li></li></ul><li>Make judgments about relative importance in that framework to derive priorities<br />We can then apply judgment to relate the parts according to our goal or purpose… but how do we include multiple people with competing interests to form this decision?<br />Not everyone would assign the same priority to the same need<br />What &quot;solution&quot; means in these cases is that a reasonable compromise among various requirements was achieved<br />18<br />10<br />2<br />4<br />9<br />9<br />10<br />8.5<br />
  25. 25. Compare Criteria in Decision Lens<br />19<br /><ul><li>Determine relative importance of each criterion through pairwise comparison
  26. 26. Result is a weighted criteria framework based on what is important to the group of decision makers as a whole</li></li></ul><li>Prioritize potential projects using that weighted framework<br />Now that we know what is important to us for selecting, we can better, consistently articulate exactly how the various options that exist meet those defined needs<br />Evaluate each project against each one of the criteria<br /><ul><li>Use custom ratings scales to define what is good or not-so-good for each criterion
  27. 27. Not just a 1-5 scale</li></ul>Prioritize projects using final scores based on ratings of each project and the weight of the criteria<br />20<br />
  28. 28. Evaluate Alternatives in Decision Lens<br />21<br /><ul><li>Projects or alternatives are evaluated against each criterion using custom, user-defined ratings scales
  29. 29. Ratings with the weight of the criteria yields an overall score for each alternative
  30. 30. Alternatives can then be ranked by importance and re-prioritized using Sensitivity Analysis</li></li></ul><li>Distribute resources to high-value projects<br />Even though we may have a prioritization of what is important (framed by what best meets the needs we have articulated and assessed), we cannot necessarily pay for everything<br />Apply budgeting concepts to select what grouping of projects provides the “best bang for the buck”<br />Not just a “top-down” funding until budget is exhausted<br />Include additional constraints beyond just requested amount<br /><ul><li>Dependencies between projects
  31. 31. Funding minimums and must funds
  32. 32. Funding buckets or pools
  33. 33. Resource types
  34. 34. Time periods</li></ul>22<br />
  35. 35. Allocate Resources in Decision Lens<br /><ul><li>Alternatives can compete for limited funding using a “best value” calculation that rewards high value, low cost alternatives
  36. 36. Various constraints can be included to reflect real-life limitations or requirements
  37. 37. Multiple scenarios can be created as different options for funding</li></li></ul><li>Interstate model demonstration<br />24<br />

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