Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is the Decision Analysis and Resolution Process Area compatible with Agile?


The Decision Analysis and Resolution process area, a process area at level 3, aims at “formal evaluation process that evaluates identified alternatives against established criteria.”

Below are the specific goals and practices:

SG 1 Evaluate Alternatives
SP 1.1 Establish Guidelines for Decision Analysis
SP 1.2 Establish Evaluation Criteria
SP 1.3 Identify Alternative Solutions
SP 1.4 Select Evaluation Methods
SP 1.5 Evaluate Alternatives
            SP 1.6 Select Solutions

Inclusive and Fair

The process should be inclusive and fair.

Inclusive: All stakeholders should be involved in the decision. With this, I am not saying that all stakeholders need to agree on the solution. Probably this is impossible or too costly. I am just saying that everyone should be able to participate in the decision process, express their opinions, being heard. A good facilitator will increase the chances of everyone being heard and of taking a good decision. Being included in the decision process provides great encouragement to follow through the selected paths. Collaborative decision making is of utmost importance in Agile.

Fair: the process should be fair. Every person in the team should feel that it was not an arbitrary decision imposed. The decision was taken using a process that they understand and consider fair. Of course, not everyone will agree, even if a very fair process is used. However, even not agreeing, if they consider that the process was fair, they will accept. On the contrary, if the feeling is the decision was imposed through a not so transparent process, the decision taken will be very difficult to accept. An excellent paper regarding this topic can be found here.


I believe it would be very beneficial to have a defined formal process that can be used to take difficult decisions. To be more Agile, the process should be inclusive and fair (which are really very inter twinned)

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