5 Steps to Building a Tool Selection Scorecard

At the SDI event I attended last week, Ken Goff gave a compelling talk on tool selection.

This is not a new concept and I’m sure many readers would have used similar methodologies, nonetheless the credit for this article goes to Ken and SDI.

In this article I aim to provide an overview of Ken’s logic. The goal is to build a decision matrix for tool selection that is closely aligned to your requirements. The focus is on making an objective decision based on facts and stripping away any emotion or subjective bias.

5 STEPS

  • Step 1: Define your criteria, wish-list and desires of a new tool (This is a whole topic by itself and won’t be covered here).
  • Step 2: From this list define which of your criteria are Must Haves or Show Stoppers, there is no point investing in a tool if these features are not included. The remainder will be ‘wants’ or ‘nice to haves’.
  • Step 3: Assign a weighting score against each criteria
  • Step 4: Score each tool according to the criteria, then multiply the score by the weighting score to generate an overall score. Eliminate any candidates that do not meet the ‘Must’ criteria.
  • Step 5: Total all scores to provide an overall objective rating.
To demonstrate this in action I’ll use this methodology to choose a new house to purchase.

EXAMPLE

  • Step 1: Criteria: I’m looking for a house to buy in Poole, UK. I would like 3 bedrooms, a Sea View and for the property to be in Poole.
  • Step 2: Must or Want: It must have a least 3 bedrooms (Must), The Sea View and Location are nice to have.
  • Step 3: Criteria Score: I will assign a score to the criteria as follows: 3 bedrooms (10), Sea View (8) and Poole location (5).
  • Step 4: Scoring: See table below. As an example Property 1 has no Sea View (Score 0), it has four bedrooms (score 9) and is within Poole (score 8). Total aggregate score of scores versus weightings equals 130.
  • Step 5: Property 3 has the highest score, Property 2 is eliminated because it only has 2 bedrooms (A must) and Property 1 is last.

This method might seem overkill for 3 criteria, but becomes very useful when dealing with 50+ requirements.

I have used Poole in Dorset, UK specifically as an example (The fourth highest land value, by area in the world) since it doesn’t matter how suitable your tool is if you can’t afford it. Indeed, the price range of the tool might be factored into the criteria.

Please let me know if you have anything to add to this process or if you have any experiences to share.