DPI partnered with Decision Lens to deliver a complete solution for a client facing this challenge. We started by defining funding buckets that represented the share of funds allocated to specific mission areas. The executive team prioritized the buckets and formulated and defined allocation criteria. Decision Lens was used to set priorities through pairwise comparisons rather than setting them arbitrarily. A group of subject matter experts was engaged to score the project portfolio. This exercise involved a complete analysis of project cost, benefit, and risk information. Following this review, DPI put together a scorecard to brief the executive team. The subject matter experts recommended adjusting some of the priorities that were more heavily weighted than expected. Using Decision Lens, DPI ran a sensitivity analysis that allowed managers to change the priorities and adjust the ranking automatically on real-time basis.
The executive team typically met for several days to set criteria and make final recommendations on their portfolio. Using decision support tools reduced the time commitment to a total of eight hours. The subject matter experts verbalized their observations from a regional standpoint, and the scores were summarized to reflect the aggregate perspective at a national level. As the results were justifiable, the Board of Directors endorsed all the recommendations made by the team. The departmental managers had the sensibility analysis to assess the impact on their departmental project portfolios. The client was able to brief Congress and to respond to “what if” questions on a real-time basis.