Assignment 7: Develop Alternatives
Some of the following materials are adapted from the Decision Process Guide
, published by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.
You now have a list of options that have been assigned to one of the following determination categories: irresolvable, fatal flaw, major problem, fixable, minor problem, no problem.
This assignment is about developing alternatives. The term alternative is used to signify those options that remain viable after screening out unworkable options.
Once the options (new options A, B, C, etc.) are categorized in your Options Worksheet [2.1.3.a.7.a]
, review them again and follow these steps:
- 1. Ask the question: Would any of the new options designated as “irresolvable”, “major problems”, or “fatal flaw” be feasible if modified?
- 2. Documentany changes you could make to the options to make them more feasible, if any, and re-categorize them with a new determination category (irresolvable, fatal flaw, major problem, fixable, minor problem, or no problem).
- 3. Eliminate those options that are not workable – those categorized as “irresolvable”, “fatal flaw”, or “major problem”.
- 4. Review the options that are in the categories of “fixable”, “minor problem”, and “no problem”.
- 5. Ask again about each option: Will this option meet the need and fulfill the objective? Are there enough resources to implement and support it?
This process should narrow your options to those that have a workable solution and only a fixable or minor problem, if any.
Name the viable options and list under the Viable Options section in the Options Worksheet [2.1.3.a.7.a]
. Ask the following questions of the viable options and document the answers in the worksheet. When referring to benefits and values, a benefit
is defined as an advantage or gain and a value
is defined as a worth or importance.
- What are the benefits of each option?
- What are the values of each option?
- What are the adverse effects of each option?
- Are there modifications that can make an option more effective?
- Can any of the options be combined to increase their effectiveness and better meet the needs and objectives?
- Are there modifications that can be made to individual options to make combining them more attractive?
- Are there options or combinations of options that have the greatest benefit?
- Are there options or combinations of options that have the greatest value?
- Are there options or combinations of options that will have adverse effects?
Determine which option or combination of options has adverse effects, and eliminate them.
Highlight those options that have the greatest benefits and values.
Ask again: Which option or combination of options will meet the need and fulfill the objective? Are there enough resources to implement and support it?
List the options or combinations of options that are left. These arenow called alternatives.
Resource to use:
Affinity Diagrams help you generate and organize ideas or concerns that are numerous, complex, or not easily organized. The following are two examples:
- Affinity Diagrams in the Decision Process Guide; and
- Affinity Diagrams by mindtools.com.
See Evaluate alternatives [2.1.3.a.10] for the next assignment.
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