When the group recognizes that some criteria are more relevant than others, the group works to come up with a list of weighted evaluative criteria.
- Brainstorm criteria.
- Discuss and revise criteria.
- Discuss relative relevance/importance of each criterion.
After discussion, seek consensus on the relative significance of weighting each criterion.
Consider this example. A community wants to create some new active and passive parks. They have identified several new sites and have evaluated the sites based on criteria such as cost, accessibility to nearby county or state roads, benefits to community, and likelihood for success. They have decided on three sites they want to acquire. Where do they start?
Option 1: Large site for an active park–owner unwilling to sell; site will require condemnation; new road will be required.
Option 2: Small site for a passive park–location next to a county road in a populated area; owner willing to sell at a reasonable cost within the next six months.
Option 3: Medium size site for an active park–location on a major road; seller asking more than the appraised value and wants to complete transaction in three years.
For each option, give a score for each criterion from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest score. Add the total of the scores. The strategies with the lowest scores are the optimal choice. The optimal choice in this example is Option 2.
Each criterion can also be weighted to reflect its relative importance. For example, if cost is most important, a weight can be attached to calculate its relative importance.