Analytical Hierarchy Process :: Overview Click here to go to the homepage
What is it?
Developed by Thomas Saaty, AHP provides a proven, effective means to deal with complex decision making and can assist with identifying and weighting selection criteria, analyzing the data collected for the criteria and expediting the decision-making process.
Why is it important?
AHP helps capture both subjective and objective evaluation measures, providing a useful mechanism for checking the consistency of the evaluation measures and alternatives suggested by the team thus reducing bias in decision making. Combined with meeting automation, organizations can minimize common pitfalls of team decision making process, such as lack of focus, planning, participation or ownership, which ultimately are costly distractions that can prevent teams from making the right choice.
When to use it?
When making complex decisions involving multiple criteria.


How to use it?
The first step is for the team to decompose the goal into its constituent parts, progressing from the general to the specific. In its simplest form, this structure comprises a goal, criteria and alternative levels. Each set of alternatives would then be further divided into an appropriate level of detail, recognizing that the more criteria included, the less important each individual criterion may become.

Next, assign a relative weight to each one. Each criterion has a local (immediate) and global priority. The sum of all the criteria beneath a given parent criterion in each tier of the model must equal one. Its global priority shows its relative importance within the overall model.

Finally, after the criteria are weighted and the information is collected, put the information into the model. Scoring is on a relative basis, not an absolute basis, comparing one choice to another. Relative scores for each choice are computed within each leaf of the hierarchy. Scores are then synthesized through the model, yielding a composite score for each choice at every tier, as well as an overall score.

What's on the web?
1. Decision Lens with a platform based on AHP, from the Saatys
2. Analytical Hierarchy Process: A Step-by-Step Approach by Dr. S Tom Foster & Dr. Gerald LaCava
3. Decision Support Tools from University of Cambridge Department of Engineering
4. Excel Spreadsheet for AHP
5. ExpertChoice AHP Software
6. Improving the Faculty Selection Process in Higher Education: A Case for the Analytic Hierarchy Process
by John R. Grandzol, Bloomsburg U of Pennsylvania
7. MakeItRational - AHP software
Food for Thought !
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