Chapter 8Developing and Evaluating Alternatives

C. Robert Kenley

School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Clifford Whitcomb

Systems Engineering Department, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Monterey, CA, USA

Gregory S. Parnell

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA


Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.

Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, 2005

8.1 Introduction

As discussed in Chapter 1, value identification requires that we create feasible alternatives. We also need techniques for evaluating alternatives that measure the value of each alternative and identify the alternatives that provide the most potential value, as presented in Chapter 2. This chapter reviews techniques for creating and evaluating alternatives, provides references for the techniques, and provides an assessment of the techniques. When using the methods in this chapter, always keep in mind the decision traps discussed in Section 6.3.

This chapter is organized as follows: Section 8.2 presents an overview of decision-making, creativity, and teams, and Section 8.3 presents techniques for creating alternatives. These sections describe divergent and convergent phases for alternative development, and when techniques are embedded in what is customarily proposed as a complete process for creating and evaluating alternatives, it identifies and ...

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