Organizing and analyzing complex decisionmaking

The Challenge 

An educational foundation of a large association has been championing a national program for high school students for more than 15 years. The program is a joint venture of the national association and related but independent state associations. Westat has been supporting the data collection, management, and evaluation of the program. As part of the program’s growth and development process, the national association and state associations needed to review and confirm the focus and goals of the program and the allocation of program resources.

But how do you determine the priorities of 40 executives, use their time wisely, ensure all their voices are heard, and end up with a set of goals and priorities that everyone agrees with and ultimately implements – all in 6 hours?

Our Solutions 

  • We facilitated a day-long working meeting using software, developed by TransparentChoice, that facilitates analytical hierarchy process (AHP), a mathematically based technique for organizing and analyzing complex decisions.
  • The meeting…
    • Enabled the group to reach consensus on the most important goals of the program
    • Determined the impact of program resources and focus on the agreed upon goals
  • Using the AHP software and facilitated discussion, we were able to
    • Bring together in real-time individual ratings of goals and impacts
    • Enable the group to arrive at a set of agreed upon goals
    • Identify the resources that help the program achieve those goals

The Results 

  • Everyone’s voice was heard.
  • All of the executives participating in the meeting said they felt part of the decisionmaking process and that their time was well spent.
  • The group established the program goals and allotted resources to achieve those goals within the 6 hours.