Lee Merkhofer Consulting Priority Systems

Step 3: Derive the aggregation equation and decision rule

The aggregation equation is derived based on characteristics of the objectives and performance measures using mathematical modeling principles. For example:


Ranking Measure = [ 80 x (Frequency of Use x Benefit per Use) - 20 x Weight ] / Size


Item Frequency

(No. times used)

Benefit per Use Score

4=major, 3=significant, 2=moderate, 1=minor, 0=none

Pounds Cubic inches Ranking Measure Cumulative Space Used

(3000 cu in max)

Decision
Prescription medicine 7 4 0.1 3 746 3 Pack
Swimming trunks 4 3 .2 11 97 14 Pack
Camera 4 4 0.5 25 51 39 Pack
: : : : : : : :
: : : : : : : :

Hawaiian shirt 2 1 0.2 26 6 3000 Pack
Tennis racket 2 2 1 100 3 3100 Don't
Bowling ball 2 3 14 800 0.3 3900 Don't

Packed Suitcase

Although this priority system seems to work, it's always a good idea to test a priority system's limitations. Think of items that might be misranked. For example, this system will give bad advice for packing cash (risk of theft is ignored), tennis balls (interdependencies with the unpacked tennis racket are ignored), and fresh bagels (time-limited benefits are ignored). Whether limitations need to be addressed depends on the application.