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Quantitative Methods for Software Selection and Evaluation

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journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2006, 00:00 by Michael S. Bandor
When performing a buy analysis and selecting a product as part of a software acquisition strategy, most organizations will consider primarily the requirements (the ability of the product to meet the need) and the cost. The method used for the analysis and selection activities can range from the use of basic intuition to counting the number of requirements fulfilled, or something in between. The selection and evaluation of the product must be done in a consistent, quantifiable manner to be effective. By using a formal method, it is possible to mix very different criteria into a cohesive decision; the justification for the selection decision is not just based on technical, intuitive, or political factors. This report describes various methods for selecting candidate commercial off-the-shelf packages for further evaluation, possible methods for evaluation, and other factors besides requirements to be considered. It also describes the use of a decision analysis spreadsheet as one possible tool for use in the evaluation process.