IEEE has long used a simple method for evaluating new project proposals towards five well defined criteria. These criteria have supported new steps for technologies like Ethernet and WiFi for many years. The five criteria are greats as a benchmark for strategic initiatives in your own organization too.
Most large organizations have a set of criteria they evaluate new initiatives towards. Some better some worse. The criteria adopted by IEEE are well known to anyone taking an active role in the development of their standards. I think many organizations could consider adopting them as a whole, or with a twist.
The five criteria used by IEEE are
1. Broad market potential – Pushing the envelope towards going for markets with large potential to become really big.
2. Compatibility – Securing the new business is backward compatible with the current one and enables a smooth co-existence / transition.
3. Distinct identity – Forcing a clear positioning towards available alternatives with a clear identity in the market place.
4. Technical feasibility – An in depth technical evaluation to secure the proposed identity can be realized.
5. Economic feasibility – An equally deep analysis for the economic aspects of the solution to secure the market potential can be realized.
The beauty of this model is five simple but powerful criteria. The criteria are related to each other in a clear way. There are few frameworks with such a long track record as these criteria where you with high confidence say they work.
When developing an organization’s evaluation criteria the following are good questions to consider:
• What criteria do we use today and how well do they work? – Often it is a question of improving than starting from scratch
• What learnings could we take from the IEEE in improving our own criteria? – Depending on your type of business tweaking might be required.
• How many criteria do we need? As few as possible and as many as required is a good ground rule. More than 5 are hard to steer towards.
• What is the connection between the criteria we should have? – Better to view the criteria as connected than a set of stand-alone aspects.
There is little published on this subject but here are a few things to read
- How to develop evaluation criteria [BLOG] – by eHow (@eHOW)
- 5 Criteria for evaluation of new projects [DOCUMENT] – by IEEE (@IEEEorg)
- 6 critical criteria for testing and evaluating your strategic vision [BLOG] – by Thinking Dimensions
- Introduction to 802.11ac, the new WiFi standard [ARTICLE] – by O’Reilly Media (@OReillyMedia)