Analytical Hierarchy Process as a tool for long-term requirements management


  • Linus Bosaeus

Publish date: 2011-08-23

Report number: FOI-R--3233--SE

Pages: 33

Written in: Swedish


  • AHP
  • Analytical Hierarchy Process
  • requirements management
  • decision making
  • decision support
  • surface war ship
  • frigate
  • defense study


This report describes how the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) can be used as a tool for requirements management and prioritization in the early phases of the procurement process. The argumentation originates from the Swedish Armed Forces study for next generation surface war ships, and describes based on those experiences the strengths and weaknesses when using AHP for requirements management. This report's main objective is to give an overview of how AHP can bring structure and guidance to procurement and requirement analysis, as well as limitations and difficulties one must take into account when applying the AHP. Long-term requirements management is a very complex process where traceability and a flexible framework are key aspects for successfully manage changes in the base line prerequisites over time. Using pair wise comparisons in the requirement prioritization process, as stated in the AHP, offers a generic model that can handle both backtracking and effective change analysis. By describing existing solutions according to the AHP framework, the capability requirements can be materialized and exemplified by a wide range of reference objects. This gives a deeper insight in the cost-effect ratios and the ability to better prioritize between the different desired capabilities. The result from the defense study and the proceeding requirement process show that requirements in a well-defined structure with internal priorities, according to AHP, makes the continuing process more stringent and easier to manage since the high priority capabilities are clearly defined. Using own and other nations existing or planned solutions as reference objects vastly improves the ability to communicate and define the boundaries for a certain capability. The overall capability priority also gives a good indication about the dominating capabilities that the solutions should represent when implemented.