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D.   Relative Importance Criteria



The delphi technique could be employed to determine the criteria for measuring accounting software and its value.  The staff is involved in determining the importance of different aspects of accounting software. Their opinions are gathered together and circulated and discussed. The partners and software consultants also determine criteria which is also circulated. Another poll is taken with the intention of establishing a benchmark for the relative importance of the different criteria which is expressed as a percentage or proportion of 100. The following is an example of criteria:

Criteria Weightings
Ease of Use
Hardware Implications
Training Requirements
Product Support
.40
.08
.25
.27


Each of the above criteria is examined below according to a list of attributes. The above weightings of importance (expressed as a percentage) are multiplied by the grades given for the attributes of each of the above criteria to determine a benchmark of their importance to the firm.


Overall Relative Importance   -   Bench Mark

Ease of Use Criteria Attribute Weightings Benchmark
Logical Menus
Ease of login/logout
Help screens context sensitive
Manuals easy to use
Prompts and defaults logical
Prompts can be disabled
Warnings for incorrect entry
System messages
Consistent across modules
15
11
14
  8
10
  8
  9
  5
20
* .40
* .40
* .40
* .40
* .40
* .40
* .40
* .40
* .40
6.00
4.40
5.60
3.20
4.00
3.20
3.60
2.00
8.00
 
Hardware Criteria Attribute Weightings Benchmark
Integrates with existing Hardware
Vendor Support
Warranty lengths
Upgrading arrangements
50
20
15
15
* .08
* .08
* .08
* .08
4.00
1.60
1.20
1.20
 
Training Criteria Attribute Weightings Benchmark
Tutorials OK
Help Screens
Manuals
Supplier Training
System Easy to Learn
23
22
15
15
25
* .25
* .25
* .25
* .25
* .25
5.75
5.50
3.75
3.75
6.25
 
Product Support Criteria Attribute Weightings Benchmark
Supplier reputation
Service quality
Response Time
Availability (time)
Service effectiveness
25
25
15
15
20
* .27
* .27
* .27
* .27
* .27
6.75
6.75
4.05
4.05
5.40


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