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The Art of Prioritization - telling "maximizing" from "minimizing" is of crucial importance

Price (when you're a buyer) is a typical example of the "Minimizing" rule. If you buy, you want the price to be as low as possible. Interest, on the other hand, typically represents the "Maximizing" rule. That's when you put your money in a bank and search for the highest rate. It would be the exact opposite if you were the borrower.
That seems easy. So far so good. But in what category would you place some more complex indicators such as CPI, IRR, ROI etc.?

Below is an exercise. There is an indicator on the left and the "rule" to be filled in in the right-most column. Would you know the answers? If it's bigger, is it actually better or worse?
Don't look at the results lower below straight away.

CPICost Performance Index
SPISchedule Performance Index
CVCost Variance
SVSchedule Variance
IRRInternal Rate of Return
ROI / RORReturn on Investment aka Rate or Return
NPVNet Present Value
CBRCost Benefit Ratio
BCRBenefit Cost Ratio
PPPayback Period
TCPITo Complete Performance Index

CPICost Performance IndexMax
SPISchedule Performance IndexMax
CVCost VarianceMax
SVSchedule VarianceMax
IRRInternal Rate of ReturnMax
ROI / RORReturn on Investment aka Rate or ReturnMax
NPVNet Present ValueMax
CBRCost Benefit RatioMin
BCRBenefit Cost RatioMax
PPPayback PeriodMin
TCPITo Complete Performance IndexMin

It becomes even more interesting when you start evaluating trends.

 What if you had a run chart with positive Cost Variances going down on a curve? Is that good or bad? And what if you had a similar run chart with negative Cost Variances on a curve that goes up? Is this good or bad? It turns out that as far as variances are concerned, "the smaller the better" rule is applied here but in absolute terms which means disregard any plus or minus signs. Then, the closer to zero it is, the better it is regarded.

And how about evaluating an outcome by many different criteria some of which are of "maximizing" nature and some of which are of "minimizing" nature? There are methodologies such as Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) that can synthesize several weights into one overall weight thus producing a rank for each evaluated alternative. It converts minimizing criteria into maximizing ones for the purposes of the overall synthesis. More on AHP <<here>>.

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