The Consensus Criteria method for developing a Prioritization Matrix is somewhat simpler than the Full Analytic Method because, rather than weighing each criterion in relation to each other criterion and then weighing each option in relation to each other option, each team member simply assigns a relative importance to each crite"rion and each option. The first matrix, the “Criteria Weighting Matrix,” is used to assign an importance to each criterion. If the team members are in agreement as to the relative importance of the various criteria and options, you may use the “Open Consensus Method.” In this method, the “Criteria Weighting Matrix” has only one column, used to enter the agreed-upon rating of each criterion. Otherwise, team members can enter their evaluation independently. There are two systems commonly used to assign ratings to criteria and options. You may assign each criterion/option in a given matrix a unique ordi"nal number, designating its ranking. For instance, the most important criterion would receive a 1, the next most important a 2, etc. In the second system, each person has the number 1.0 to distribute among the various options/criteria in a matrix. For instance, a person might assign the most important criterion a rating of 0.5, the next most important criterion a rating of 0.4 and the third criterion a rating of 0.1. This latter system allows for more flexibility and a more accurately weighted score.
The next step is to weigh each option with regards to each criterion, just as in the Full Analytical Method. A separate matrix is provided for each criterion. However, in the Consensus Criteria Method, the options are listed as rows and the people (planning team members) are listed as columns. Each person should give each option a rating. Finally, the Summary matrix has the options listed down the left side as rows and the criteria listed across the top as columns. It is not necessary to make any entries in the Summary matrix. The program will complete this step for you, using the information provided in the prior matrices to arrive at a final weighted score for each option. This weighted score will appear in parentheses below the total score at the end of each option row. The higher the weighted score, the higher the priority you should assign this option.