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Paramount Decisions

Using Paramount Decisions vs. Excel for Choosing By Advantages

On average users are able to save 1 to 3 days of work on each decision using Paramount Decisions versus Excel. In the last year, our clients have trusted the process and made over $100 million worth of decisions using the platform.

Developed in the 1980s, the Choosing By Advantages (CBA) decision-making system has revolutionized how organizations, teams, and individuals make decisions on a daily-basis. Based on the fundamental idea that decisions must be based on the “importance of advantages”, CBA allows people to make more collaborative and transparent group decisions. The system allows users to see the value versus cost trade-offs of their alternatives and facilitates more informed investments and project decisions. In business and in life, complex decisions can have multiple stakeholders, competing objectives, and many factors to consider. The CBA methodology provides a well defined process for making these decisions and communicating them with relevant stakeholders. CBA has been endorsed by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) and many of the leading companies in the AEC industry use CBA on a regular basis.

As with any methodology there are many ways of applying CBA including with: pen & paper, Excel, or through a software package such as Paramount Decisions. Each of these options have their own advantages and trade-offs. In this article, we will describe the benefits of using Paramount Decisions versus Excel for CBA. In particular, we will focus on the CBA Tabular Method which is the most widely used process when making business decisions that affect multiple stakeholders. Here of the benefits for using Paramount Decisions over Excel.

1. Easier to apply CBA

Paramount Decisions takes the CBA Tabular Method and breaks it down into 8 easy-to-follow steps. In each step of the decision-making process, you and your team only need to focus on one type of information. This helps your team focus on the relevant information and avoid unnecessary discussions.

2. Requires less training in order to get started with CBA

In order to get started with CBA, most people need about 1 week of training, which is large time investment and infeasible in today’s fast-paced business environment. This training involves taking classes, reading books, practicing CBA with real world examples, and working with a CBA coach over many months. It will take many weeks or months of training, mastery of the CBA process and its vocabulary before one is able to apply the methodology with Excel. With Paramount Decisions, you can get started with as little as 30 minutes. The Paramount software was designed based on the CBA methodology. The software guides you step-by-step through the CBA process and allows you to get starting without a long and extensive training.

3. Less likely to make mistakes

In our research on CBAs conducted in the AEC industry, we found that 90% of the CBAs completed with Excel contain one or more mistakes. Some of the common mistakes include: 1) weighing factors, weighing attributes, considering cost as a factor, confusing a factor with an attribute or an advantage, and not stating the advantages. The Paramount Decisions software is an error-proof system designed to ensure that users cannot make any of these common CBA mistakes. With Excel, it is impossible to know if you are making a critical mistake.

4. Focus more on your decision rather than the CBA steps

Paramount Decisions provides structure and a standardized process for making decisions. The software serves as a virtual coach in your decision-making process. Within each step, there is a guide and a video tutorial. This ensures that you never get lost.

5. Automatic report generation (A3s and full report)

When you finish your CBA in the software, Paramount Decisions automatically generates a professionally formatted A3 and full report of your decisions. With Excel, you will need to format and create your reports manually. This can take between 1 to 3 hours of your time for each decision.

6. Easy to collaborate on decisions and work with other stakeholders

Paramount Decisions makes it easy to collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders of your decisions. All of your collaborator’s changes are reflected on your screen in real-time. Changes are tracked and logged so it is easy to know who made the changes. Additional documents and references can be easily added to any decision.

7. The ability to search and reference past decisions

Paramount Decisions maintains a database of all your past decisions. It is easy to search past decisions and revisit the factors and criteria that you’d used to make them. If something didn’t go as planned, you can study your past decision and use the learning to adjust future decisions.

8. Save time and money

On average users are able to save 1 to 3 days of work on each decision using Paramount Decisions versus Excel. In the last year, our clients have trusted the process and made over $100 million worth of decisions using the platform. For owners, the software allows them to work with their team on value engineering of design-build and integrated project delivery (IPD) projects. For general contractors, Paramount Decisions opens up a new business opportunity to provide better service to clients in preconstruction. A well formed CBA can inform clients about the implications of scope changes during construction. Architects and engineers can use Paramount Decisions to elicit stakeholder values and design facilities that better meet the specific needs of their clients.

The current trend in the construction industry is towards more collaborative, trust-based, and shared risk and reward project delivery methods. On these projects, the general contractor, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection trades are often brought into the project during pre-construction. On these projects, the team can use Paramount Decisions with Target Value Delivery to drive down cost and deliver more value to the end-user.

You and your team will make better decisions with Paramount Decisions