Comparative Analysis can be used as a great method for planning work and decomposing it into smaller items. This kind of analysis offers a comparison-based examination of two or more alternative work plans to understand and review their hierarchies of tasks and sub-tasks. The benefit of this method is that work plans are compared with each other by their weaknesses and strengths to select the best decomposition scenario. The limitation of the method is that work plans should be designed and specified with task decomposition scenarios early before the analysis begins.
Comparative analysis is the process of reviewing two or more comparable alternatives to detect their common and distinctive features, determine their advantages and disadvantages, and understand what alternative is best for a given environment. The process aims to reach optimization of the environment through comparing available alternatives and selecting the one from which the environment will benefit the most.
The purpose of using comparative analysis in task decomposition is to reach optimized breakdown of a task into sub-tasks through comparing and choosing between several decomposition designs available for the analysis. Below you can find a list of major steps for using comparative analysis in task decomposition.
- Prepare inputs for the analysis (inputs are decomposition scenarios)
- Define analysis criteria (e.g. cost, time, expected performance, level of decomposition, simplicity)
- Define analysis methods (e.g. networking, benchmarking)
- Define analysis techniques (e.g. brainstorming, surveys, expert judgment)
- Start analyzing available scenarios by using defined methods and techniques
- Evaluate and score every scenario against defined criteria
- Compare scenarios with each other by their scores
- Review results of comparison to figure out what scenario is the best.