There are numerous similar methods of analyzing costs, benefits and risks associated with a decision or plan. The general procedure involved is as follows:
- Define, or breakdown the plan / decision /process into its elements by drawing up a flowchart or list of inputs, outputs, activities and events.
- Calculate, research or estimate the cost and benefit associated with each element. (Include if possible direct, indirect, financial and social costs and benefits)
- Compare the sum of the costs with the sum of the benefits.
- Rank the elements into a hierarchy that reflects the impact of their potential success / failure on the whole process. If the variation in the potential impact of the ranked elements is significant, then Assign weighting values to each element.
- Estimate the likelihood of success or failure of each element.