Manual DECYS Knowledge Investments

DECYS Version: 3.0
Application: Knowledge Investments
Date: 26 May 2003

Cognitive Tools
Tel: +31-715136306
Fax: +31-715137305

Contents Manual

Signing on and identification

After starting DECYS (double clicking ‘decys.exe’, and clicking on the start screen), you will see the Startscreen which lets you invoke the different DECYS modules. fig

Choose in the Startscreen in the menu ‘File’ the option ‘Open’. Double click on the file ‘demo.boot’. fig

You will now see the screen at the right. Type your name and click ‘continue’. fig


Determing requirements

The overall proces of decision analysis as supported by DECYS is now visible. Basically one begins with deciding upon the goals to be reached with the decision proces, in this case a decision upon a knowledge investement. From these goals requirements for possible solutions can be derived. As Decys provides knowledge based support, a basic set of requirements is proposed. The actual setting of the requirements depends on the nature of, in this case, the knowledge investment programma, be it fundamental research, applied research or product developement. The first step in the proces is thus the setting of requirements.
Click on the start screen on ‘determine requirements’. This will bring up the screen at the right. Using this knowledge based module, the program is able to determine what the minimal requirements should be for a particular type knowledge investment to be potentially successful.

So answer the question(s) about the nature of the intended knowledge investment. For this demo, select ‘product development’.

Viewing requirements

After answering the question(s) now an overview of requirements appears. These requirements have been derived from the initial choices made concerning the type of research intended. Explanations of these requirements can be found in the next module. fig


In the following ‘matching module’, the user can judge a number of project proposals against these requirements. Furthermore, it is possible to determine which requirements must be used in the multi-criteria analysis in the multi tool.

The matching module can be opened by clicking on the “match” button in the middle of the Start screen. This will bring up the screen at the right.

To inspect the set of requirements, put a check-mark in each of the boxes below "Use". (By clicking on the boxes in the third column (“Use”) you can exclude whole groups or individual requirements from the matching process.)

On the left side you can see that the requirements are divided into different groups. The second column (“Value”) represents the specific values of these requirements.

Inspecting values

You may inspect the values for the requirements by pointing the cursor at the selected box. fig


By clicking on one of the ‘book’ icons in the first column, an Intranet will be loaded with information about the specific requirement. The book icon in the second column brings you back to the ‘Determine Requirements’ where you can see the basis of decision for that requirement. fig

Matching proposals against the requirements

It is now possible to assess proposals. Click on the button ‘judge proposals’ in the start screen. A proposal now appears, named ‘Priority security’. This proposal has been rated by a number of reviewers.

For instance, the reviewers have found the strategy match to be ‘weak’. Where the requirement was ‘very strong’ this value is (far) below minimal requirement and is displayed in red. Red means that the alternative doesn’t satisfy the minimal requirement, yellow indicates that the minimal requirement is satisfied and when it’s green, the alternative satisfies the minimal requirement amply.

The structure of the internal organization of those institutes that proposed ‘Priority security’ is perceived ‘strong’, i.e. exactly on the minimum requirement (yellow). Culture is even better than required (green).

Inspect other proposals

You can inspect the other proposals by opening them by means of the third button in the upper left corner. Check the alternatives.

By comparing the columns associated with the alternatives with the values of the requirements, you can see where the alternatives match the requirements and where they tend to diverge. This is made easier by the program, because of the colors of the alternative’s values. You can easily change the values of the alternatives and the requirements by clicking on the desired value.

Adding new alternatives, requirements, requirement groups and requirement categories

When you want to add a new alternative, requirement, requirement group or requirement category, you can click on the most left button in the upper left corner of the match tool. Click in the screen that appears on the element you want to add and give this element a name. If you want, you can also type a description of the added element. Click 'OK' to continue. fig


The reviewers have made notes when a judgement might be controversial. Such notes can be inspected by clicking on the small red dots next to a value. Then click on the button with the ‘professor’ to see the annotation. fig

Multi-criteria analysis

In the multi criteria module, the user can determine the suitability of the different alternatives with respect to the selected requirements. Pressing the “Multi-criteria analysis” button on the Start screen starts the module. By doing this, the screen on the right will appear.

In this screen, the bars in the upper field represent the suitability of the alternatives on the basis of the selected requirements on a scale of 0 to 1. The alternative with the longest bar is the most optimal choice given the selected requirements and the relative weight that has been assigned to these requirements.

If you see a different image please check whether all the check boxes in the matching module (under ‘Use’) have been marked.

Setting the weights

In the lower field, dragging the bars with the mouse can change these weights to the desired value. The values for the weights are standard equally divided. When one requirement is more important than another, you can change these weights correspondingly. The suitability of the alternatives changes automatically relative to the determined weights. The different colors of the bars in the upper field represent the contributions due the requirements in the lower field. fig


After the weights have been set, you can sort the alternatives from the most to the less suitable one by clicking the button indicated right. If you want to know more about the requirements of one specific alternative, you can click on the loop behind the corresponding bar. fig

Weights at a more detailed level

It is also possible to set weights at a more detailed level. Do this by clicking the button indicated right and subsequently setting the weights. See the effects on the overall outcome. fig

'Value for money' analysis

By pressing the euro sign in the upper left hand corner, the “Value for money tool” is being opened (screen E). Using this tool, you can determine which alternative is the cheapest relative to its suitability. In the fields represented by arrow A in screen E, you can enter the costs of the different alternatives.
Enter various amounts here, e.g.: 80000, 120000, 160000, and 190000.

In the right field, a graph appears with the costs on the x-axis and the suitability on the y-axis. By looking at this graph, you can easily see which alternative gives you the best value for money and how much more you will have to pay to accept a better proposal.


As the analyses made with DECYS are generally rather complex, it is essential to be able to store the outcomes and the underlying choices. It is therefore possible to generate a (written)report. To do so, go to the startscreen and select ‘publish’ in the ‘file’ menu. Invoke ‘start’ and subsequently ‘browser’. When a browser has come up, invoke ‘summary’ in the left hand frame. Browse the report. It is possible to generate a Word file.

You are now at the end of the whole process. It’s however possible to go back to earlier steps and to change values or requirement. By doing this, you can analyze what the impact is of the initial choice and your now changed value. To do so read the next section ‘analysis’.

Analysis (optional)

To gain a better insight in the factors affecting a decision about a knowledge investment it is possible to perform various types of analysis.

Weights affecting v/m ratio

Open both the multi criteria module and the ‘value for money’ (v/m) module and manipulate the weights. See how the weights affect the value/money ratio. You may also manipulate the weights at a more detailed level and see the effects.

Requirement setting affecting v/m ratio

Also the setting of requirements affect the outcomes. Open the matching module and leave the multi criteria and v/m modules on the screen. Change several requirements and see the impact on the outcomes of the multicriteria and v/m analysis. If you don’t see any or just a very minor effect, that’s correct as each requirements affects the overall outcome only in a very minor way. You may, however, better see the effect by enlarging the weight of the particular requirement.

Requirement setting affecting v/m ratio

In a similar way the proposal ratings may be changed. Try this and see the effects (again these may be minor).

Initial choice affecting v/m ratio

The initial choice, in this case for the type of investment, heavily affects the outcome. See this effect by opening the requirements module and leave all other module on the screen (see right). Click on the bar ‘intro’ and then click on the line ‘Type knowledge investment’ and select a different value and see the effects all over the other modules. The effects you see here are usually major as the initial choice affects all requirement settings, as well as the selection of the requirements considered relevant. fig

Good luck!

Questions and/or suggestions for improvements are very much appreciated.


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