Trade-off Analysis – Balancing the Impact of Design Options

TradeOff Analysis

This blog post is part of Steps to Design an Architecture. Once the design options are identified, they need to be compared and balanced to optimize the impact on the architecture. This process is called trade-off analysis. Trade-off analysis can be done by analyzing the impact on the ASRs in many ways, but a way I generally follow to analyze the impact on quality attributes, cost and time constraints, is as below.

Impact Analysis on Quality Attributes

On above table, I have Quality Attributes & Requirements ID for those Quality Attributes in rows. In columns, I have added Design Options. Now, you can see against each of the Quality Attribute Requirements, I have marked the impact as Positive (+), Negative (-) or Neutral (0).

It can help in discussing and selecting the design decisions to have the balanced impact on the ASRs.

Trade-off analysis is a technique to weigh the options to understand the impact. Once the impact is assessed, stakeholders can select the best options to have the right impact of the design options.

Design Decisions need to be evaluated for other ASRs such as Cost, Time or Resource Constraints, which can be done by identifying the such parameters and evaluating design options against each of those.

Evaluate Options for other factors

In the above example, three technology choices are compared based on the relevant parameters. It can be further quantify by adding weight or exact values, in place of High, Medium or Low rating. Color Coding Green, Yellow and Red will help in visually identifying an option which is more greener compare to others.

Thank you and Happy Reading !

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