Many alternatives have a price or cost associated with them that is very important to my decision making. How is that accounted for?
Entering the cost is optional, but we recommend that you add it if its available. We strongly discourage creating criteria to factor in cost, because cost (or the lack thereof) is not a benefit unto itself. By entering the cost for each alternative, you will be able to keep your criteria focused on the benefits that contribute to your decision goal, and as a result, be able to compare the benefit and the cost of the alternatives after they have been evaluated. This will enable you to see which alternative provides the best value (benefit/cost). This technique is known as treating “cost as an independent variable (CAIV)” and is a best practice in multi-criteria decision-making. In situations where you do not know the cost, but you have a general sense of how the cost of the alternatives may compare to each other, then you may want to consider adding a cost criterion. In this case, higher ratings would be selected for the lower cost alternatives.