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Form Overview

This form is opened by clicking in the first row at the top of an attribute column in the Portfolio Data form. Use the Modify Attribute form to add or modify attribute in a Portfolio Data form column. This form allows you to enter the attribute name and other parameters. At the bottom of the form are buttons for you to [Save] or [Cancel] the process.

Bubble Chart Pro™ PLUS Attribute Form:

Attribute Form when column format is "Categories:"

Attribute Form when column format is "Date".

Attribute value curve SMART Score:

In the SMART (Simple Multi-Attribute Ranking Technique) prioritization system, each project attribute (such as ROIs, risks, costs, etc.) is transformed onto a curve representing a “0” to “100” scale where “0” is the worst value (for example, lowest ROI or highest risk) and “100” is the best value (for example, highest ROI or lowest risk). These individual attribute scores are then weighted by the analyst to yield the overall SMART value score.

In Chart Pro OPTIMAL and PLUS editions, you can select from three curve types: a linear curve type, a S-Curve (Logisitic) type and a Step-Curve (Incremental) type:

The Linear curve and the S-Curve are easily adjustable using the slider below the chart, so you can make it reflect increasing or decreasing rate of return. The Step-Curve can also be easily adjusted and shaped by selecting the number of steps you want and then dragging the points to individually adjust the height and width of each step. You can select from between 2 and 20 steps.

Attribute SMART value curve chart and slider:

The Attribute Value Slider allows you to adjust the Attribute SMART Value Curve as displayed in the chart above it. The Attribute Value Curve defines and displays the relationship between the actual attribute values and the normalized individual values score used in the total value score for the project. The default straight line indicates a "neutral" value score relationship as the value score increases in direct proportion to better attribute value (such as higher profits, for example).

Moving the slider to the right causes the line to become concave, indicating an increasing return rate compared to the straight line “neutral” curve such that better projects have a proportionally higher rate of return than worse projects. This allows you to bias the value score to relatively "better" projects.

Moving the slider to the left causes the line to become convex, indicating an decreasing return rate compared to the straight line “neutral” curve such that worse projects have a proportionally higher rate of return than better projects. This allows you to bias the value score to relatively "worse" projects, and can be useful for attributes where marginal increases at the upper end are not as valuable as marginal increases at the lower end.

The procedure for the S-Type curve is identical:

You modify Step-Curves by setting the number of steps using the "Number of Steps" pop-up menu below the chart, and then dragging the corner of the steps vertically or horizontally by the yellow points that appear when the mouse pointer enters the chart area:

See also Using the SMART Prioritization Engine for more information.

Using Categories

Categories let you assign short text and corresponding numerical values to projects such as "Excellent, "Good," "Fair," or "Poor" and set a value for each category you create. The columns are sorted by the value score, and in the PLUS and OPTIMAL versions, the category attributes may be weighted.

New categories are added using the Edit Category form:

Categories may also be edited directly in the table in the main form. Category text is limited to 20 characters, including spaces.

Categories are selected for individual projects by clicking in the associated cell and selecting from the pop-up menu that appears:

Displaying Projects in Attribute Forms:

By clicking the “Show Projects” check box, you can see where each individual project is located on the SMART score curve. This allows you to easily adjust each each curve so that you can precisely fine-tune the location of each project along the curve.

"Lower is Better" Attributes

For some attributes like costs, risks, and resources, lower values are better and therefore should have higher value scores. Checking the "Lower Attribute Values Are Better" check box, reverses the slope of the attribute curves to model this type of relationship:

Attribute Fields and Controls:

Attribute name field: Enter the name for the attribute name in this text field. The attribute name must be unique for that Portfolio and cannot exceed 48 characters, including spaces.

Make Active For Use in Charts check box: Each portfolio allows you to enter up to 100 attributes. This checkbox lets you select the attributes you want to appear in pop-up menus (such as for creating bubble charts) and displayed in bar charts. If an attribute is "Active" (the box is checked), it will be displayed in the header on top of the corresponding column in the Portfolio Data form. Note that the first 10 columns of attributes are active by default and this setting cannot be modified for those attributes.

Attribute Curve Parameters:

[Curve Type] Button: Use this button to select the attribute curve for this attribute. Choices include a Linear Curve, a S-Curve (Logistic curve), and a Step Curve (Incremental curve)

Number of Steps Pop-up Menu: Use this pop-up menu to select the number of steps you want to use for a Step Curve. This button is enabled only when the Step Curve type is selected. You can select from between 2 and 20 steps.

[Reset Curve] Button: Use this button to reset the currently displayed curve to the default position.

[Show Projects] check box: This check box toggles the display of the projects along the currently displayed curve and a legend showing the corresponding project name. Each project is displayed as a small bubble corresponding to a legend item. Clicking on a project bubble in the chart area displays the name and attribute value for that project.

[Tab Control]: Use this to select the parameters you want to display: Prioritizer and Uncertainty Settings and Column Format and Appearance Settings.

Prioritizer and Uncertainty Settings:

Attribute Type Pop-up Menu: Use this pop-up menu to select the attribute type that you want to represent this attribute: “Numerical,” “Categories,” or “Date.” The form will redraw to display different controls and settings depending on which attribute type you select.

Important Note: Changing formats from a numerical format or "Categories" format to a date format will delete all the data in that column and change it to dates ("00/00/0000") for editing. THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE. The date will be in the "dd/mm/yyyy" or the "mm/dd/yyyy" format depending on the system settings.

Attribute Weight field: Enter the attribute weight in this field. Note: The weight determines the amount of influence that attribute value will have on the project ranking. For example, an attribute with a weight of 200 will have twice the influence as an attribute with a rank of 100. An attribute value of 0 means that that attribute will have no influence on the project ranking. In general, you should weight only the most important attributes and you should not double-count, i.e. weigh two attributes that are essentially reflecting the same thing.

Lower Values are Better check box: Check this box if lower attribute values are should have higher SMART value scores. For example, lower cost values would be better than higher cost values. When this is check box is changed, the slope of the line in the chart reverses to show the relationship between the SMART value score and the attribute value.

Default Uncertainty:

Default uncertainty is enabled if the [Track Uncertainty] check box in checked in the Portfolio Preferences form. The uncertainty values are displayed in the individual Project forms. Default Uncertainty lets you set percentage or absolute uncertainty ranges for each attribute, and then the application calculates the "Plus" and "Minus" attribute values automatically.

Do Not Use Default Uncertainty radio button: Select this radio button if you want to enter the uncertainty for each attribute manually for this attribute for each project in the portfolio. The uncertainty is entered in the Project form.

Use Percentage Default Uncertainty radio button: Select this radio button if you want the uncertainty for each attribute automatically calculated for this attribute for each project in the portfolio based on a percentage of the "Likely" value. The percentages are set in the "Percentage to Add" and "Percentage to Subtract" pop-up menus that are displayed when this button is checked. See illustrations below.

Use Absolute Default Uncertainty radio button: Select this radio button if you want the uncertainty for each attribute automatically calculated for this attribute for each project in the portfolio based on addition and subtraction from the "Likely" value. The values are set in the "Amount to Add" and "Amount to Subtract" pop-up menus. See illustrations below.

TIP: If you want to use uncertainty for some attributes, but not all, then it can be useful to set the Default Uncertainty setting in the Portfolio Preferences form to [Use Percentage Default Uncertainty], and then set both the "Percentage to add" and "Percentage to subtract" to 0 (zero). This way the "Plus" and "Minus" values will automatically be set to the identical value as the main ("Likely") and will not affect the uncertainty "High" and "Low" SMART value scores. In fact, Uncertainty Bars with identical high and low values are not displayed in the charts.

Column Format and Appearance Settings:

Column Symbol drop-down menu: Use this menu to select a currency or percentage symbol to be displayed with the data in the column.

Decimal Places drop-down menu: Use this menu to select the number of decimal places that your want displayed in the column in the column. You can select from 0 to 4 decimal places.

Number Format drop-down menu:: Select the number format for the column. Choices include:

  • 123456789.00
  • 123,456,6789.00
  • 123456789,00
  • 123.456.789,00
  • 123 456 789,00

Color: Click on the color square to open the color picker to select a color for the attribute.

Pattern Palettes: Click on the pattern square to select a pattern for the attribute from a drop-down selection of 64 patterns.

Pattern Color: Click on the color square to open the color picker to select a color for selected the attribute pattern.

The combined color, pattern, and pattern color combination is previewed in the Preview box on the right side of the form.

Modify Attribute Form Buttons:

[Restore Last Saved] Button: This will restore the form and all the parameter settings to the last saved settings (or the default settings, if the attribute has not been saved).

[Save]: Click on this button to save the changes.

[Cancel]: Click on this button to cancel and close form. Any changes will not be saved.