Initial Screening Criteria

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Now that you have defined your need and identified a large number of possible ways to meet that need, you’ll want to whittle that list down to a manageable size. This is the stage where you exclude options that are impractical, or unrealistic or too difficult in order to get down to a short list of options which you will examine in greater detail later.

What you want to define at this stage are the minimum requirements which the things you are examining must meet in order to be workable as a solution in your situation. In the next stage, you will define further criteria which must be met in addition to the ones you are establishing here.

In a statement of 100-150 words

  • Describe 3 criteria—3 features, functions, qualities, capabilities, etc—which any of the options you are considering must have. For each criterion, explain why it is necessary, and why not having it could be a liability.
  • Out of the range of possible options you identified in Exercise 1, pick two which meet your criteria. At this point, you want to be dealing with actual brands and models. For each one, explain how it meets the criteria.

For illustrations of how to do this, see these sample recommendation reports (curated by David McMurrey):

♦ The first 3 ¶s of Comparison of Laptop Computers

♦ The sections “Background on power supplies,” “Features required by the UPS,” and “Narrowing the Field” in Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems

♦ The first ¶ of Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems

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