Q: What is the best way to treat costs?

A: If you want to be traditional, use only the benefit branch. Add the cost criteria here but invert the scale since a larger cost is less good than a smaller cost. You then weight the cost criteria along with the other criteria. The results chart will then display the overall score. Alternatively, keep the costs separate and add cost criteria to the cost branch. Do not invert the scale. Use the Scatter Chart display to compare benefits to costs. The advantage of keeping costs separate is that it is extremely difficult to weight criteria accurately since they all need to be allocated a cost. This often means a poor overall result because some criteria are weighted incorrectly. Remember, weighting is NOT about importance - it is there so you can equate 100 on one scale to 100 on another scale.