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Product line engineering is usually a very beneficial, but sometimes also a very risky endeavor, as there is no guarantee for economic success. In this paper, we describe an assessment approach that is designed to address the problem of quantifying reuse risks by providing an efficient means for determining the benefits and risks associated with a specific product line development. In particular, the approach supports decomposition and individual assessment of the technical domains of the product line, thus also furthering the incremental introduction of product lines. At the core of this paper is the development of the underlying assessment technology and how this approach was evolved over time based on multiple case studies. This evolution approach is rather general. Thus, we see the potential of applying these techniques also for evolving other assessment approaches.