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This paper presents the framework for a complexity index that can become a model that is cost efficient and that can in terms of providing good help and guidance in the decision making process regarding technical systems. When comparing hydro plants regarding efficiency and maintenance we discover that not two are alike. All plants are built differently due to their geographical conditions and water flow, but also in terms of technical solutions. Furthermore the maintenance history for each plant affects how it is to be operated and maintained, what the operation conditions are, and what its dependency is with nearby stations. Together these factors make a comparison difficult. Managing complex technical systems cannot be successfully achieved without tools and models built on a solid framework. In order to make the use of this tools and methods as cost efficient as possible, with respect to the information gathering cost and usefulness of the result, this framework looks at complexity from top down. In this paper we discuss the baseline for the framework, complexity, and the different dimensions that are proposed to help simplify complexity. The proposed dimensions are technical design, operation, maintenance, lifespan, and finally uncertainty within and outside the system. The dimensions have been empirically deducted from literature, focus groups, and interviews.