In its entirety, the risk-informed decision making (RIDM) process flowchart of NASA is quite inclusive of the key elements necessary for establishing and implementing a successful risk analysis system. Ideally, the process flowchart includes two steps whose completion sums up the entire process. Although both are necessary and overly important in the process, the first step features as the more key. In the first step, the most key area of the process surfaces. The rationale for the above conclusion finds its basis in the fact that it is not possible to compile any feasible outcomes or alternatives without first understanding the expectations of the stakeholders as well as measures applied in achieving performance.
The only weakness in this process is that it fails to stipulate the determinants of measuring the how the performance measures meet the objectives. Introducing such determinants between Step 1 and Step two would make the process flowchart more elaborate.
In developing a risk-informed decision-making system, it is possible to use qualitative information. However, the above is not without challenges. To start with, the nature of qualitative information brings about uncertainties with respect to forecasting performance measures. As a result, such uncertainties affect the parameters of performance used to calculate outcomes in the developed RIDM models. Secondly, qualitative information is easy to interpret in various different ways. For instance, various experts may observe the same feature and exhibit completely two different perspectives with respect to analyzing and arriving at certain decisions. Coming to a common viewpoint thus takes more time while using qualitative information than while using quantitative information. As a result, it could elongate or delay the time set for developing RIDM models.
While making the best use of risk tolerance strategies in the establishment of performance measures, various aspects require close consideration. The first is the necessary properties for the risk tolerance values. Understanding the values makes it easy to establish the best roles. Secondly, there are the multipurpose roles played by the risk tolerance strategies within the risk-informed decision-making process (RIDM). The RIDM process seeks to meet various performance objectives and thus the risk tolerance functions must be in a position to help in meeting such objectives. Then there are the specific issues necessary for consideration in the process of establishing risk tolerances. Featured in the above section includes aspects such as the relationship of the risk tolerances to imposed constraints, the low and high-priority objectives, as well as the rebaselining issues. All the above stand out as the most important aspects of risk tolerances worth considering in the RIDM process.
The RIDM process has a special technique for selecting between contending alternatives. The selection of the best alternatives follows the consideration of three aspects stipulated below. First, a feasibility test takes place. Under the provisions of feasibility, the alternatives offering performance commitments that can be met within the risk tolerance prevail over the rest. After the feasibility test, follows the dominance consideration. The above step identifies all the alternatives that exhibit superior or substantially superior performance on every objective in the RIDM process. Finally, the third test involves the identification of inferior performance in key areas. The rationale for the above test finds its basis in the fact that in every multiple decision, some objectives are more dominant than others.
However, the selection process above is not easy or simple. It incorporates confusing aspects within its structure. For instance, an alternative may be the most feasible with respect to the feasibility test, but end up eliminated once the dominance test takes place for being categorically inferior in comparison to other less feasible alternatives.
NASA. (2011). NASA Risk Management Handbook. Washington, DC: NASA Center for AeroSpace Information.