Module: Solution Prioritization
In this action, the resilience planning team will identify a small number of ‘go/no-go‘ screening criteria to narrow the list of solutions down to those that could conceivably be implemented within the existing environment. None of the potential solutions identified in the Solution Development module will be discarded, as changing conditions can lead to reconsideration of solutions that were initially categorized as ‘no-go.’ Preserving the full list of ideas for future use can also help sites uncover key issues that may need to be addressed along the way. Next, the resilience planning team will review the solutions that made it through the initial screening to see if there are opportunities to combine solutions into broader, more comprehensive solution sets to use throughout the Solution Prioritization module.
Data Inputs Needed
- Resilience solutions from tables in Action 2 in the Solution Development Module:
- Solutions that Address Gap Similarities
- Solutions to Individual Gaps.
Outputs of This Action
- List of screened solutions
- Input to TRN Solution Prioritization tool:
- For those working offline, input into Tab 2 (Solution Risk Reduction)
- Input for Action 2 of the Solution Prioritization Module.
In this action, users are asked to consider the set of solutions brainstormed in the Solution Development module and review each by asking “can this solution conceivably be implemented?”
This preliminary screening of solutions will require the resilience planning team to make a simple ‘go/no-go’ decision on each solution being proposed. Typical high-level ‘go/no-go’ screening criteria are:
- Extreme cost
- Leadership operating conditions and environment
- Regulatory constraints
- Technical difficulty.
The ‘go/no-go’ screening criteria should be clear and consistently applied. A more rigorous solution prioritization method will follow, so resilience planning teams should seek to remove only those solutions that truly cannot be implemented within the existing environment.
Proposed solution: Relocate the current facility to avoid predicted increases in flooding of redundant systems due to storm surge inundation and associated repetitive damages and losses.
This example presents a reasonable response to a future risk, but the resilience planning team may decide that it would far exceed a feasibility threshold due to cost and should be set aside from consideration. As conditions change, this solution may become one that leadership is willing to entertain and evaluate through the solution prioritization process.
This initial screening step is intended to help focus the team’s attention and resources on further evaluating only those potential solutions that pass the ‘go/no-go’ screening criteria. Use the Solution Prioritization Action 1 Worksheet: Screen Solutions to document which solutions should move forward.
Combine Solutions into Solution Sets
A team may choose to group solutions for analysis for a number of reasons (e.g., potential cost savings due to bundling, more comprehensive solutions, potential to have more substantial impacts on risk reduction). For example, adding a microgrid that would provide redundant power across all critical loads; developing a site policy that would require all redundant systems to have documented and exercised testing programs and would reduce risk to all critical loads through one action.
Solution sets should be documented in the Solution Prioritization Action 1 Worksheet: Screen Solutions. Note that combining solutions into solution sets is not required to continue with the TRN process. The resilience planning team should consider whether there are solutions that should be evaluated independently due to factors such as the urgency of addressing gaps related to a particular critical load.
Avoid Mutual Exclusivity
When developing solution sets, take care to avoid combining mutually exclusive solutions into solution sets. For example, developing or improving a redundant system with automated start-up is an alternative to doing the same for a system with manual start-up with procedures and training. There is no need to analyze those two competing solutions together because, ultimately, they would not both be selected.
Solution Sets That Holistically Address Vulnerability
There may be several areas in which a critical load has vulnerability; however, simply remedying one small aspect may not provide substantial resilience benefits and may fail to significantly reduce risk. While solutions may be developed to address each of the vulnerability categories, consider combining those solutions into a solution set that provides a fully functional redundant system. For example, if installing a backup generator on a critical load, be sure to also include O&M procedures and staff training on use of the system in the solution design. Refer to the vulnerability questions in Risk Assessment Action 3 Worksheet: Critical Load Vulnerability to identify solutions that could be grouped to holistically address vulnerability.
Accelerated Mission Restoration
Solutions may also reduce consequence of the loss of a critical load by accelerating mission restoration before the critical load itself is restored. Consider if any solutions that accelerate mission restoration can be applied site-wide, across multiple critical loads, or if the cost and scope of the individual solution is such that it needs to be considered individually in the prioritization process. For example, if a mutual-aid agreement could reduce the mission restoration time across the entire site, it would make more sense for that solution to be carried forward rather than to implement multiple mutual-aid agreements for each critical load.