basis for depending upon fidelity as a measure of Process effectiveness is the
demonstration that the Process requirements draw plentifully upon the recognized DOE
Integrated Safety Management concepts, plus the fact that application of such concepts
has demonstrated its value in numerous other high technology, high hazard industries.
The N&S Process Elements follow the logic of the Core Functions of ISM. Through
frequent iteration among the various intermediate closure points, the Process elements
progressively develop an agreed upon and integrated expression of work, hazards, and
controls that always starts from and returns to the need to Do Work Safely. The
structure for reaching agreement is robust, with multiple, explicit, and semi-independent
levels of definition (Process Leadership and Convened Group), analysis (Teams) and
verification (Confirmation Team and Approval Parties). The ISM Guiding Principles of
clear roles and responsibilities, demonstrated team competence, tailoring, and balancing
of priorities are all explicitly incorporated in Process Manual requirements. Process
documentation is required for both WSS set components and for records of decision-
making that support the justification of WSS set as adequate and feasible; thus the N&S
Closure Process ensures that readiness for operations proposed to be authorized, on
the basis of the identified standards and implementing assumptions, can in fact be
Throughout the Process application, Line Management bears the lead responsibility for
the WSS set, its development, and its justification of adequacy. With elaborate process
logic detail, and frequent reference to performance attributes that must be addressed in
order to make the WSS set both adequate and feasible, the N&S Closure Process
manual requirements self-define the elements of demonstrating fidelity to the Process.
However, precisely because the N&S Closure Process is built on ISM principles, "fidelity"
can rarely be deduced from a simple verification checklist. It is a matter of practical
experience that Convened Group understanding (or "profound knowledge" in the words
of W. Edwards Deming) about the kind of safety management system needed to
embody the ISM principles is a predictor for achieving evident demonstration of Process
fidelity. Manual requirements provide many effective lines of inquiry for Confirmation
Teams and Approval Parties to test this understanding.
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