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Page Title: Guideline 5.3-- Graded Approach.
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Guideline 5.2-- Flexibility. The RBP system should have the flexibility to allow its
application to a broad range of prioritization projects while maintaining its
completeness and effectiveness.
a. Range of Applicability. It is desirable to use the same RBP system in many
prioritization projects to promote consistency, thus allowing meaningful
comparisons of results. This standard recognizes that prioritization projects often
have unique requirements and needs and that it is unlikely that any single RBP
system will have the capability to effectively address all prioritization projects. To
the extent possible, the set of RBP systems used should all originate from a
common basis (similar assumptions, similar sets of performance measures, etc.).
b. Adaptability. An RBP system should be readily adaptable so that the insights
gained from its application can be incorporated. It is noted that insights about the
RBP system's efficacy and efficiency may be gained (1) from lessons learned
during previous prioritization projects or (2) during the conduct of an ongoing
prioritization project. For example, preliminary results from a prioritization project
may indicate that the RBP system used cannot sufficiently discriminate among
decision options. It is preferable that the current RBP system be modified (for
example, through the addition, deletion, or modification of certain performance
measures) to allow greater discrimination among decision options rather than
developing a new RBP system.
Guideline 5.3-- Graded Approach. In order to ensure that the RBP process is both an
effective and efficient use of resources, it is important that the depth and rigor with
which the guidelines are applied be carefully tailored to the problem being worked.
This tailoring of an approach to the nature of the decision problem is known as a
graded approach. In general, it requires that the sophistication of the method
selected, the depth and rigor of analysis, and the thoroughness of documentation
should be commensurate with:
a. The importance of the decision(s) to be made.
b. The difficulty of resolving the associated priorities.
c. The need to communicate the prioritization results and their basis to interested
Discussion. Many DOE decisions tend to focus on complex problems, often involving
uncertainty, multiple conflicting objectives, controversial tradeoffs, far-reaching
consequences, and multiple stakeholders. The many guidelines provided in this
standard are intended to aid in making difficult decisions well. However, it should be
noted that not all DOE decisions are this complex and, further, the development of a
RBP system that is consistent with these many guidelines is a significant undertaking,
and should not be approached lightly. The idea of a graded approach is to recognize
that only in unusual circumstances will it be necessary to rigorously implement all of
the guidelines. In general, activities with significant costs or those with health, safety,
and/or environmental risks will have greater data needs than those with less

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