Human Readiness Levels in the Systems Engineering Process at Sandia National Laboratories
This report investigates the utility of a human readiness levels (HRL) scale to complement the TRL scale for the types of nuclear deterrence work conducted at SNL. The study team conducted 24 interviews with 26 individuals to (1) understand the extent to which current baseline design and development approaches at SNL incorporate the human dimension and (2) estimate the utility of various options to fully incorporate the human element in SNL work. Results confirmed that current processes do not manage the human component of a system systematically or comprehensively across programs. Although multiple options were seen to have some utility to address this shortcoming, an approach combining human readiness assessments within the existing TRL scale was perceived as relatively more useful for SNL. The study team created a proposed path forward to progress from the current ad hoc, reactive approach to a systematic, comprehensive, and rigorous approach characterized by full consideration of the human component of a system within and across programs and throughout the entire product lifecycle.