The TRIMS computer program guides a user through a set of process-oriented questions to identify and quantify risk areas. The software contains a set of algorithms that generate a risk level based on the answers. The questions are asked to determine if critical processes and procedures are being followed in a development effort. The questions are structured to be very objective and require Yes or No answers. Questions are grouped in a series of Templates or sub-categories that isolate a specific set of processes or protocols. The Templates are grouped into Categories that represent broad areas of concern to the program manager. TRIMS also contains clarifying information, time line information, and weighting data at the Template and Question levels. These may be modified by the user to tailor TRIMS to specific applications.
Thus the software provides the user with a structured interface into the Categories, Templates, and Questions that make up the TRIMS Knowledge Base. Templates pertain to a particular Category. Questions must fit within the subject matter of a Template and be objective; i.e., they must be answerable with a positive Yes, No, or Partial response. A Partial answer results in a reduction in the value of the item and a higher risk level. An answer of Unknown is also possible but provides the same risk level evaluation as a No answer and should eventually be changed to a definite answer. Not applicable is also valid and eliminates the question from the assessment process. Note that a Yes answer requires support of verifiable, documented backup. This will be in the form of organizational policy or procedures, verified practices, contract requirements, design specifications, or similar applicable documentation. A Not Applicable answer should also be validated to ensure integrity and that the item is not arbitrarily deleted.