The committee found that personnel responsible for these efforts (e.g., at the TWCs and Tsunami Program, state emergency managers, etc.) are highly committed to serving each of the program’s functions, from detection through education and community outreach. However, the committee found many shortcomings of the TWCs in terms of function, technology, human capital, and organizational structures, and many opportunities for significant improvements in center operations. Improvements will depend upon an organizational culture change within the NOAA/NWS Tsunami Program that supports and celebrates operational excellence, adopts national and international standards, processes, best practices, and lessons learned for all functions, technologies, processes, and products, and continuously seeks process improvements.

Recommendation: Tsunami warning system processes and products should reflect industry best practices, as well as lessons learned from other operational real-time, large-scale, mission-critical distributed systems, and should comply with international information technology and software engineering product and process standards.

Recommendation: NOAA/NWS and the TWCs should undertake ongoing, joint or NOAA-wide, continuous process improvement activities for their functional, technological, organizational, and human capital initiatives.

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