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NPR 1080.1B
Effective Date: February 21, 2017
Expiration Date: February 21, 2024
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Requirements for the Conduct of NASA Research and Technology (R&T)

Responsible Office: Science Mission Directorate

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |

Chapter 4. R&T Quality Assessment and Performance Measurement Metrics

4.1 Overview

The cognizant MDAA or MSOD is responsible for conducting quality and performance assessments of each R&T program, using the reviews required by NPR 7120.8. Additional mechanisms as described in this chapter are also, sometimes, used by NASA to assess the quality and performance of R&T investments.

4.2 Assessment

4.2.1 Program Officers of R&T programs demonstrate the extent to which their programs meet the following criteria:

a. Relevance - R&T programs will articulate why this investment is relevant and appropriate and have well-conceived plans that identify program goals, priorities, and linkages to national and stakeholder/beneficiary needs.

b. Quality - R&T programs will justify how funds will be allocated to support a portfolio of important, valuable, high-impact R&T activities.

c. Performance - R&T programs will establish plans and management processes to monitor and document performance, including appropriate outcome measures and milestones that can be used to track progress toward goals, and assess whether funding is to be enhanced or redirected. The U.S. Government has established a standard annual Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) to monitor and document performance for research grants. This process is generally also effective for other R&T awards such as internal NASA research, interagency transfers (IATs), and Contracts.

4.2.2 NASA demonstrates compliance with these criteria in the Congressional Budget Justification utilizing the results from status reviews and independent assessments required by NPR 7120.8. NASA internal reviews of R&T programs include program and project level assessments at NASA Centers, contractor sites, and NASA Headquarters, as needed. For external review of R&T programs, NASA relies on peer review panels of R&T experts from outside NASA to conduct quality and performance assessments. An evaluation of research results may also be performed by the Science committees of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), with findings published in the Agency's Annual Performance Report (APR).

4.3 Performance Measurement

4.3.1 Government wide mandates, such as the GPRA Modernization Act (GPRAMA), are also used to measure the performance of NASA R&T programs. Each MD or MSO that solicits, selects, funds, and conducts R&T is responsible for maintaining statistics on this process for its respective R&T programs. These statistics are reported annually as part of GPRAMA reporting (Section 4.3.2). Because the outcome of R&T may be difficult to evaluate on a short-term basis, a retrospective assessment covering the previous three to five years may be used to provide a more complete and accurate indicator with respect to the quality, relevance, and performance of the R&T investment. Evaluating the inputs provided, the outcomes achieved, and the value of those outcomes to the R&T community, determines performance measurements for R&T investments.

4.3.2 The GPRAMA requires the following activities: an Agency-level strategic plan that sets goals and objectives, an annual performance plan that translates goal into annual targets, and an annual performance report that demonstrates whether targets are met. Each MD or MSO submits a report on annual performance goals, based on its strategic plans, for internal NASA review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before it is sent to Congress as mandated by GPRAMA.

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |
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