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NASA Ball NASA
Procedural
Requirements
NPR 7120.5E
Effective Date: August 14, 2012
Expiration Date: August 14, 2020
COMPLIANCE IS MANDATORY FOR NASA EMPLOYEES
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements (Updated w/Change 17)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Engineer


| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | ALL |

Chapter 2. NASA Life Cycles for Space Flight Programs and Projects

2.1 Programs and Projects

2.1.1 Space flight programs and projects flow from the implementation of national priorities, defined in the Agency's Strategic Plan, through the Agency's Mission Directorates, as part of the Agency's general work breakdown hierarchy shown in Figure 2-1.


Figure 2-1 Programmatic Authority Organizational Hierarchy

This hierarchical relationship of programs to projects shows that programs and projects are different and their management involves different activities and focus. The following definitions are used to distinguish the two:

a. Program - a strategic investment by a Mission Directorate or Mission Support Office that has a defined architecture and/or technical approach, requirements, funding level, and a management structure that initiates and directs one or more projects. A program implements a strategic direction that the Agency has identified as needed to accomplish Agency goals and objectives.

b. Project - space flight projects are a specific investment identified in a Program Plan having defined requirements, a life-cycle cost, a beginning, and an end. A project also has a management structure and may have interfaces to other projects, agencies, and international partners. A project yields new or revised products that directly address NASA's strategic goals.

Regardless of the structure of a program or project meeting the criteria of Section P.2, this NPR shall apply to the full scope of the program or project and all the activities under it. Specific NPR 7120.5 requirements are flowed down to these activities to the extent necessary for the program or project to ensure compliance and mission success. See Section 3.5.6.1 for the process of obtaining any required deviations or waivers.

2.1.2 NASA Programs

2.1.2.1 NASA space flight programs are initiated and implemented to accomplish scientific or exploration goals that generally require a collection of mutually supporting projects. Programs integrate and manage these projects over time and provide ongoing enabling systems, activities, methods, technology developments, and feedback to projects and stakeholders. Programs are generally created by a Mission Directorate with a long-term time horizon in mind, though as the Agency's strategic direction or circumstances change, a Mission Directorate occasionally needs to replan its programs or combine related programs to increase effectiveness. Programs are generally executed at NASA Centers under the direction of the Mission Directorate and are assigned to Centers based on decisions made by Agency senior management consistent with the results of the Agency's strategic acquisition planning process. Because the scientific and exploration goals of programs vary significantly, different program implementation strategies are required, ranging from very simple to very complex. To accommodate these differences, NASA identifies four basic types of programs (defined in Appendix A) that may be employed: single-project programs, uncoupled programs, loosely coupled programs, and tightly coupled programs.

2.1.3 Single-Project Programs

2.1.3.1 Single-project programs are programs that implement their program objectives and requirements through one of two management approaches: (1) separate program and project structures or (2) a combined structure. The requirements for both programs and projects apply to single-project programs as described in the NPR.

2.1.4 NASA Projects

2.1.4.1 As with programs, projects vary in scope and complexity and thus require varying levels of management requirements and Agency attention and oversight. Consequently, project categorization defines Agency expectations of project managers by determining both the oversight council and the specific approval requirements. Projects are Category 1, 2, or 3 and shall be assigned to a category based initially on: (1) the project life-cycle cost (LCC) estimate, the inclusion of significant radioactive material 2 , and whether or not the system being developed is for human space flight; and (2) the priority level, which is related to the importance of the activity to NASA, the extent of international participation (or joint effort with other government agencies), the degree of uncertainty surrounding the application of new or untested technologies, and spacecraft/payload development risk classification. (See NPR 8705.4, Risk Classification for NASA Payloads.) Guidelines for determining project categorization are shown in Table 2-1, but categorization may be changed based on recommendations by the Mission Directorate Associate Administrator (MDAA) that consider additional risk factors facing the project. The NASA Associate Administrator (AA) approves the final project categorization. The Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) is responsible for the official listing of NASA programs and projects. 3 For purposes of project categorization, the project life-cycle cost estimate includes phases A through F and all Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Level 2 elements and is measured in real-year (nominal) dollars.


2 Nuclear safety launch approval is required by the Administrator or Executive Office of the President when significant radioactive materials are included on board the spacecraft and/or launch vehicle. (Levels are defined in NPR 8715.3, NASA General Safety Program Requirements.)

3 This data is maintained by the Office of Chief Financial Officer in a database called the Meta-Data Manager (MdM). This database is the basis for the Agency's work breakdown and forms the structure for program and project status reporting across all Mission Directorates and Mission Support Offices.


Table 2-1 Project Categorization Guidelines

Priority Level LCC < $250M $250M < LCC < $1B LCC > $1B,
significant
radioactive material,
or human
space flight
High Category 2 Category 2 Category 1
Medium Category 3 Category 2 Category 1
Low Category 3 Category 2 Category 1

Note: Small Category 3, Class D projects with a life-cycle cost of under $150 million should refer to guidance on tailoring NPR 7120.5 requirements from the NASA AA, which can be found on the OCE tab in NODIS under "Other Policy Documents" at http/nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCE_docs/OCE_25.pdf.

2.1.4.2 When projects are initiated, they are assigned to a NASA Center or implementing organization by the MDAA consistent with direction and guidance from the strategic planning process. They are either assigned directly to a Center by the Mission Directorate or are selected through a competitive process such as an Announcement of Opportunity (AO). 4 For Category 1 projects, the assignment shall be with the concurrence of the NASA AA.


4 As part of the process of assigning projects to NASA Centers, the affected program manager may recommend project assignments to the MDAA.


2.1.5 Program and Project Manager Certification

2.1.5.1 Programs and projects with a life-cycle cost greater than $250 million will be managed by program and project managers who have been certified in compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s promulgated Federal acquisition program/project management certification requirements. This certification is required within one year of appointment. Further information on how NASA is implementing program and project manager certification can be found in the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook.

2.2 Program and Project Life Cycles

2.2.1 Programs and projects shall follow their appropriate life cycle, which includes life-cycle phases; life-cycle gates and major events, including KDPs; major life-cycle reviews (LCRs); principal documents that govern the conduct of each phase; and the process of recycling through Formulation when program changes warrant such action. Uncoupled and loosely coupled programs follow the life cycle depicted in Figure 2-2. Tightly coupled programs follow the life cycle shown in Figure 2-3. Single-project programs follow the life cycle shown in Figure 2-4. Projects follow the life cycle shown in Figure 2-5.

2.2.2 Each program and project performs the work required for each phase, which is described in the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook; the NASA Project Planning and Control Handbook, which covers the functions and activities of the planning and control community; and NPR 7123.1. This work shall be organized by a product-based WBS developed in accordance with the Program and Project Plan templates (appendices G and H). When an alternate approach provides for better program/project implementation, the program/project manager should tailor the requirement as noted in the Compliance Matrix. (See Appendix C.)

2.2.3 The documents shown on the life-cycle figures and described below shall be prepared in accordance with the templates in appendices D, E, F, G, and H.


Figure 2-2 NASA Uncoupled and Loosely Coupled Program Life Cycle


Figure 2-3 NASA Tightly Coupled Program Life Cycle


Figure 2-4 NASA Single-Project Program Life Cycle


Figure 2-5 NASA Project Life Cycle

2.2.3.1 The program Formulation Authorization Document (FAD) (see Appendix E) is prepared by the Mission Directorate and authorizes a program manager to initiate the planning of a new program and to perform the analysis of alternatives required to formulate a sound Program Plan that contains project elements, requirements, schedules, and time-phased cost plans.

2.2.3.2 The PCA (see Appendix D) is an agreement between the MDAA and the NASA AA (the Decision Authority) that authorizes program transition from Formulation to Implementation. The PCA is prepared by the Mission Directorate and documents Agency requirements that flow down to the program, Mission Directorate requirements, program objectives, management and technical approach and associated architecture, technical performance, schedule, time-phased cost plans, safety and risk factors, internal and external agreements, life-cycle reviews, and all attendant top-level program requirements.

2.2.3.3 The Program Plan (see Appendix G) is an agreement between the MDAA (who has final approval authority for the plan), the participating Center Director(s), and the program manager. It documents at a high level the program's objectives and requirements, scope, implementation approach, interfaces with other programs, environment within which the program operates, funding by time-phased cost plans consistent with the approved PCA, and commitments of the program. The Program Plan is prepared by the program.

2.2.3.4 The project FAD (see Appendix E) is prepared by the Mission Directorate. It authorizes a project manager to initiate the planning of a new project and to perform the analysis of alternatives required to formulate a sound Formulation Agreement and subsequent Project Plan and contains requirements, schedules, and project funding requirements.

2.2.3.5 The Formulation Agreement (see Appendix F) is prepared by the project in response to the FAD to establish the technical and acquisition work that needs to be conducted during Formulation and defines the schedule and funding requirements during Phase A and Phase B for that work.

2.2.3.6 The Project Plan (see Appendix H) is an agreement among the MDAA; the program manager; participating Center Director(s); the project manager; and for AO-selected missions, the principal investigator. 5 The Project Plan is prepared by the project manager with the support of the project team and defines at a high level the project's objectives, technical and management approach, environment within which the project operates, and commitments of the project to the program.


5 A principal investigator is a person who conceives an investigation and is responsible for carrying it out and reporting its results. In some cases, principal investigators from industry and academia act as project managers for smaller development efforts with NASA personnel providing oversight.


2.2.4 Each program and project shall perform the LCRs identified in its respective figure in accordance with NPR 7123.1, applicable Center practices, and the requirements of this document. These reviews provide a periodic assessment of the program's or project's technical and programmatic status and health at key points in the life cycle using six criteria: alignment with and contribution to Agency strategic goals, adequacy of management approach, adequacy of technical approach, adequacy of the integrated cost and schedule estimates and funding strategy, adequacy and availability of resources other than budget, and adequacy of the risk management approach. (See NPR 8000.4 Agency Risk Management Procedural Requirements and NASA/SP-2011-3422 NASA Risk Management Handbook for further requirements and guidance on risk management and the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook for further guidance on addressing the expected maturity for each of these criteria). Life-cycle reviews that occur at the end of each life-cycle phase are complete when the governing Program Management Council (PMC) and Decision Authority complete their assessment and sign the Decision Memorandum (see paragraph 2.4.1).

2.2.4.1 The need for a PIR is determined in one of two ways:

a. The NASA AA determines the need for a PIR based on the occurrence of a trigger and discussion with the CAs. The MDAA or an independent team member (TAs, OCFO) report to the NASA AA that a trigger for discussing the need for a PIR has occurred. This is reported at the APMC during the annual review of MD IA Manifests. (For considerations that trigger a discussion on the need for a PIR see Considerations for a PIR in Appendix A.)

b. The NASA AA or MDAA, per their discretion, determine that a PIR is needed.

2.2.5 The program or project and an independent Standing Review Board (SRB) shall conduct the SRR, SDR/MDR, PDR, CDR, SIR, ORR, and PIR LCRs in figures 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, and 2-5. The Decision Authority may request the SRB to conduct other reviews identified on the figures or special reviews identified in paragraph 2.2.9. LCRs that do not require an SRB will be convened by the Center Director (or designee) of the Center responsible for the program or project management. The program or project manager determines whether one- or two-step reviews will be conducted. (See the NASA Standing Review Board Handbook and the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook for further guidance on the review processes conducted by the SRB.) Small Category 3, Class D projects with a life-cycle cost of under $150 million should refer to guidance on using an independent review team to perform independent assessments of the project in place of an SRB. Guidance can be found on the OCE tab in NODIS under Other Policy Documents at http/nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCE_docs/OCE_25.pdf.)

2.2.5.1 NASA accords special importance to the policies and procedures established to ensure the integrity of the SRB's independent review process and to comply with Federal law. The Conflict of Interest (COI) procedures detailed in the NASA Standing Review Board Handbook shall be strictly adhered to.

2.2.5.2 The portion of the LCRs conducted by the SRB shall be convened by the Convening Authorities in accordance with Table 2-2. The scope and requirements for this review will be documented in a Terms of Reference (ToR), for which there is a template in the NASA Standing Review Board Handbook.

Table 2-2 Convening Authorities for Standing Review Board

Decision Authority Technical Authority Chief Financial Officer**
NASA AA MDAA NASA CE* Center Director(s)
Programs Approve Approve Concur Approve Concur
Category 1 Projects Approve Approve Concur Approve Concur
Category 2 Projects Approve Concur Approve Concur
Category 3 Projects Approve Approve

NASA CE = NASA Chief Engineer

*Concurrence is obtained via coordination with designated MD Chief Engineer
** Concurrence is obtained via coordination with designated MD-embedded OCFO point of contact

NOTE: LCR entrance and success criteria in NPR 7123.1 and the life-cycle phase and KDP information in the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook provide specifics for addressing the six criteria required to demonstrate the program or project has met expected maturity state.

2.2.5.3 The program or project manager, the SRB chair, and the Center Director (or designated Engineering Technical Authority representative) shall mutually assess the program's or project's expected readiness for the LCR and report any disagreements to the Decision Authority for final decision. The assessment occurs approximately 30 to 90 calendar days prior to the LCR.

2.2.6 In preparation for these LCRs, the program or project shall generate the appropriate documentation per the Appendix I tables of this document, NPR 7123.1, and Center practices, as necessary, to demonstrate that the program's or project's definition and associated plans are sufficiently mature to execute the follow-on phase(s) with acceptable technical, safety, and programmatic risk.

2.2.6.1 For a single-project program that is implemented through separate program and project structures, the MDAA and single-project program manager will determine which of the documents in the tables are produced by the program and which are produced by the project. In both management approaches, the Program and Project Plans may be combined if approved by the MDAA.

2.2.7 Each program and project proceeds through the KDPs identified in its respective life-cycle figure. A KDP is the event where the Decision Authority determines the readiness of a program or project to progress to the next phase of the life cycle and establishes the content, cost, and schedule commitments for the ensuing phase(s). Transition to the following phase occurs immediately following KDP approval except for the transition from Phase D to E, where transition occurs following on-orbit checkout. KDPs associated with uncoupled, loosely coupled, and tightly coupled programs are designated with Roman numerals and zero. The first KDP is KDP 0; the second is KDP I, etc. KDPs for projects and single-project programs are designated with letters, i.e., KDP A, KDP B, etc.

2.2.7.1 For missions selected as a result of an AO, KDP A is the selection of a Step 1 proposal for concept development. In a one-step AO process, projects enter Phase A after selection (KDP A) and the process becomes conventional. In a two-step AO process, projects are down-selected following evaluation of concept study reports and the down-selection serves as KDP B. Following this selection, the process becomes conventional with the exception that products normally required at KDP B that require Mission Directorate input or approval will be finished as early in Phase B as feasible.

2.2.8 Projects in phases C and D (and programs at the discretion of the MDAA) with a life-cycle cost estimated to be greater than $20 million and Phase E project modifications, enhancements, or upgrades with an estimated development cost greater than $20 million shall perform earned value management (EVM) with an EVM system that complies with the guidelines in ANSI/EIA-748, Standard for Earned Value Management Systems. Small Category 3, Class D projects with a life-cycle cost of under $150 million should refer to guidance on implementing the EVM requirements from the NASA AA, which can be found on the OCE tab in NODIS under Other Policy Documents http/nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCE_docs/OCE_25.pdf. Use of NASA's EVM capability and processes will ensure compliance with the ANSI standard. This capability allows tailoring to match the individual needs of the program or project, while still meeting the ANSI-748 guidelines. NASA's EVM capability can be found on the Program and Project Management Community of Practice at https://nen.nasa.gov/web/pm/evm.

2.2.8.1 EVM system requirements shall be applied to appropriate suppliers, in accordance with the NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement, and to in-house work elements. For contracts that require EVM, an Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) and a WBS are required deliverables with the appropriate data requirements descriptions (DRDs) included in the contract and/or agreement.

2.2.8.2 For projects requiring EVM, Mission Directorates shall conduct a pre-approval integrated baseline review as part of their preparations for KDP C to ensure that the project's work is properly linked with its cost, schedule, and risk and that the management processes are in place to conduct project-level EVM.

2.2.9 The Office of the Administrator, MDAA, or the Center Director (or designee) may also convene special reviews as they determine the need. In these cases, the MDAA or the Technical Authority forms a special review team composed of relevant members of the SRB and additional outside expert members as needed. The process followed for these reviews is the same as for other reviews. The special review team is dissolved following resolution of the issue(s) that triggered its formation.

2.2.10 Each program and project shall complete and maintain a Compliance Matrix (see Appendix C) for this NPR and attach it to the Formulation Agreement for projects in Formulation and/or the Program or Project Plan. The program or project will use the Compliance Matrix to demonstrate how it is complying with the requirements of this document and verify the compliance of other responsible parties.

2.3 Program and Project Oversight and Approval

2.3.1 Each program and project shall have a Decision Authority, the Agency's responsible individual who determines whether and how the program or project proceeds through the life cycle and the key program or project cost, schedule, and content parameters that govern the remaining life-cycle activities. For programs and Category 1 projects, the Decision Authority is the NASA AA. The NASA AA may delegate this authority to the MDAA for Category 1 projects. For Category 2 and 3 projects, the Decision Authority is the MDAA. The MDAA may delegate some of their Programmatic Authority to appropriate Mission Directorate staff or to Center Directors. Decision authority may be delegated to a Center Director for determining whether Category 2 and 3 projects may proceed through KDPs into the next phase of the life cycle. However, the MDAA will retain authority for all program-level requirements, funding limits, launch dates, and any external commitments. All delegations are documented and approved in the applicable authority document (PCA or Program Plan) depending on which Decision Authority is delegating.

2.3.1.1 The NASA AA shall approve all Agency Baseline Commitments (ABCs) for programs requiring an ABC and projects with a life-cycle cost greater than $250 million. The NASA Administrator's agreement is required for the ABCs for all programs and projects with a life-cycle cost greater than $1 billion and all Category 1 projects. (See paragraph 2.4.1.5 for more information on ABCs.)

2.3.2 To ensure the appropriate level of management oversight, NASA has established two levels of PMCs-the Agency PMC (APMC) and Mission Directorate PMCs (MDPMCs). The PMCs have the responsibility for periodically evaluating the technical, safety, and programmatic performance (including cost, schedule, risk, and risk mitigation) and content of a program or project under their purview. These evaluations focus on whether the program or project is meeting its commitments to the Agency. Each program and project shall have a governing PMC. For all programs and Category 1 projects, the governing PMC is the APMC; for Category 2 and 3 projects, the governing PMC is the MDPMC. The PMC function may be delegated by the Decision Authority to the Center Management Council (CMC) in the event the Decision Authority is delegated to the Center.

2.3.3 The Center Director (or designee) shall oversee programs and projects usually through the CMC, which monitors and evaluates all program and project work (regardless of category) executed at that Center. The CMC evaluation focuses on whether Center engineering, Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA), health and medical, and management best practices (e.g., program and project management, resource management, procurement, institutional best practices) are being followed by the program or project under review and whether Center resources support program/project requirements. The CMC also assesses program and project risk and evaluates the status and progress of activities to identify and report trends and provide guidance to the Agency and affected programs and projects. The CMC provides its findings and recommendations to program or project managers and to the appropriate PMCs regarding the performance and technical and management viability of the program or project prior to KDPs.

2.3.3.1 For programs and projects that are conducted by multiple Centers, an Integrated Center Management Council (ICMC) should be used where the Center Director (or designee) of each Center with substantial contributions is a member of the ICMC. The ICMC is chaired by the Center Director (or representative) responsible for the program/project management.

2.3.4 Following each LCR, the independent SRB and the program or project shall brief the applicable management councils on the results of the LCR to support the councils' assessments. The final LCR in a given life-cycle phase provides essential information for the KDP, which marks the end of that life-cycle phase except for transition from Phase D to E, where transition occurs following on-orbit checkout and initial operations. To support the Decision Authority's determination of the readiness of a program or project to progress to the next phase of the life cycle, the program manager (for projects in their program), the Center Director, the MDAA (for programs and Category 1 projects), and the governing PMC provide their assessments and recommendations with supporting data, as necessary. Tables 2-3 through 2-6 define for each LCR and each KDP the LCR objectives and the expected maturity state at the subsequent KDP. (The NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook provides further details.)

Table 2-3 Expected Maturity State Through the Life Cycle of Uncoupled and Loosely Coupled Programs

KDP Review Associated Life-cycle Review LCR Objectives Overall Expected Maturity State at KDP
KDP 0 SRR To evaluate whether the program functional and performance requirements are properly formulated and correlated with the Agency and Mission Directorate strategic objectives and assess the credibility of the program's estimated budget and schedule. Program addresses critical NASA needs and can likely be achieved as conceived.
KDP Review Associated Life-cycle Review LCR Objectives Overall Expected Maturity State at KDP
KDP I SDR To evaluate the proposed program requirements/ architecture and allocation of requirements to initial projects, assess the adequacy of project pre-Formulation efforts, and determine whether the maturity of the program's definition and associated plans are sufficient to begin implementation. Program is in place and stable, addresses critical NASA needs, has adequately completed Formulation activities, has an acceptable plan for Implementation that leads to mission success, has proposed projects that are feasible within available resources, and has risks that are commensurate with the Agency's expectations.
KDP II
to
KDP n
PIR To evaluate the program's continuing relevance to the Agency's Strategic Plan, assess performance with respect to expectations, and determine the program's ability to execute the implementation plan with acceptable risk within cost and schedule constraints. Program still meets Agency needs and is continuing to meet Agency commitments, as planned.
NOTE: LCR entrance and success criteria in NPR 7123.1 and the life-cycle phase and KDP information in the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook provide specifics for addressing the six criteria required to demonstrate the program or project has met expected maturity state.

Table 2-4 Expected Maturity State
Through the Life Cycle of Tightly Coupled Programs

KDP Review Associated Life-cycle Review LCR Objectives Overall Expected Maturity State at KDP
KDP 0 SRR To evaluate whether the functional and performance requirements defined for the system are responsive to the Mission Directorate requirements on the program and its projects and represent achievable capabilities. Program addresses critical NASA needs, and projects are feasible within available resources.
SDR To evaluate the credibility and responsiveness of the proposed program requirements/architecture to the Mission Directorate requirements and constraints, including available resources, and allocation of requirements to projects. To determine whether the maturity of the program's mission/system definition and associated plans are sufficient to begin preliminary design.
KDP I PDR To evaluate the completeness/consistency of the program's preliminary design, including its projects, in meeting all requirements with appropriate margins, acceptable risk, and within cost and schedule constraints, and to determine the program's readiness to proceed with the detailed design phase of the program. Program is in place and stable, addresses critical NASA needs, has adequately completed Formulation activities, and has an acceptable plan for Implementation that leads to mission success. Proposed projects are feasible within available resources, and the program's risks are commensurate with the Agency's tolerances.
KDP II CDR To evaluate the integrity of the program integrated design, including its projects and ground systems. To meet mission requirements with appropriate margins and acceptable risk within cost and schedule constraints. To determine if the integrated design is appropriately mature to continue with the final design and fabrication phase. Program is still on plan. The risk is commensurate with the projects' payload classifications. The program is ready for Assembly, Integration, and Test (AI&T) with acceptable risk within its ABC.
SIR To evaluate the readiness of the program, including its projects and supporting infrastructure, to begin system AI&T with acceptable risk and within cost and schedule constraints.
KDP III ORR To evaluate the readiness of the program, including its projects, ground systems, personnel, procedures, and user documentation. To operate the flight system and associated ground systems in compliance with program requirements and constraints during the operations phase. Program is ready for launch and early operations with acceptable risk within Agency commitments.
FRR or MRR To evaluate the readiness of the program and its projects, ground systems, personnel, and procedures for a safe and successful launch and flight/mission.
Non-KDP Mission Operations Reviews PLAR To evaluate the in-flight performance of the program and its projects. To determine the program's readiness to begin the operations phase of the life cycle and transfer responsibility to the operations organization. PLAR Expected State: Project is ready to conduct mission operations with acceptable risk within Agency Commitments.
CERR To evaluate the readiness of the program and its projects to execute a critical event during the flight operations phase of the life cycle. Mission CERR Expected State: Project is ready to conduct critical mission activity with acceptable risk.
PFAR To evaluate how well mission objectives were met during a human space flight mission. To evaluate the status of the flight and ground systems, including the identification of any anomalies and their resolution. PFAR Expected State: All anomalies that occurred in flight are identified, and actions necessary to mitigate or resolve these anomalies are in place.
KDP IV
to
KDP n-1
PIR To evaluate the program's continuing relevance to the Agency's Strategic Plan, assess performance with respect to expectations, and determine the program's ability to execute the implementation plan with acceptable risk within cost and schedule constraints. Program still meets Agency needs and is continuing to meet Agency commitments as planned.
KDP n DR To evaluate the readiness of the program and its projects to conduct closeout activities, including final delivery of all remaining program/project deliverables and safe decommissioning/disposal of space flight systems and other program/project assets. Program decommissioning is consistent with program objectives and is ready for final analysis and archival of mission and science data and safe disposal of its assets.
NOTE: LCR entrance and success criteria in NPR 7123.1 and the life-cycle phase and KDP information in the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook provide specifics for addressing the six criteria required to demonstrate the program or project has met expected maturity state.

Table 2-5 Expected Maturity State Through the Life Cycle of
Projects and Single-Project Programs

KDP ReviewAssociated Life-cycle Review LCR Objectives Overall Expected Maturity State at KDP
KDP A MCR To evaluate the feasibility of the proposed mission concept(s) and its fulfillment of the program's needs and objectives. To determine whether the maturity of the concept and associated planning are sufficient to begin Phase A. Project addresses critical NASA need. Proposed mission concept(s) is feasible. Associated planning is sufficiently mature to begin Phase A, and the mission can likely be achieved as conceived.
KDP B SRR To evaluate whether the functional and performance requirements defined for the system are responsive to the program's requirements on the project and represent achievable capabilities. Proposed mission/system architecture is credible and responsive to program requirements and constraints, including resources. The maturity of the project's mission/system definition and associated plans is sufficient to begin Phase B, and the mission can likely be achieved within available resources with acceptable risk.
MDR or SDR To evaluate the credibility and responsiveness of the proposed mission/system architecture to the program requirements and constraints, including available resources. To determine whether the maturity of the project's mission/system definition and associated plans are sufficient to begin Phase B.
KDP C PDR To evaluate the completeness/consistency of the planning, technical, cost, and schedule baselines developed during Formulation. To assess compliance of the preliminary design with applicable requirements and to determine if the project is sufficiently mature to begin Phase C. Project's planning, technical, cost, and schedule baselines developed during Formulation are complete and consistent. The preliminary design complies with its requirements. The project is sufficiently mature to begin Phase C, and the cost and schedule are adequate to enable mission success with acceptable risk.
KDP D CDR To evaluate the integrity of the project design and its ability to meet mission requirements with appropriate margins and acceptable risk within defined project constraints, including available resources. To determine if the design is appropriately mature to continue with the final design and fabrication phase. Project is still on plan. The risk is commensurate with the project's payload classification, and the project is ready for AI&T with acceptable risk within its ABC.
PRR To evaluate the readiness of system developer(s) to produce the required number of systems within defined project constraints for projects developing multiple similar flight or ground support systems. To evaluate the degree to which the production plans meet the system's operational support requirements.
SIR To evaluate the readiness of the project and associated supporting infrastructure to begin system AI&T, evaluate whether the remaining project development can be completed within available resources, and determine if the project is sufficiently mature to begin Phase D.
KDP E ORR To evaluate the readiness of the project to operate the flight system and associated ground system(s) in compliance with defined project requirements and constraints during the operations/sustainment phase of the project life cycle. Project and all supporting systems are ready for safe, successful launch and early operations with acceptable risk within ABC.
MRR or FRR To evaluate the readiness of the project and all project and supporting systems for a safe and successful launch and flight/mission.
KDP En (applies only to Single- Project Programs) PIR To evaluate the program's continuing relevance to the Agency's Strategic Plan, assess performance with respect to expectations, and determine the program's ability to execute the implementation plan with acceptable risk within cost and schedule constraints. Program still meets Agency needs and is continuing to meet Agency commitments, as planned.
Non-KDP Reviews PLAR To evaluate in-flight performance of the flight system early in the mission and determine whether the project is sufficiently prepared to begin Phase E. PLAR Expected State: Project is ready to conduct mission operations with acceptable risk within ABC.
CERR To evaluate the readiness of the project and the flight system for execution of a critical event during the flight operations phase of the life cycle. Mission CERR Expected State: Project is ready to conduct critical mission activity with acceptable risk.
PFAR To evaluate how well mission objectives were met during a human space flight mission and to evaluate the status of the returned vehicle. PFAR Expected State: All anomalies that occurred in flight are identified. Actions necessary to mitigate or resolve these anomalies are in place.
KDP F DR To evaluate the readiness of the project to conduct closeout activities including final delivery of all remaining project deliverables and safe decommissioning of space flight systems and other project assets. To determine if the project is appropriately prepared to begin Phase F. Project decommissioning is consistent with program objectives and project is ready for safe decommissioning of its assets and closeout of activities, including final delivery of all remaining project deliverables and disposal of its assets.
Non-KDP Disposal Readiness Review DRR To evaluate the readiness of the project and the flight system for execution of the spacecraft disposal event. Mission DRR Expected State: Project ready to conduct disposal activity with acceptable risk.
NOTE: LCR entrance and success criteria in NPR 7123.1 and the life-cycle phase and KDP information in the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook provide specifics for addressing the six criteria required to demonstrate the program or project has met expected maturity state.

Table 2-6 Objectives for Other Reviews

Review Name Review Objective
System Acceptance Review (SAR) To evaluate whether a specific end item is sufficiently mature to be shipped from the supplier to its designated operational facility or launch site.
Safety and Mission Success Review (SMSR) To prepare Agency safety and engineering management to participate in program final readiness reviews preceding flights or launches, including experimental/test launch vehicles or other reviews as determined by the Chief, Safety and Mission Assurance. The SMSR provides the knowledge, visibility, and understanding necessary for senior safety and engineering management to either concur or nonconcur in program decisions to proceed with a launch or significant flight activity.
Launch Readiness Review (LRR) To evaluate a program/project and its ground, hardware, and software systems for readiness for launch.

2.4 Approving and Maintaining Program and Project Plans, Baselines, and Commitments

2.4.1 After reviewing the supporting material and completing discussions with concerned parties, the Decision Authority determines whether and how the program or project proceeds into the next phase and approves any additional actions. These decisions shall be summarized and recorded in the Decision Memorandum signed at the conclusion of the governing PMC by all parties with supporting responsibilities, accepting their respective roles. Once signed, the Decision Memorandum is appended to the project Formulation Agreement, Program Plan, or Project Plan, as appropriate. Decision Memorandum templates may be found at NASA's OCFO community of practice site (https://max.omb. gov/community/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=646907686), which can be reached via the NASA Engineering Network (NEN) Project Planning and Control (PP&C) community of practice site).

2.4.1.1 The Decision Memorandum shall describe the constraints and parameters within which the Agency, the program manager, and the project manager will operate; the extent to which changes in plans may be made without additional approval; any additional actions that came out of the KDP; and the supporting data (e.g., the cost and schedule data sheet) that provide further details. The NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook provides an example of the Decision Memorandum to illustrate the level and types of information that are documented.

2.4.1.2 The Management Agreement contained within the Decision Memorandum defines the parameters and authorities over which the program or project manager has management control. A program or project manager has the authority to manage within the Management Agreement and is accountable for compliance with the terms of the agreement. The Management Agreement, which is documented at every KDP, may be changed between KDPs as the program or project matures and in response to internal and external events. The Management Agreement should be viewed as a contract between the Agency and the program or project manager. A divergence from the Management Agreement that any party identifies as significant shall be accompanied by an amendment to the Decision Memorandum.

2.4.1.3 During Formulation, the Decision Memorandum shall establish a target life-cycle cost range (and schedule range, if applicable) as well as the Management Agreement addressing the schedule and resources required to complete Formulation.

2.4.1.4 The Decision Memorandum also documents any additional resources beyond those explicitly estimated or requested by the program/project (e.g., additional schedule margin) when the Decision Authority determines that this is appropriate. This includes Unallocated Future Expenses (UFE), which are costs that are expected to be incurred but cannot yet be allocated to a specific WBS subelement of a program's or project's plan. Management control of some UFE may be retained above the level of the project (i.e., Agency, Mission Directorate, or program). (See Figure 2-6, Example of Agreements and Commitments in Terms of Cost for Projects.)



Figure 2-6 Example of Agreements and Commitments in Terms of Cost for Projects

2.4.1.5 All projects and single-project programs shall document the Agency's life-cycle cost estimate and other parameters in the Decision Memorandum for Implementation (KDP C), and this becomes the ABC. The ABC is the baseline against which the Agency's performance is measured during the Implementation Phase. The ABC for projects with a life-cycle cost of $250 million or more forms the basis for the Agency's external commitment to OMB and Congress.

2.4.1.6 Tightly coupled programs shall document their life-cycle cost estimate, in accordance with the life-cycle scope defined in the FAD or PCA, and other parameters in their Decision Memorandum and ABC at KDP I.

2.4.1.7 Programs or projects shall be rebaselined when: (1) the estimated development cost 6 exceeds the ABC development cost by 30 percent or more (for projects over $250 million, also that Congress has reauthorized the project); (2) the NASA AA judges that events external to the Agency make a rebaseline appropriate; or (3) the NASA AA judges that the program or project scope defined in the ABC has been changed or the tightly coupled program or project has been interrupted. ABCs for projects are not rebaselined to reflect cost or schedule growth that does not meet one or more of these criteria. When an ABC is rebaselined, the Decision Authority directs that a review of the new baseline be conducted by the SRB or as determined by the Decision Authority.


6"Development cost" includes all project costs from authorization to proceed to Implementation (Phase C) through operational readiness at the end of Phase D.


2.4.2 All programs and projects develop cost estimates and planned schedules for the work to be performed in the current and following life-cycle phases (see Appendix I tables). As part of developing these estimates, the program or project shall document the basis of estimate (BOE) in retrievable program or project records.

2.4.3 Tightly coupled and single-project programs (regardless of life-cycle cost) and projects with an estimated life-cycle cost greater than $250 million shall develop probabilistic analyses of cost and schedule estimates to obtain a quantitative measure of the likelihood that the estimate will be met in accordance with the following requirements.

2.4.3.1 Tightly coupled and single-project programs (regardless of life-cycle cost) and projects with an estimated life-cycle cost greater than $250 million shall provide a range of cost and a range for schedule at KDP 0/KDP B, each range (with confidence levels identified for the low and high values of the range) established by a probabilistic analysis and based on identified resources and associated uncertainties by fiscal year. Separate analyses of cost and schedule, each with associated confidence levels, meet the requirement. A joint cost and schedule confidence level (JCL) is not required but may be used at KDP 0 and KDP B.

2.4.3.2 At KDP I/KDP C, tightly coupled and single-project programs (regardless of life-cycle cost) and projects with an estimated life-cycle cost greater than $250 million shall develop a resource-loaded schedule and perform a risk-informed probabilistic analysis that produces a JCL. The JCL is the product of a probabilistic analysis of the coupled cost and schedule to measure the likelihood of completing all remaining work at or below the budgeted levels and on or before the planned completion of Phase D.

2.4.4 Mission Directorates shall plan and budget tightly coupled and single-project programs (regardless of life-cycle cost) and projects with an estimated life-cycle cost greater than $250 million based on a 70 percent joint cost and schedule confidence level, or as approved by the Decision Authority.

2.4.4.1 Any JCL approved by the Decision Authority at less than 70 percent shall be justified and documented.

2.4.4.2 Mission Directorates shall ensure funding for these projects is consistent with the Management Agreement and in no case less than the equivalent of a 50 percent JCL.

2.4.4.3 When a tightly coupled program, single-project program, or project with an estimated life-cycle cost greater than $250M is rebaselined, the JCL should be recalculated and approved as a part of the rebaselining approval process.

2.4.5 Loosely coupled and uncoupled programs are not required to develop program cost and schedule confidence levels. These programs shall provide analysis that provides a status of the program's risk posture that is presented to the governing PMC as each new project reaches KDP B and C or when a project's ABC is rebaselined.



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