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NPR 7120.5F
Effective Date: August 03, 2021
Expiration Date: August 03, 2026
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements

Responsible Office: Associate Administrator

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

Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Key Policy Changes to NPR 7120.5 Revision F Since Revision E

1.1.1 Key policy changes in NPR 7120.5F, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements, include updating the requirements for establishing Agency Baseline Commitments (ABC) and for performing Joint Cost and Schedule Confidence Level (JCL) analyses for tightly coupled programs, adding additional requirements for doing a JCL analysis for single-project programs and projects over $1B life-cycle cost (LCC), and using initial capability cost estimates instead of LCC estimates in specific, identified instances for single-project programs and projects that plan continuing operations and production, including integration of capability upgrades, with an unspecified Phase E end point.

1.1.2 Per NPD 1000.0, NASA Governance and Strategic Management Handbook, tailoring is both accepted and expected. Tailoring guidance has been added to Appendix C along with a reference to a tailoring Web site that includes resources to facilitate tailoring the requirements in this NPR. Changes to tailoring guidance include clarifying the process for assigning "non-applicable" to requirements and modifying stand-alone requirements for program and project control plans; flexibility for programs using innovative acquisition approaches; clarification of delegation of tailoring authority; and pre-customization of the NPR 7120.5 Compliance Matrix. Requirements for tailoring are in Section 3.5.

1.1.3 With the release of the NASA-STD-1006, Space System Protection Standard and NPR 1058.1, NASA Enterprise Protection Program, Space Asset Protection is now the Mission Resiliency and Protection Program. Programs are no longer required to do a Threat Summary, and Project Protection Plans need to address the new standard and NPR.

1.1.4 Changes related to governance include updates to program and project acquisition strategy and planning aligned with NPD 1000.5, Policy for NASA Acquisition; shifted responsibility for management of independent reviews from the Independent Program Assessment Office to Mission Directorates; and added program and project consideration for management and utilization of Agency-level capability components through capability portfolios per NPR 8600.1, NASA Capability Portfolio Management Requirements. The Dissenting Opinion process is now the Formal Dissent process, which retains the current process augmented with an expedited escalation path.

1.1.5 Changes to the life cycle include clarification of the criteria triggering a Program Implementation Review (PIR), adding emphasis to the use of Leading Indicators in life-cycle reviews (LCRs) and Key Decision Points (KDPs), and providing additional guidance in the NASA Common Leading Indicators Detailed Reference Guide at https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCE_rep/OCE_list.cfm.

1.1.6 Updates to program and project documentation and guidance include changes to the Appendix I table documentation and products developed during the life cycle. This includes the addition of the Human Systems Integration Plan, System Security Plan, Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan, Orbital Collision Avoidance Plan, and Performance Measurement Baseline and the deletion of the Education Plan, Information Technology Plan, and Product Data and Life Cycle Management Plan. In addition, this NPR adds reference to NASA/SP-2016-3424, NASA Project Planning and Control Handbook.

1.2 Background

1.2.1 NASA space flight programs and projects develop and operate a wide variety of spacecraft, launch vehicles, in-space facilities, communications networks, instruments, and supporting ground systems.2 This document establishes a standard of uniformity for the process by which NASA formulates and implements space flight programs and projects.

2Â NASA space flight programs and projects often need to mature technologies to meet mission goals. These enabling and/or enhancing technologies are also covered by this NPR, insofar as developments of those technologies apply per Section P.2(b) above.

1.2.2 NASA approaches the formulation and implementation of programs and projects through a governance model that balances different perspectives from different elements of the organization. The cornerstone of program and project governance is the organizational separation of the Programmatic Authorities from the Institutional Authorities. The Programmatic Authorities include the Mission Directorates and their respective programs and projects. The Institutional Authorities include the Mission Support Directorate and other mission support offices (e.g., engineering, safety and mission assurance, information technology, procurement, and health and medical) and Center Directors and Center organizations that align with these mission support offices. (See NPD 1000.0, NASA Governance and Strategic Management Handbook and NASA/SP-2014-3705, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook.)

1.2.3 This NPR distinguishes between "programmatic requirements" and "institutional requirements." Both categories of requirements ultimately need to be satisfied in program and project Formulation and Implementation. Programmatic requirements are the responsibility of the Programmatic Authorities. Programmatic requirements focus on the products to be developed and delivered and specifically relate to the goals and objectives of a particular NASA program or project. These programmatic requirements flow down from the Agency's strategic planning process. Table 1-1 shows this flow down from Agency strategic planning through Agency, directorate, program, and project requirement levels to the systems that will be implemented to achieve the Agency goals.

Table 1-1 Programmatic Requirements Hierarchy

Requirements Level Content Governing Document Approver Originator
NASA Strategic Goals Agency goals, objectives, and strategic direction NPD 1001.0, NASA Strategic Plan; and Strategic Planning Guidance NASA Admin-istrator OCFO
Mission Directorate Requirements High-level requirements levied on a program to carry out strategic and architectural direction, including programmatic direction for initiating specific projects Program Commitment Agreement (PCA) NASA AA MDAA
Program Requirements Detailed requirements levied on a program to implement the PCA and high-level programmatic requirements allocated from the program to its projects Program Plan MDAA Program Manager
Project Requirements Detailed requirements levied on a project to implement the Program Plan and flow down programmatic requirements allocated from the program to the project Project Plan Program Manager Project Manager
System Requirements Detailed requirements allocated from the project to the next lower level of the project System Requirements Documentation Project Manager Responsible System Lead

MDAA = Mission Directorate Associate Administrator; NASA AA = NASA Associate Administrator Institutional requirements are the responsibility of the Institutional Authorities. (See Section 3.3 for details on Technical Authority.) Institutional requirements focus on how NASA does business and are independent of any particular program or project. These requirements are issued by NASA HQ (including the Office of the Administrator, Mission Support Directorate, and other mission support offices) and by Center organizations. Institutional requirements may respond to Federal and State statute, regulation, treaty, or Executive Order. They are normally documented in NPDs, NPRs, NASA Standards, Center Policy Directives Center Procedural Requirements, and Mission Directorate requirements.

1.2.4 This NPR is focused on improving program and project performance against internal and external commitments. Figure 1-1 shows the flow down from NPD 1000.0, NASA Governance and Strategic Management Handbook through Program and Project Plans. The figure identifies the five types of institutional requirements that flow down to these plans: engineering, program/project management, safety and mission assurance, health and medical, and mission support requirements. These terms are defined in Appendix A.

Figure 1-1 Institutional Requirements Flow Down

1.3 Overview of Management Process

1.3.1 Although this document emphasizes program and project management based on life cycles, Key Decision Points (KDPs), and evolving programmatic products during each life-cycle phase, these elements are embedded in NASA's four-part process for managing programs and projects, which consists of:

a. Formulation—identifying how the program or project supports the Agency's strategic goals; assessing feasibility, technology, and concepts; performing trade studies; assessing and possibly mitigating risks based on risk-informed decision making (RIDM) and continuous risk management (CRM) processes; maturing technologies; building teams; developing system-level preliminary designs; developing operations concepts and acquisition strategies; establishing high-level requirements, requirements flow down, and success criteria; assessing the relevant industrial base/supply chain to ensure program or project success; preparing plans, cost estimates, budget submissions, and schedules essential to the success of a program or project; and establishing control systems to ensure performance of those plans and alignment with current Agency strategies.

b. Approval (for Implementation)—acknowledgment by the Decision Authority (see Appendix A for definition of "Decision Authority") that the program/project has met Formulation requirements and is ready to proceed to Implementation. By approving a program/project, the Decision Authority commits to the time-phased cost plan based on technical scope and schedule necessary to continue into Implementation.

c. Implementation—execution of approved plans for the development and operation of the program/project and use of control systems to ensure performance to approved plans and requirements and continued alignment with the Agency's strategic goals.

d. Evaluation—continual self and independent assessment of the performance of a program or project and incorporation of the assessment findings to ensure adequacy of planning and execution according to approved plans and requirements.

1.4 Acquisition

1.4.1 NASA's program and project support of its overall mission is long term in nature, but the environment in which these programs and projects are conducted is dynamic. In recognition of this, NPD 1000.0, NASA Governance and Strategic Management Handbook and NPD 1000.5, Policy for NASA Acquisition have put in place a framework for ensuring that NASA's strategic vision, programs and projects, and resources remain properly aligned. The acquisition process and annual strategic resource planning form a continuous process to oversee this alignment. In addition, the Agency's senior Acquisition Strategy Council (ASC) makes decisions regarding strategic resource planning, specific acquisition strategy approval, and acquisition policy integration and performance.

1.4.2 All programs and projects implement acquisitions consistent with NPD 1000.5, Policy for NASA Acquisition. At the program and project level, the Pre-Acquisition Strategy Meeting (Pre-ASM), the Acquisition Strategy Meeting (ASM), and the Procurement Strategy Meeting (PSM) support the Agency's acquisition process, which includes strategic planning as well as procurement. Information on Pre-ASMs and ASMs, the associated convening authorities, and criteria for determining the convening authority is provided in NPD 1000.5, Policy for NASA Acquisition and its NASA Advisory Implementing Instructions. The PSM is described in NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) 1807.170-71. The PSM guide may be accessed at https://nasa.sharepoint.com/sites/procurement/Shared Documents/Forms/AgencyWide Procurement Templates.aspx?id=%2Fsites%2Fprocurement%2FShared Documents%2FNASA PSM Guide%2Epdf&parent=%2Fsites%2Fprocurement%2FShared Documents or by contacting the Office of Procurement.

1.5 Document Structure

1.5.1 Chapter 2 defines the different types of programs and projects, their documents, and how they mature through their different life cycles. It also describes how to establish baselines and approval processes. Chapter 3 describes roles and responsibilities relevant to program and project managers, the governance structure, Technical Authority (TA), the dissent process, and how to tailor requirements. Appendix C contains the Compliance Matrix and tailoring guidance and resources. Templates for required program and project documents are contained in appendices D through H. Appendix I encompasses the tables of program and project products by phase. Appendix J provides a list of references.

1.5.2 The companion handbook to this NPR, NASA/SP-2014-3705, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Handbook, describes how programs and projects are managed in NASA and contains explanatory material and context to help understand the requirements of this NPR and how to implement them. In addition, NASA/SP-2016-3706, NASA Standing Review Board Handbook is closely aligned to this NPR and provides guidance for the planning, preparation, review, reporting, and closeout of Standing Review Board (SRB) activities. These Handbooks can be found on the "Other NASA-Level Documents" menu in the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) under the tab for the Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE).

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