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NPR 7120.8A
Effective Date: September 14, 2018
Expiration Date: September 14, 2028
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements (Revalidated w/change 5)

Responsible Office: Associate Administrator

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | AppendixK | AppendixL | AppendixM | ALL |

Appendix G. R&T Project Plan Template

The MDAA may authorize use of an alternative format with compatible content. For information within the Project Plan that changes frequently (i.e., requirements and schedules) or a body of information too extensive to include in the Project Plan, the information within the document could simply be a pointer to where the authoritative current information resides.

G.1 Project Plan Title Page

Figure G-1 shows the Project Plan Title Page
Figure G-1 Project Plan Title Page

G.2 Project Plan Template


Note: Required content is annotated by "Required." Optional content is annotated by "Optional." Optional content is recommended, if applicable. For information in the Project Plan that changes frequently (e.g., schedules), the Project Plan could point to where the authoritative current information resides.

Change Log

Document changes to the R&T Project Plan.


1.1 Introduction (Optional)

Optional: Briefly state the background of the R&T project and the current status, including the results of Formulation activities, decisions, and documentation.

1.2 Goals, Objectives, and Metrics (Required)

Required: State the project's specific goals and objectives and their relationship to the program's goals and objectives. Describe the desired end-state of the project products. State the project's relevance to the Agency's vision and mission, as defined by NPD 1001.0, NASA Strategic Plan.

Required: State the minimum success criteria associated with the high-level project requirements that, if not met, trigger a possible Termination Review.

Optional: Performance goals and metrics and their relationship to the Agency's vision and mission, as defined by NPD 1001.0, NASA Strategic Plan, should be expressed in an objective, quantifiable, and measurable form.

1.3 Customer or Beneficiary, Stakeholder, and External Partner Definition and Advocacy (Required)

Required: Identify the main customers or beneficiaries, stakeholders, and external partners for the project's products or for the project (e.g., PI, science community, technology community, public, education community, CIO, Mission Directorate, NASA AA/CPMO, OCE, OSMA, OCFO, and NASA Centers).

Optional: Describe the process to be used to ensure customer or beneficiary, stakeholder, and external partner advocacy.

Optional: Describe the way the project will relate to other institutions within and outside of NASA.

Optional: Identify opportunities for establishing partnerships with private industry, academia, or other governmental organizations to conduct dual-use research, develop mutually beneficial technologies, and/or transfer results into NASA missions and into the private sector for commercial application (if applicable).


2.1 Overview (Required)

Required: Identify the project manager.

Required: Describe the project management structure consistent with the project WBS, including organization and responsibilities, its integration into the program management structure, and NASA Center participation.

Required: Identify the DA and governing Program Management Committee for oversight of the project, including delegations of authority, if any. Provide the rationale for any delegations.

Optional: Identify specific management tools to support management in planning and controlling the project. Describe any use of special boards and committees. Identify any metrics that will be used to determine the project's technical, cost, and schedule progress. Describe any periodic reporting requirements that have been placed on the project.

2.2 Project WBS (Required)

Required: A project WBS (see Appendix I in this NPR) is described in this section and can be accompanied by a WBS dictionary. The WBS level should be defined down to the level needed for effective tracking of key milestones and, if applicable, earned value management reporting.

2.3 Project Schedule/Key Project-Level Milestones (Required)

Required: Document the project's schedule for all major events, technology development or product milestones, major reviews, independent assessment(s), and other activities throughout the life cycle of the project.

Optional: Include approval dates for principal project documentation and significant contract key milestones. Identify lower-level schedules to be developed and maintained. Project managers are encouraged to identify alternative development paths to maximize the probability of success.

2.4 Project Resources/Annual Cost Estimate (Required)

Required: Document the initial estimated LCC, the annual cost breakdown, or other appropriate cost description for the project, including costs for each participating Center, if applicable, that is consistent with the project WBS, schedule, and performance parameters to form the project estimate baseline.

Required: Define the funding requirements. The funding requirements should cover major elements of cost reflecting the second level or below of the WBS or its equivalent.

Optional: Identify yearly NOA estimates for system development and operations, facility construction, institutional support (including safety and mission assurance), and management (if applicable), and address civil service workforce levels.

Optional: Document the integrated budget (three or five years) in accordance with defined WBS elements.

2.5 Budget and Acquisition Approach (Required)

Required: Briefly describe the budget and acquisition approach.

Optional: Address the respective roles, responsibilities, and relationships between the Government and its contractors, vendors, and/or partners, including a description of integration and surveillance responsibilities.

Optional: If applicable, the use of cost caps or other cost control strategies should be addressed, as well as the financial strategy for initiation of new project elements. The amount of UFE and at what level the UFE will be held should be stated, if applicable.


3.1 Overview (Required)

Required: Present a technical description of the project. This includes R&T, facilities, flight plans, operations and logistics concepts, and planned results analysis and reporting.

Required: Define any technical key milestones.

Optional: Define a process for the solicitation, evaluation, and selection of proposals (including identifying Selection Official(s)). Establish evaluation criteria, including considerations of technical merit, relevance to the Agency's vision and mission, as defined by NPD 1001.0, NASA Strategic Plan, and cost realism.

Optional: Document an assessment (Gap Analysis) of related activities in other NASA programs, other Government agencies, and the commercial sector to eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort.

3.2 Project Requirements (Required)

Required: Define the high-level project requirements.

Optional: Present the infrastructure requirements (use or development of real property/facilities, aircraft, personal property, IT) for the entire project throughout its life. Identify any necessary upgrades or new developments, including those needed for environmental compliance. If use of NASA aircraft is planned, address here or address in a separate aircraft utilization plan the projected ground and flight utilization, modification requirements, planned deployments, aerobatics requirements, estimated costs, and other applicable requirements.

3.3 Strategy for Technology Transition or Research Dissemination (Required)

Required: For projects developing technologies, describe how products will be transitioned to the customer or other beneficiary. If a definite customer/beneficiary has not been identified, outline a potential technology infusion path into NASA missions. For research projects, describe how the research results will be disseminated to the scientific community.

Optional: Document strategy for archival of data and disposition of residual property associated with the project when the project ends.

3.4 Project Reviews (Required)

Required: Provide details for the PPRs, CAs, and IAs that will be used to evaluate progress. Define the schedule of reviews and who leads and who participates in the review. This includes defining the role of the stakeholders in the review process. Define the factors (including TRLs) that will be used to perform the technology or research assessment. Define the technical, scientific, schedule, cost, and other criteria that will be used as criteria for determination of a successful review.

Optional: Describe any additional reviews that have been placed on the project.


4.1 SMA and Risk Management Strategy (Required)

Required: Summarize the risk management approach to be used for the project, including appropriate actions to mitigate risk and project descope plans. Risk mitigation should be balanced with the need to conduct challenging research and technology development that will realize significant gains.

Optional: List any project elements that will develop their own stand-alone risk and safety plans. Summarize any safety and mission assurance approach flowed down from the program and/or needed to complete the project.

4.2 Project Control Plans (Required)

Required: Identify any additional project control plans that are appropriate for the project, including any plans from the Program Plan that apply to the project. These may include, but are not limited to, a Systems Engineering Management Plan, Software Development Plan, Configuration Management Plan, Data Management Plan, Environmental Protection Plan, Human Systems Integration approach, Safety Plan, System Security Plan and associated security plans and assessments in accordance with NPR 2810.1, or other plans as agreed-to by the project and the DA.

Required: State the approach for using English or metric system units within the project. Optional: Describe any activities specific to the project to be conducted with support from the cognizant EMO to comply with NPR 8580.1. Also, describe any activities in support of Education and Public Outreach.

4.3 Tailoring Approach (Required)

Required: If there is tailoring, describe any requirements identified in this NPR that will be tailored. For example, this may include incorporating elements from NPR 7120.5 for R&T projects that involve flight experiments and technology demonstrations.

Optional: List policy requirements that have been waived.

4.4 Data and Knowledge Management and Distribution (Optional)

Optional: Address the data or knowledge being developed or captured by the R&T project and define plans for data rights and services.

Optional: Explain how the project will ensure identification, control, and disposition of project records in accordance with NPD 1440.6 and NPR 1441.1.

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | AppendixK | AppendixL | AppendixM | ALL |
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