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NASA Ball NASA
Procedural
Requirements
NPR 7123.1C
Effective Date: February 14, 2020
Expiration Date: February 14, 2025
COMPLIANCE IS MANDATORY FOR NASA EMPLOYEES
Printable Format (PDF)

(NASA Only)

Subject: NASA Systems Engineering Processes and Requirements

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Engineer


| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | AppendixK | ALL |

Chapter 5. Systems Engineering Life-Cycle and Technical Reviews

5.1 Life-Cycle

5.1.1 NPR 7120.5 defines four types of programs that may contain projects:

a. Uncoupled programs.

b. Loosely coupled programs.

c. Tightly coupled programs.

d. Single-project programs.

5.1.1.1 Which life-cycle a program/project uses will be dependent on what type of program/project it is and whether the program/project is producing products for space flight, advanced technology development, information technology, infrastructure, or other applications.

5.1.1.2 A specific life-cycle may be required by associated project management NPRs. For example, NPR 7120.5 defines the life-cycles for space flight programs and projects, and NPR 7120.7 defines life-cycles for IT. For Announcement of Opportunity (AO) driven projects, refer to NPR 7120.5, Section 2.2.7.1. For purposes of illustration, life-cycles from NPR 7120.5 are repeated here in Figures 5-1 through 5-4.

5.1.2 The application of the common technical processes within each life-cycle phase produces technical results and work products that provide inputs to life-cycle and technical reviews and support informed management decisions for progressing to the next life-cycle phase.

5.1.3 Each program and project will perform the life-cycle reviews as required by or tailored in accordance with their governing program/project management NPR, applicable Center policies and procedures, and the requirements of this document. These reviews provide a periodic assessment of a program or project's technical and programmatic status and health at key points in the life-cycle. The technical team provides the technical inputs to be incorporated into the overall program/project review package. Appendix G provides guidelines for the entrance and success criteria for each of these reviews with a focus on the technical products. Additional programmatic work products may also be required by the governing program/project NPR. Programs/projects are expected to tailor the reviews and customize the entrance/success criteria as appropriate to the size/complexity and unique needs of their activities. Approved tailoring is captured in the SEMP or other equivalent program/project documents.

5.1.4 The progress between life-cycle phases is marked by key decision points (KDPs). At each KDP, management examines the maturity of the technical aspects of the program/project. For example, management evaluates the adequacy of the resources (staffing and funding) allocated to the planned technical effort, the technical maturity of the product, the management of technical and nontechnical internal issues and risks, and the responsiveness to any changes in stakeholder expectations. If the technical and management aspects of the program/project are satisfactory, including the implementation of corrective actions, then the program/project can be approved by the designated Decision Authority to proceed to the next phase. Program and project management NPRs (NPR 7120.5, NPR 7120.7, and NPR 7120.8) contain further details relating to life-cycle progress.

NASA Uncoupled and Loosely Coupled Program Life-Cycle

Note: For example only. Refer to Figure 2-2 in NPR 7120.5 for the official life cycle. Table 2-3 reference in Footnote 5 above is in NPR 7120.5.

Figure 5 1 - NASA Uncoupled and Loosely Coupled Program Life-Cycle

NASA Tightly Coupled Program Life-Cycle

Note: For example only. Refer to Figure 2-3 in NPR 7120.5 for the official life cycle. Table 2-4 reference in Footnote 5 above is in NPR 7120.5.

Figure 5-2 - NASA Tightly Coupled Program Life-Cycle

NASA Single-Project Program Life-Cycle

Note: For example only. Refer to Figure 2-4 in NPR 7120.5 for the official life cycle. Table 2-5 reference in Footnote 5 above is in NPR 7120.5.

Figure 5-3 - NASA Single-Project Program Life-Cycle

The NASA Project Life-Cycle

Note: For example only. Refer to Figure 2-5 in NPR 7120.5 for the official life cycle. Table 2-5 reference in Footnote 2 above is in NPR 7120.5.

Figure 5 4 - The NASA Project Life-Cycle

5.1.5 Life-cycle reviews are event based and occur when the entrance criteria for the applicable review are satisfied. (Appendix G provides guidance.) They occur based on the maturity of the relevant technical baseline as opposed to calendar milestones (e.g., the quarterly progress review, the yearly summary).

5.1.6 Accurate assessment of technology maturity is critical to technology advancement and its subsequent incorporation into operational products. The program/project ensures that Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) and/or other measures of technology maturity are used to assess maturity throughout the life-cycle of the program/project. When other measures of technology maturity are used, they should be mapped back to TRLs. The definition of the TRLs for hardware and software are defined in Appendix E. Moving to higher levels of technology maturity requires an assessment of a range of capabilities for design, analysis, manufacture, and test. Measures for assessing technology maturity are described in NASA/SP-2016-6105. The initial technology maturity assessment is done in the Formulation phase and updated at program/project status reviews. The program/project approach for maturing and assessing technology is typically captured in a Technology Development Plan, the SEMP, or other equivalent program/project documentation.

5.2 Life-Cycle and Technical Review Requirement

5.2.1 Planning

5.2.1.1 The technical team shall develop and document plans for life-cycle and technical reviews for use in the program/project planning process [SE-32].

5.2.1.2 The life-cycle and technical review schedule, as documented in the SEMP or other equivalent program/project documentation, will be reflected in the overall program/project plan. The results of each life-cycle and technical review will be used to update the technical review plan as part of the SEMP (or other equivalent program/project documentation) update process. The review plans, data, and results should be maintained and dispositioned as Federal Records.

5.2.1.3 The technical team ensures that system aspects interfacing with crew or human operators (e.g., users, maintainers, assemblers, and ground support personnel) are included in all life-cycle and technical reviews and that HSI requirements are implemented. Additional HSI guidance is provided in NASA/SP-2015-3709 and NASA/SP-2016-6105/SUPPL Expanded Guidance for NASA Systems Engineering Volumes 1 and 2.

5.2.1.4 The technical team ensures that system aspects represented or implemented in software are included in all life-cycle and technical reviews and that all software review requirements are implemented. Software review requirements are provided in NPR 7150.2, with guidance provided in NASA-HDBK-2203, NASA Software Engineering Handbook.

5.2.1.5 The technical team shall participate in the life-cycle and technical reviews as indicated in the governing program/project management NPR [SE-33]. Additional description of technical reviews is provided in NASA/SP-2016-6105, NASA Systems Engineering Handbook and in NASA/SP-2014-3705, NASA Spaceflight Program & Project Management Handbook. (For requirements on program and project life cycles and management reviews, see the appropriate NPR, e.g., NPR 7120.5.)

5.2.2 Conduct

5.2.2.1 The technical team shall participate in the development of entrance and success criteria for each of the respective reviews [SE-34]. The technical team should utilize the guidance defined in Appendix G as well as Center best practices for defining entrance and success criteria.

5.2.2.2 The technical team shall provide the following minimum products at the associated life-cycle review, at the indicated maturity level. If the associated life-cycle review is not held, the technical team will need to seek a waiver or deviation to tailor these requirements. If the associated life-cycle review is held but combined with other life-cycle reviews or resequenced, this is considered customization and therefore no waiver is required (but approach should still be documented in the SEMP or Review Plan for clarity).

a. Mission Concept Review (MCR):

(1) Baselined stakeholder identification and expectation definitions [SE-35].

(2) Baselined concept definition [SE-36].

(3) Approved MOE definition [SE-37].

b. System Requirements Review (SRR):

(1) Baselined SEMP (or other equivalent program/project documentation) for projects, single-project programs, and one-step AO programs [SE-38].

(2) Baselined requirements [SE-39].

c. Mission Definition Review/System Definition Review (MDR/SDR):

(1) Approved TPM definitions [SE-40].

(2) Baselined architecture definition [SE-41].

(3) Baselined allocation of requirements to next lower level [SE-42].

(4) Initial trend of required leading indicators [SE-43].

(5) Baseline SEMP (or other equivalent program/project documentation) for uncoupled, loosely coupled, tightly coupled, and two-step AO programs [SE-44].

d. Preliminary Design Review (PDR):

(1) Preliminary design solution definition [SE-45].

e. Critical Design Review (CDR):

(1) Baseline detailed design [SE-46].

f. System Integration Review (SIR):

(1) Updated integration plan [SE-47].

(2) Preliminary Verification and Validation (V&V) results [SE-48].

g. Operational Readiness Review (ORR):

(1) [SE-49] deleted.

(2) [SE-50] deleted.

(3) Preliminary decommissioning plans [SE-51].

h. Flight Readiness Review (FRR):

(1) Baseline disposal plans [SE-52].

(2) Baseline V&V results [SE-53].

(3) Final certification for flight/use [SE-54].

i. Decommissioning Review (DR):

(1) Baseline decommissioning plans [SE-55].

j. Disposal Readiness Review (DRR):

(1) Updated disposal plans [SE-56].

5.2.2.3 Table 5-1 shows the maturity of primary SE work products at the associated life-cycle reviews for all types and sizes of programs/projects. The required SE products identified above are notated with "**" in the table. For further description of the primary SE work products, refer to Appendix G. For additional guidance on software product maturity for program/project life-cycle reviews, refer to NASA-HDBK-2203. Additional programmatic work products are required by the governing program/project management NPRs, but not listed herein.

5.2.2.4 The expectation for work products identified as "baselined" in Section 5.2.1.7 and Table 5-1 is that they will be at least final drafts going into the designated life-cycle review. Subsequent to the review, the final draft will be updated in accordance with approved review comments, Review Item Discrepancies (RID), or Requests for Action (RFA) and formally baselined.

5.2.2.5 Terms for maturity levels of technical work products identified in this section are addressed in detail in Appendix F.

5.2.2.6 The technical team ensures that each program or project hosting equipment, experiments, or payloads with radio frequency (RF) requirements include success criteria in all life-cycle and technical reviews to receive approval from the responsible Center spectrum manager that program or project spectrum goals and progress are being achieved and satisfy all spectrum regulatory requirements. Spectrum certification requirements are provided in NPD 2570.5 and NPR 2570.1, NASA Radio Frequency (RF) Spectrum Management Manual. NPR 2570.1 takes precedence over this document regarding spectrum related procedures and processes.

Table 5-1 - SE Work Product Maturity

SE Work Product Maturity

**Item is a required product for that review.

1 For projects, single-project programs, and one-step AO programs.

2 For uncoupled, tightly coupled, loosely coupled programs, and two-step AO programs.

5.2.2.7 Technical teams shall monitor technical effort through periodic technical reviews [SE-57].

5.2.2.8 For each type of program/project, technical efforts are monitored throughout the life- cycle to ensure that the technical goals of the program/project are being achieved and that the technical direction of the program/project is appropriate.

5.2.2.9 A technical review is an evaluation of the program/project, or element thereof, by the technical team and other knowledgeable participants for the purposes of:

a. Assessing the status of and progress toward accomplishing the planned activities.

b. Validating the technical tradeoffs explored and design solutions proposed.

c. Identifying technical weaknesses or marginal design and potential problems (risks) and recommending improvements and corrective actions.

d. Making judgments on the activity's readiness for the follow-on events, including additional future evaluation milestones to improve the likelihood of a successful outcome.

e. Making assessments and recommendations to the program/project team, Center, and Agency management.

f. Providing a historical record of decisions that were made during these formal reviews which can be referenced at a later date.

g. Assessing the technical risk status and current risk profile.

5.2.3 Completion

5.2.3.1 Life-cycle reviews are considered complete when the following are accomplished:

a. Agreement (including with the appropriate TA) exists for the disposition of all RIDs and RFAs.

b. The review board report and minutes are complete and distributed.

c. Agreement (including with the appropriate TA) exists on a plan to address the issues and concerns of insufficient program/project performance with respect to the LCR success criteria in the review board's report.

d. Agreement (including with the appropriate TA) exists on a plan for addressing the actions identified out of the review.

e. Liens against the review results are closed, or an adequate and timely plan exists for their closure.

f. Differences of opinion between the program/project under review and the review board(s) have been resolved, or a timely plan exists to resolve the issues.

g. A report is given by the review board chairperson to the appropriate management and governing Program Management Committees (PMCs) charged with oversight of the program/project.

h. Appropriate procedures and controls are instituted to ensure that all actions from reviews are followed and verified through implementation to closure.

i. The Program/Project Decision Authority signs a decision memo (e.g., memorandum or other appropriate format) documenting successful completion of the review.



| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | AppendixH | AppendixI | AppendixJ | AppendixK | ALL |
 
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