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NPR 8600.1
Effective Date: April 22, 2019
Expiration Date: April 22, 2024
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA Capability Portfolio Management Requirements

Responsible Office: Office of Strategic Infrastructure

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |

Appendix A. Definition of Terms

Acquisition. Obtaining or advancing the development of the systems, research, services, construction, and supplies needed to fulfill the Agency’s mission and other activities that advance the Agency’s statutory objectives. As used in this document, the term encompasses all NASA acquisition authorities and approaches needed for that purpose.

Acquisition Strategy. The plan or approach for using NASA’s acquisition authorities to achieve the mission of a program or project. It includes the recommendations from make/buy and competed/directed analyses, proposed partnerships and contributions, proposed infrastructure use and needs, budget, and other applicable considerations.

Affordability. Fitting within the Agency resources allocated to manage, operate, sustain, and evolve a CP to meet current and projected customer requirements.

Agreement. The statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises. Parties to a binding agreement can be held accountable for its proper execution, and a change to the agreement requires a mutual modification or amendment to the agreement or a new agreement.

Approval. Authorization by a required management official to proceed with a proposed course of action. Approvals are documented in retrievable records.

Asset. Any item of economic value owned by NASA including facilities and equipment and excluding personnel.

Capability. The ability of a system comprising workforce (i.e., Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)/Work-Year Equivalent (WYE)), competencies, assets, equipment, processes, and technologies to provide products and services to achieve objectives or meet requirements. (See also “Technical Capability.”)

Capability Component. An individual capability within a CP or the larger capability domain. It is a system comprising workforce (i.e., FTE/WYE), equipment, facilities, processes, resources, competencies, and technologies that delivers products and services; for example, a wind tunnel and the workforce that manages, operates, and maintains it or a complex dedicated to an end-to-end process.

Capability Domain. The in-house and external capabilities that characterize the broad realm of technical activities and associated products and services within which a CP falls. For example, the Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) portfolio falls within the domain of wind tunnel and aero-propulsion testing. The capability domain and the associated boundaries of CP manager responsibilities are defined in the CPCA when the portfolio is established and are maintained as configuration-managed elements within the CPMP.

Capability Operational Readiness Levels. A tool for describing the operational readiness of portfolio capability components consistently across CPs. Operational readiness is defined in terms of ability and capacity to provide products and services to customers. This ability and capacity are based on the following:

a. The asset/facility status of the capability component (the operational state of equipment and systems that comprise the capability component (e.g., active, inactive, mothballed) and current utilization (e.g., by a specific current program)).

b. The personnel status of the capability component (the type of work the assigned personnel are able to perform and their expertise and skill levels (e.g., perform test and operations; perform preventive and corrective maintenance)). There are seven capability operational readiness levels. (See Appendix F for additional information.)

Capability Portfolio. A specific collection of functionally similar site-specific capability components and enabling infrastructure strategically and centrally managed together to meet NASA’s strategic goals and objectives. For example, the Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) portfolio includes selected NASA wind tunnels and aero-propulsion testing capability components. The CP is defined in the CPCA when the portfolio is established and is maintained as a configuration-managed element within the CPMP.

Capability Portfolio Advisory Board. A group of stakeholders chartered and chaired as described in the CPCA to address Agency-level CPM policies, issues, and strategies. The board may include Technical Fellows and others from relevant technical communities, such as OCIO. The board provides stakeholder and Agency guidance and input to the CP manager in the process of managing the CP. The board’s role is to facilitate Agency-wide communication and conflict resolution on issues surrounding demand and utilization and scalability (capacities and/or capabilities) for the CP.

Capability Portfolio Baseline Plan. An optional plan developed by the CP manager that details how the CP will be operated. The CP baseline plan is updated more frequently than the CPCA and CPMP and includes more detailed processes and guidelines for operations and interactions between the CP manager, Centers, and programs and projects. It may document any delegations from the CP manager to Centers, programs and projects related to sourcing decisions and committing the use of portfolio capability components through internal and external agreements. The CP baseline plan may also include cost estimating processes and guidelines. The CP baseline plan may be scoped to a single year of operation.

Capability Portfolio Commitment Agreement. An agreement between the MSC Chair and the sponsoring MDAA that is necessary for the CP to transition from Establishment activities to Strategic Management activities. The content of the initial CPCA reflects the maturity of the CP at the beginning of Strategic Management activities. Prior to approval of the CPCA, the sponsoring MDAA coordinates with the MSC Chair, the participating MDAAs, the Chief Information Officer (if the portfolio is inherently information technology), and the Center Directors and JPL Lab Director that have portfolio capability components that reside at their Centers to ensure their commitment to support the CP. (See Appendix C for detailed information on the content of the CPCA.)

Capability Portfolio Management. The centralized and strategic management of CPs to achieve NASA strategic goals and objectives.

Capability Portfolio Management Plan. An agreement between the sponsoring MDAA and the CP manager that details how the CP will be managed and is used by the governing council to determine if the CP is fulfilling its requirements. The CPMP is developed and approved within the timeframe specified in the CPCA. Prior to approval of the CPMP, the CP manager coordinates with the sponsoring MDAA, the participating MDAAs, the Chief Information Officer (if the portfolio is inherently information technology), and the Center Directors and the JPL Lab Director that have portfolio capability components that reside at the Centers to ensure their concurrence.

Capability Portfolio Manager. The person assigned to strategically and centrally manage a CP.

Capability Portfolio Representative. The person assigned to represent a particular organization on Agency-level boards and teams that address CPM policies, issues, and strategies.

Capability Portfolio Scope. The parameters that define the boundaries of a CP within a capability domain. For example, the scope of the Aerosciences Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) portfolio includes large and strategically important wind tunnels and aero-propulsion testing capability components. The scope of a CP and the associated boundaries of CP manager responsibilities are defined in the CPCA when the portfolio is established and are maintained as configuration-managed elements within the CPMP.

Capability Portfolio Strategic Development Plan. A detailed description of the needed future state for the capability components within a CP and the processes for delivering products and services. The plan may be included in the CPMP or may be a separate document. (See Appendix D for detailed information on the content.) The plan:

a. Defines the approach to evolving the set of portfolio capability components to better support current and future customers and requirements.

b. Informs the development and prioritization of change to be implemented.

c. Serves as a guide for assessing infrastructure improvements and associated investments including modernization, upgrades, and/or new construction.

d. Addresses funding sources.

e. Addresses the scope of projects that may be needed.

f. Addresses strategic divestments and investments that need to be aligned with Center Master Plans and the Agency Master Plan.

Capacity. The planned availability of a capability component for customer utilization over a period of time. For example, the capacity of a wind tunnel is the available testing hours per year based on a provided level of resources and associated maintenance and other scheduled downtime.

Center Management Council. The council at a Center that performs oversight of portfolio capability components by evaluating all capability component work executed at that Center.

Centralized Management. A management, reporting, and communications approach led by a central authority to ensure tactical and strategic decisions are made at the appropriate levels and provide an integrated Agency perspective.

Component Facilities. Complexes that are geographically separated from the NASA Center or institution to which they are assigned but are still part of the Agency.

Classification and Decomposition Scheme. A method to represent the similarities, differences, and relationships between capability components within a CP. It may be represented in a hierarchical structure where similar capability components are grouped by salient attributes (e.g., Mach range for a wind tunnel; pounds thrust, fuels, and oxidizers for a propulsion test stand; temperature and pressure ranges for a thermal vacuum chamber). The classification and decomposition scheme may be used in analyses that include identification of redundancy and gaps within a CP. It may take the form of a spreadsheet, graph, or any other suitable format.

Concurrence. A documented agreement by a management official that a proposed course of action is acceptable.

Core Capability. The minimum workforce (FTE/WYE), competencies, assets, equipment, processes, and technologies below which NASA will assume unacceptable risk to current and future missions.

Customer. The intended user of the CP results. Typically, a customer is a Mission Directorate, a NASA program or project, or a Center. Customers may also be external entities.

Decision Authority. The individual authorized by the Agency to make important decisions on matters under their authority. For CPs, the MSC Chair is the Decision Authority.

Decisional Review. The event at which the MSC Chair determines the readiness of a CP to:

a. Transition from Establishment activities to Strategic Management activities (including approval of the CPCA).

b. Transition from Strategic Management activities to Termination activities.

c. Make a significant change (“significant” is defined in the CPCA and approved by the MSC Chair) in the composition, management, or funding of the CP.

Demand Baseline. An aggregated collection of customer requirements for a CP. The demand baseline is confirmed annually by the customers (Mission Directorates, NASA programs and projects, Centers, and external entities) and updated as needed by the CP manager.

Directorate Program Management Council. The senior management group, chaired by an MDAA or designee, responsible for evaluating programs, projects, and CPs executed within that Mission Directorate and overseeing implementation according to Agency commitments, priorities, and policies.

Dissenting Opinion. A disagreement with a decision or action that is based on a sound rationale (not on unyielding opposition) that an individual judges is of sufficient importance that it warrants a specific review and decision by higher-level management, and the individual specifically requests that the dissent be recorded and resolved by the Dissenting Opinion process.

Divestment. The permanent removal of a capability component from the responsibility of a Federal entity through conveyance to another entity or destruction. Conveyance includes transfer of ownership or conversion to personal property. Destruction includes demolition, deconstruction, and natural or man-made events, such as fire, earthquake, flood, or explosion.

Enabling Infrastructure. Lesser facilities, structures, retention, supply, distribution, and control systems that are not directly part of a capability component or component facilities but are essential for its operations, such as gases and support fluids, propellants, high pressure water, steam, pumping stations, high voltage power systems, and equipment.

Establishment. The first of three sets of activities characterizing the lifespan of a CP. When leadership determines that it may be in NASA’s best interest to strategically and centrally manage a group of functionally similar capabilities in an integrated manner, it initiates the Establishment of a CP of capability components. Establishment activities include the following:

a. Scoping and defining the portfolio.

b. Designating its sponsoring Mission Directorate.

c. Identifying the capability components of the portfolio.

d. Developing a management strategy and approach.

e. Selecting a CP manager.

f. Preparing the CPCA.

A decisional review is held at the MSC to determine whether to formally establish a CP and transition to active strategic management status, i.e., to transition to Strategic Management activities.

Evaluation. The continual, self-, and independent (i.e., outside the advocacy chain of the CP) assessment of the performance of a CP and incorporation of the evaluation findings to ensure adequacy of planning and execution according to plan.

Funding Model. An approach for obtaining the needed level of funding to operate and sustain the CP and its components. Funding models are based on the estimated cost for the operations and sustainment of the CP at a defined capacity. Customer charging methodologies may or may not be included in the funding model. Funding models are defined in the CPCA and CPMP and reflect the Agency direction for the CP. (See the CPCA and CPMP for more details.)

Note: One or more funding models may be included in a CP; for example, different funding models for portfolio capability components or groups of components.

Gap Analysis. An assessment of the CP products and services needed by customers against the availability of those products and services to identify areas where availability may need to be modified.

Information Technology. Any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information by an executive agency. It also includes computers, ancillary equipment (including imaging peripherals, input, output, and storage devices necessary for security and surveillance), peripheral equipment designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.

Information Technology Council. A decision-making body focused on information resources management that advises the NASA Chief Information Officer.

Investment. A resource and financial commitment made by the Agency, Mission Directorate, program, project, or Center.

Level of Service. The LoS establishes attributes related to the delivery of services by a CP, such as the scope of services, timeliness, times of operation, recovery from unplanned downtime, and service performance. The LoS may identify customer costs for different tiers of service performance and/or enhanced performance.

Metric. A measurement taken over a period of time that communicates vital information about the status or performance of a system, process, or activity.

Mission. A major activity required to accomplish an Agency goal or to effectively pursue a scientific, technological, or engineering opportunity directly related to an Agency goal.

Mission Support Council. The Agency’s senior decision-making body for the integrated Agency mission support portfolio. The council members are advisors to the MSC Chair. The MSC assesses and determines mission support requirements to enable the successful accomplishment of the Agency’s mission. The MSC is the governing council for CPs, initiates efforts to establish CPs, and assigns CPs to sponsoring Mission Directorates. It is the senior management group responsible for providing management oversight of a CP, its capability components, and related projects. The council has the responsibility of periodically evaluating the cost, schedule, risk, and performance of CPs under its purview. The evaluation focuses on whether the CP is meeting its commitments to the Agency and is following appropriate management processes.

Partner. An entity external to NASA with which NASA enters into an agreement. The entity may be a domestic non-governmental entity (i.e., academia, non-profits, commercial); a state, local, or Federal Government entity; or a foreign entity (i.e., foreign governments, foreign academia, and foreign commercial).

Participating Mission Directorate. A Mission Directorate that has a stakeholder interest in a CP.

Portfolio. A collection of projects, programs, capability components, sub-portfolios, and/or activities managed as a group to meet NASA’s strategic needs, goals, and objectives.

Procurement. Acquiring supplies or services (including construction) by contract with appropriated funds by and for the use of the Federal Government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies or services are already in existence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated.

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 defines a strategic direction that the Agency has identified as needed to accomplish Agency goals and objectives.

Project. A specific investment 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, CPs, and international partners. A project yields new or revised products that directly address NASA’s strategic needs.

Resource. Budget, workforce, schedule, and other infrastructure elements that support NASA assets and can be used by individuals or organizations to facilitate effective functioning.

Risk. In the context of mission execution, the potential for performance shortfalls that may be realized in the future with respect to achieving explicitly established and stated performance requirements. The performance shortfalls may be related to any one or more of the following mission execution domains: (1) safety, (2) technical, (3) cost, and (4) schedule. (See NPR 8000.4.)

Risk Assessment. An evaluation of a risk item that determines: (1) what can go wrong, (2) how likely is it to occur, (3) what the consequences are, (4) what the uncertainties are that are associated with the likelihood and consequences, and (5) what the mitigation plans are.

Risk Management. An integrated framework for managing risk that includes Risk-Informed Decision Making (RIDM) and Continuous Risk Management (CRM). RIDM informs systems engineering decisions through better use of risk and uncertainty information in selecting alternatives and establishing baseline requirements. CRM manages risks over the course of strategic and centralized management of the CP to ensure that safety, technical, cost, and schedule requirements are met. (See NPR 8000.4.) These processes are applied at a level of rigor commensurate with the complexity, cost, and criticality of the CP.

Safety. Freedom from those conditions that can cause death, injury, occupational illness, damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment.

Security. Protection of people, property, and information assets owned by NASA that covers physical assets, personnel, information technology, communications, and operations.

Significant Change. The types of change considered ‘significant’ for a CP are specified through thresholds, circumstances, criteria, and constraints in the CPCA. These may include the following:

a. Changes in the composition (i.e., the scope including the addition of new portfolio capability components, important or major enhancements to existing portfolio capability components, or divestment of portfolio capability components).

b. Management (strategy).

c. Funding (total annual cost estimate and funding model(s)).

d. Sourcing strategy of the CP.

e. Approach for making sourcing decisions.

Sourcing Decisions. The assignment of customer requests to capability components.

Sourcing Strategy. A strategy for acquiring CP products and services through capabilities available in-house and through other agencies, vendors, partners, and academia. The sourcing strategy goal is to achieve an optimized portfolio that addresses Agency goals and objectives, supports the CP strategy, enables the CP’s strategic direction, and satisfies customer requirements.

Sponsoring Mission Directorate. The Mission Directorate assigned by the MSC to provide management and oversight of a CP.

Stakeholder. An individual or organization that is materially affected by the outcome or the deliverables of a CP but is outside the organization doing the work or making the decision; e.g., customers, beneficiaries, and organizations that work on or provide support to the CP.)

Strategic Management (function). A series of integrated efforts that enable the Agency to establish and execute strategy, make decisions, allocate resources, develop and implement plans, and measure performance of the CP.

Strategic Management (set of activities). The second of three sets of activities characterizing the lifespan of a CP. These activities include key CM management processes associated with both the strategic and centralized management aspects of CPM that repeat as long as the portfolio is active. They include the following:

a. Maintaining a strategy.

b. Supporting the budget process.

c. Securing funding.

d. Evaluating component capabilities and assets for need of maintenance, upgrade, or divestment.

e. Analyzing the capability domain inside and outside of NASA.

f. Understanding CP supply and demand.

g. Assigning customer requirements to capability components that can deliver products and services in accordance with the approach for making sourcing decisions.

h. Assessing the health of the CP and its component parts.

i. Identifying and implementing new capabilities and improvements to the CP to meet future needs.

Sustained Tools of the Trade. Assets that:

a. Are core to the business of the Center.

b. Are in regular use by the Center.

c. Are sustainably managed within the resources provided by the Center’s business base.

d. May be commonly found in industry.

System. The combination of elements that function together to produce the capability required to meet a need. The elements include all hardware, software, equipment, facilities, personnel, processes, and procedures needed for this purpose.

Systems Engineering. A disciplined approach for the definition, implementation, integration, and operation of a system (product or service). The emphasis is on achieving stakeholder functional, physical, and operational performance requirements in the intended use environments over planned life within cost and schedule constraints. Systems engineering includes the engineering processes and technical management processes that consider the interface relationships across all elements of the system, other systems, or as a part of a larger system.

Tailoring. The process used to adjust or seek relief from a prescribed requirement to accommodate the needs of a specific task or activity. The tailoring process results in the generation of waivers.

Technical Capability. The equipment, facilities, infrastructure, property, support, and workforce required to accomplish a program or project. Technical capabilities are categorized into four types – discipline, system, research, and service.

Technical Fellow. A senior NASA technical expert supporting the Office of the Chief Engineer and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. As an independent resource for the Agency and industry, a Technical Fellow:

a. Resolves complex technical issues.

b. Leads Agency-wide technical discipline teams and promotes discipline stewardship through workshops, conferences, and discipline enhancing activities.

c. Fosters consistency of Agency-level standards and specifications and helps levy standards and specifications on major program/projects.

Termination. The third of three sets of activities characterizing the life span of a CP. When NASA leadership determines it is no longer in the Agency’s best interest to strategically and centrally manage a CP in an integrated manner, it initiates Termination of the portfolio. A Termination decision triggers activities including:

a. Developing a Termination strategy and plan.

b. Closing out all strategic and centralized management activities associated with the CP.

Threshold. A level (magnitude or intensity) specified in the CPCA or CPMP. Certain conditions occur with respect to a CP when thresholds are exceeded. Thresholds are used to enable the effective strategic and centralized management of the portfolio (CP level) and the efficient operation of portfolio capability components (Center level). For example, thresholds are established to identify:

a. Significant changes that require decisional reviews.

b. Assets to be included in a CP.

c. Activities that require CP manager concurrence.

Total Cost of Ownership. A financial estimate intended to establish the full (direct and indirect) annual costs of operating and sustaining a CP and its capability components. The TCO is determined through processes established by the CP manager to support the need for differentiated understanding of costs in support of decision making to achieve CP efficiency and alignment. The TCO processes are documented in the CPMP.

Waiver. A written authorization granting relief from a requirement that results in more risk than is inherent in the original requirement. Waivers grant permanent or temporary relief after the original requirement is baselined for the specific product or process.

| TOC | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | AppendixE | AppendixF | AppendixG | ALL |
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