Book A.

Book B.
7150 Requirements Guidance

Book C.

References, & Terms

(NASA Only)

SWE-076 - Implement Operations, Maintenance, and Retirement Activities

1. Requirements

3.5.3 The project shall implement software operations, maintenance, and retirement activities as defined in the respective plans.

1.1 Notes

NPR 7150.2, NASA Software Engineering Requirements, does not include any notes for this requirement.

1.2 Applicability Across Classes

Class G is labeled as "P (Center)." This means that an approved Center-defined process which meets a non-empty subset of the full requirement can be used to achieve this requirement.





























Key:    A_SC = Class A Software, Safety Critical | A_NSC = Class A Software, Not Safety Critical | ... | - Applicable | - Not Applicable
X - Applicable with details, read above for more | P(C) - P(Center), follow center requirements or procedures

2. Rationale

While NPR 7150.2 requirement SWE-075 requires a software team to plan for operations, maintenance, and retirement, this SWE (076) requires that the team implement the planning described in that Software Maintenance Plan.

The maintenance plan describes the activities and processes that the project team will carry out during the operations, maintenance, and retirement phases of the software life cycle. Those plans are created to guide the work and increase the possibility of meeting project expectations and long-term goals.

The maintenance plan takes over where the Software Development/Management Plan (SDP/SMP) left off for the initial software development. Project stakeholders review and agree to the plan before the operations, maintenance, and retirement phases begin and the project is held accountable for following the approved plan.

3. Guidance

The project team baselines the maintenance plan before it is implemented to ensure that the team carrying out the operations, maintenance, and retirement activities executes only the approved plan. Software Assurance personnel are responsible for assuring that these activities are carried out per the baselined maintenance plan.

There are fewer reasons for the maintenance plan to require revision than plans used for the earlier life-cycle phases, but keep the following in mind as a non-exhaustive list of events that could cause the maintenance plan to require updating:

  • Changes in resource levels, availability (e.g., tools, facilities, personnel).
  • In response to new or revised risks.
  • Budget changes.
  • Changes in stakeholders/stakeholder needs.
  • Changes in processes used for operations, maintenance, retirement (e.g, reporting processes, review processes, record keeping processes).

As with other project documents, updates to the Software Maintenance Plan are reviewed and approved before being implemented.

Consult Center Process Asset Libraries (PALs) for Center-specific guidance related to implementing operations, maintenance, and retirement.

For NPR 7120.5 projects, this Handbook provides the recommended maturity of the Software Maintenance Plan at major milestone reviews (see Maturity of Life cycle Products at Milestone Reviews). Additionally, guidance related to operations, maintenance, and retirement planning may be found in the following related requirements in this Handbook:


Software Plans (Execute Planning)


Document Maintenance Plan


Plan Operations, Maintenance, Retirement


Software Maintenance Plan

4. Small Projects

No additional guidance is available for small projects. The community of practice is encouraged to submit guidance candidates for this paragraph.

5. Resources

5.1 Tools

Tools relative to this SWE may be found in the table below. You may wish to reference the Tools Table in this handbook for an evolving list of these and other tools in use at NASA. Note that this table should not be considered all-inclusive, nor is it an endorsement of any particular tool. Check with your Center to see what tools are available to facilitate compliance with this requirement.

No tools have been currently identified for this SWE. If you wish to suggest a tool, please leave a comment below.

6. Lessons Learned

A documented lesson from the NASA Lessons Learned database notes the following:

ADEOS-II NASA Ground Network (NGN) Development and Early Operations – Central/Standard Autonomous File Server (CSAFS/SAFS) Lessons Learned (Tools for Maintenance.) Lesson Number 1346:  Lesson Learned No. 3 states: "Install, operate and maintain the COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) field and lab components. The following lessons were learned in the installation and operation phase of the SAFS/CSAFS ((Standard/Central Standards Autonomous File Server)) development.

  • "Personally perform on-site installations whenever possible.
  • "Have support/maintenance contracts for hardware and software through development, deployment, and first year of operation.
  • "Create visual representations of system interactions where possible.
  • "Obtain feedback from end users.
  • "Maintain the prototype system after deployment.
  • "Select COTS COTS products with the ability to do internal logging." 550