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CSIP - Center Software Improvement Plan

1. Minimum Recommended Content

    1. Process improvement goal(s).
    2. Scope of process improvement.
    3. All Center organizations responsible for the performance of mission-critical software development, management, and acquisition.
    4. The Center's tactic for phasing in improvements (e.g., domain phasing and organizational phasing).
    5. Ownership of Center Software Engineering Improvement Plan.
    6. The Center's tactic for monitoring Center Software Engineering Improvement Plan progress, including responsibilities.
    7. Strategies and objectives.
    8. The Center's tactic for supporting the implementation of all strategies of the NASA Software Engineering Initiative Implementation Plan.
    9. Schedule.
    10. The Center's tactic or approach for phasing in new and upgraded NASA Headquarters requirements.

One plan per Center.             

2. Rationale

The execution of planned Center software engineering improvement activities begins with the documentation of the planned tasks and activities to assure a common understanding and agreement with these activities by the relevant Center stakeholders. The documentation of common content among the Centers assures sufficient software engineering improvement elements are addressed across the Agency. This, in turn, will strengthen software teaming activities in support of multi-Center projects at NASA. The commonality of improvement elements helps identify where collaborating Center approaches differ, as well as their similarities in goals, scope, strategies, and tactics.

3. Guidance

The Center Software Improvement Plan is a stand-alone plan. The plan is to be written, reviewed, approved, and concurred with by the appropriate engineering department(s) and Center management officials. Center policies and procedures are used to obtain specified reviews and approvals. Once approved, the Center provides a copy of the final plan, as well as updates, to the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE).

As called out in the requirements text above, the Center Software Improvement Plan will contain specific information. The following paragraphs provide guidance for the type of information to be included in the plan.

Document content

The following paragraphs are based on the content as outlined and specified in Appendix C of the NASA Software Engineering Initiative Implementation Plan (NSEIIP). 038 The actual composition, formatting, and documentation method are optional and left to the Center to determine. Center plans are encouraged to utilize the numbering scheme and titles provided in the outline. The content outlines the method the Center will use to achieve improvements in software processes and products. Appropriate metrics are used to evaluate progress and areas of need. Additional sections may be added at the end of the Center plans. The Resources section below lists Center examples of plans based on the NSEIIP. 056, 051, 029, 001

  • Process improvement goal(s).

This is a statement of the Center goal(s) as they apply to its objectives, with an indication of the overall benefit(s) to the Center.

  • Scope of process improvement.

This is a statement of what is covered and what organizations and which personnel are primarily responsible for the overall improvement activities. At a minimum, this section specifies the plans for mission-critical software development improvements.

  • Responsible Center organizations.

This is a section in the plan that identifies key management positions and involved organizations, a detailed description of their responsibilities, assignment of performing groups, and identification of the expected beneficiaries. It also provides the details of the participation by the Center software assurance organization.

  • Phasing tactics.

This section in the plan is primarily a milestone-based description of proposed improvement activities, a discussion of the relationship among activities if they are phased, a discussion of the criteria to be used that indicate success and the passage to the next phase. It includes a discussion of how plan adjustments will be determined and executed. It distinguishes between phasing by classes and criticalities of software and/or by the sequencing of involved organizations at the Center.

  • Plan ownership.

This is a description of the primary individual charged with developing, executing, and reporting results against the Center's Software Improvement Plan. The NSEIIP refers to this individual as the "software champion." This individual is usually the Center representative to the NASA Software Working Group and may be the Chair of the Center's SEPG (Software Engineering Process Group). The software Management Steering Group (MSG) is usually responsible for providing plan direction and the support for its implementation.

  • Progress monitoring tactic.

This section of the plan describes monitoring and review efforts to evaluate progress against the plan and the activity to develop adjustments to the plan to mitigate deviations occurring against the plan. The activities documented in this plan are monitored by the SEPG, under the direction of the Center's MSG in accordance with its charter.

  • Strategies and objectives.

This section includes a description of the plan's approach to executing the strategies for software improvement.

  • Strategy implementation tactics.

The section describes any needed facility enhancements, training curricula preparation, submittals to training calls, funding needs, and personnel requirements for executing the Center plan.

  • Schedule.

Appendix C of the NSEIIP calls for the dates, approaches, and milestones for executing the plan. The description of the schedule content also calls out specific information needs for the Center plan. It describes detailed activities and tasks, identifies the critical path, and presents milestones.

  • Phase-in approach for new/modified requirements.

This section describes Center and SEPG activities to disseminate new methods and capabilities, revised requirements, and required training to software development engineers and teams

Additional guidance related to Center software improvement planning may be found in the following requirements in this Handbook:


Center Improvement Plans


Software Processes


Project and Software Training


Center SW Training Plans

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

  • (SWEREF-001) Software Development Process Description Document, EI32-OI-001, Revision R, Flight and Ground Software Division, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), 2010.This NASA-specific information and resource is available in Software Processes Across NASA (SPAN), accessible to NASA-users from the SPAN tab in this Handbook.
  • (SWEREF-029) JSC Software Engineering Improvement Plan, JSC 29542,rev A, NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), 2003. This NASA-specific information and resource is available in Software Processes Across NASA (SPAN), accessible to NASA-users from the SPAN tab in this Handbook.
  • (SWEREF-038) Release 1.0, NASA Office of the Chief Engineer, 2002.
  • (SWEREF-051) Software and Systems Engineering Process Implementation (SSEPI) Plan, KSC-PLN-2302, Revision A, NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). This NASA-specific information and resource is available in Software Processes Across NASA (SPAN), accessible to NASA-users from the SPAN tab in this Handbook.
  • (SWEREF-056) Software Engineering Improvement Plan FY12, NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), 2012. This NASA-specific information and resource is available in Software Processes Across NASA (SPAN), accessible to NASA-users from the SPAN tab in this Handbook.

5.1 Tools

Tools relative to this Topic may be found in the table below. You may wish to reference the Tools Table (click here to visit) 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 Topic. If you wish to suggest a tool, please contact the Page Editor listed at the bottom of the page.

 6. Lessons Learned

No Lessons Learned have currently been identified.

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