The OCE and appraisal teams chartered by the OCE plan the scope and content of the survey. A Survey Leader is typically named by the OCE to provide overall event planning and coordination, as well as serving as a liaison between the OCE and the Center's point of contact or survey manager.
The process of determining the scope for a survey addresses the following items at a minimum:
Preparations for the survey typically include reviews of the flow down of NASA OCE requirements to Center procedural documents, reviews of organization and program/project specific documentation and reviews of other surveys, audits and assessments. The complete description of this nominally week-long event can be found in the OCE Requirements Compliance Survey Process
What follows in this guidance is a brief summary of the software engineering survey team's appraisal process. The main thrust of the software sub-team's appraisal is built into a set of 25 questions from the OCE. This baseline set of questions serves as guidance to the Center or project to communicate what the OCE wants to review. The survey leader will communicate these questions to the Center's survey manager 3 to 4 weeks before the event, who in turn conveys them to the software point of contact. (SW POC). This is usually the Center's NASA Software Working Group (SWG) primary representative.
The 2010 OCE SW Survey Generic Worksheet
The set of provided questions are typically the same for all Center surveys, although the actual questions included in the survey may be tailored, based on results learned/obtained from other appraisal activities. Reviews of partial Center (P (Center)) determinations (see SWE-140) will be included in the survey activities. Also included will be reviews of general exclusions or alternate requirements approved against requirements in NPR 7150.2 (see SWE-120).
The software appraisal activity begins during the survey planning process with the OCE Pre-Brief Presentation. A major component of this pre-brief is the discussion of selection parameters that are used to determine which projects and software activities will be a part of the survey. This pre-brief meeting is nominally held 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the survey. The actual survey event includes entrance presentations, document reviews by the OCE survey team, interviews of Center and project personnel by the survey team, development and review of initial findings, a review for surfacing general or systemic findings, and a summary presentation to members of management. The last activity is usually an exit briefing, which is the survey team's first formal opportunity to present their findings to the senior management of the surveyed organization. A series of follow-on actions are defined and assigned.
As in many reviews, surveys, and appraisal activities, compliance is often measured against objective evidence. Expected content and types of this objective quality evidence are usually defined in the preparation for the software survey. This defined material provides the basis for confirmation of compliance with requirements and identification of strengths and weaknesses. The Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute provides the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) appraisal method
Additional guidance related to OCE Appraisal activities may be found in the following related requirements in this Handbook: