Book A.

Book B.
7150 Requirements Guidance

Book C.

References, & Terms

(NASA Only)

You are viewing an old version of this page. View the current version.

Compare with Current View Page History

Version 1 Next »

Error formatting macro: alias: java.lang.NullPointerException
SWE-074 - Document Maintenance Plan
Unknown macro: {div3}

1. Requirements

3.5.1 The project shall document the software maintenance plans in a Software Maintenance Plan document.

1.1 Notes">1.1 Notes

The requirement for the content of a Software Maintenance Plan is defined in Chapter 5 [of NPR 7150.2]

1.2 Applicability Across Classes

Class G is labeled with "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

Unknown macro: {div3}

2. Rationale

Per NPR 7150.2, "Planning for operations, maintenance, and retirement must be considered throughout the software life cycle. Operational concepts and scenarios are derived from customer requirements and validated in the operational or simulated environment. Software maintenance activities sustain the software product after the product is delivered to the customer until retirement...The Software Maintenance Plan provides insight into the method, approach, responsibility, and processes to be followed for maintenance of software and its associated documentation."

Unknown macro: {div3}

3. Guidance

The software maintenance plan describes operations, maintenance, and retirement activities (see the guidance in this handbook for [SWE-075|display/7150/SWE-075]).  The maintenance plan is typically a separate plan, but may be part of another project document such as the Software Management Plan (SMP). For existing processes that may be used during operations, maintenance, and retirement, the maintenance plan may simply reference existing project documents that describe those processes.

One key goal of the software maintenance plan is to document the plans for maintaining a piece of software, especially in the case that an organization assumes responsibility for maintaining a piece of software developed by another organization.   The maintenance plan is not intended, however, to require updates to other planning documents from the software development life cycle, such as the software development plan.  The maintenance plan becomes the planning document for the maintenance phase of the software life cycle.

See [SWE-105|display/7150/SWE-105] in this handbook for guidance on required maintenance plan contents, but consider the following topics as well when developing the maintenance plan, as appropriate for the particular project:


  • Mission support procedures for troubleshooting software problems1
  • Test of ground displays and software during mission sequence tests or other end-to-end tests1
  • Software support as required by the operations support facility1
  • Software safety (if not addressed in the software safety plan)4
  • Performance assessments, as applicable7
  • Training for replacement operators and maintainers7


  • Corrective maintenance for software defects1
  • Adaptive maintenance for "software changes necessitated by other changes, usually to the hardware" 1
  • Changing requirements maintenance1
  • Operational data maintenance to support system configuration changes needed to use the software1
  • Maintenance after new revisions of the software are released
  • Software safety (if not addressed in the software safety plan) 4
  • Updates to operations and user manuals, traceability matrices5
  • User notification of updates6


  • Archival of project software products1
  • Archival of project metrics data1
  • Software safety (if not addressed in the software safety plan) 4
  • User notification of retirement6
  • Decommissioning and disposal7
  • Capture of Lessons Learned7


  • Disposition of COTS components (source code, licenses, etc.)2
  • Support, if required from a contracted developer (established via contract or other agreement)
  • Support tools required for operations, maintenance, retirement activities, including how to address obsolescence of any such tools over the operational life of the project
  • Allocation of responsibilities for operations support, maintenance, retirement activities7

Once the maintenance plan is created, it should be peer reviewed and reviewed at project milestone reviews such as the Mission Concept Review (MCR), Software Requirements Review (SwRR), Mission Definition Review (MDR), etc. (see section [7.4 - Maturity of Lifecycle Products at Milestone Reviews|display/7150/7.4+-+Maturity+of+Lifecyle+Products+at+Milestone+Reviews] in this handbook).  

Consult Center Process Asset Libraries (PALs) for Center-specific guidance related to documenting the maintenance plan.

Additionally, guidance related to maintenance plans may be found in the following requirements in this handbook:


Plan operations, maintenance, and retirement


Implement Operations, Maintenance and Retirement Activities


Software Maintenance Plan

Unknown macro: {div3}

4. Small Projects

For projects with limited staff or budgets, consider adapting a maintenance plan from a similar project making sure to update the plan to reflect the current project's operations, maintenance, and retirement plans.  The contents of a maintenance plan can also be addressed as sections in another project document and is not required to be in a separate document.

Unknown macro: {div3}

5. Resources

  1. Flight and Ground Software Division, MSFC, "[Software Development Process Description Document|]", EI32-OI-001, Revision R, 2010.
  2. Software Engineering Division (SED), Goddard Space Flight Center, "Checklist for the Contents of Software Critical Design Review (CDR)", 580-CK-008-02, 2010.
  3. NASA Technical Standard, NASA Software Assurance Standard, NASA-STD-8739.8, 2004.
  4. NASA Technical Standard, "NASA Software Safety Standard", NASA-STD-8719.13B, 2004.
  5. NASA Technical Standard, "NASA Software Safety Guidebook", NASA-GB-8719.13, 2004.
  6. IEEE Computer Society, "IEEE Standard for Software Verification and Validation", Chapter 7, IEEE STD 1012-2004, 2004.  This link requires an account on the NASA START (AGCY NTSS) system (  Once logged in, users can access Standards Organizations, IEEE and then search to get to authorized copies of IEEE standards.
  7. NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI), NASA Center for AeroSpace Information, "NASA Systems Engineering Handbook", NASA/SP-2007-6105, Rev1, 2007.
  8. Boeing, "[Software Maintenance|]", Houston Procedure, HOU-EGP-333, 2002.

5.1 Tools

Tools relative to this SWE may be found in the table above. If no tools are listed, none have been currently identified for this SWE. You may wish to reference table XYZ i 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.

Unknown macro: {div3}

6. Lessons Learned

The NASA Lesson Learned database contains the following lessons learned related to maintenance planning:

  • Computer Hardware-Software/Software Development Tools/Maintenance: "NASA concurs with the finding that no program-wide plan exists addressing the maintenance of COTS software development tools. A programmatic action has been assigned to develop the usage requirements for COTS/ modified off-the-shelf software including the associated development tools. These guidelines will document maintenance and selection guidelines to be used by all of the applicable program elements."  (
  • Maintenance Agreements: "Solidify long-term source code maintenance and incident investigation agreements for all software being developed by the International Partners as quickly as possible, and develop contingency plans for all operations that cannot be adequately placed under NASA's control." (
  • No labels