This document discusses guidance for projects implementing the NPR 7150.2A requirements addressing software acquisition, including SWE-015, SWE-032, SWE-033, SWE-037, SWE-038, SWE-045, SWE-046, SWE-047, SWE-048, and SWE-102. This guidance is intended for all persons responsible for the software acquisition process from the planning stages through contract close-out.
Approve procurement plan
Software Project Lead
Prepare procurement plan, prepare SOW software requirements and software data requirements for the contract, monitor execution of contract
Conduct trade studies, engineering analyses
Contracting Officer (CO)
Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR)
Software Technical Authority
Prior to contract release verify that the SOW includes the complete flow down of the agency and center software requirements [recommended practice]
Before software acquisition can be carried out, a need must be identified for which a solution is required. During the planning stage, various solutions to address the identified need are evaluated with the following possible options:
- In-house development/service
- Contracted development/service
- Acquire OTS product
- Use/enhance existing product/service
If the solution to the need will involve software, NPR 7150.2A applies and the acquisition planning guidance below should be applied:
- Define the scope of the system of interest.
- Identify the goals and objectives for the software portion of the system.
- Identify the technical requirements (functional, operational, performance).
- Perform "make or buy" market research/trade studies to determine if an OTS solution exists:
- Establish criteria (and a plan) for the studies:
- Technical requirements
- NPR 7150.2A classification
- Constraints and limitations (cost, schedule, resources)
- Use past studies, known alternatives, existing make/buy criteria
- Conduct studies.
- Assess potential products and technologies
- Assess how well technical requirements are addressed
- Assess estimated costs, including support
- Identify risks (delivery, safety, development practices used by supplier, supplier track record, etc.)
- Assess provider business stability, past performance, ability to meet maintenance requirements, etc.
- Identify in-house capabilities to meet the need:
- Assess availability of existing products which could meet the need or be modified to meet the need
- Assess availability of qualified personnel for development or modification activities
- Assess estimated costs (time, personnel, materials, etc.), including support
- Use past projects as basis, where appropriate
- Identify risks
- Determine if solution will be custom made, an existing product, or a modified existing product.
- Review COTS/GOTS/MOTS guidance in NPR 7150.2A handbook for additional guidance and considerations.
- Establish criteria (and a plan) for the studies:
- Identify any acquisition risks based on requirements and "make or buy" decisions.
- Document analysis:
- Expected classification of the software to be acquired
- Availability of in-house staff and funding resources
- Availability of the software product(s)
- Projected licensing and support costs
- List of potential suppliers
- Security considerations
- Potential risks related to supplier's viability and past performance
- Document solution choice and basis for that choice:
- Estimate of in-house vs. acquisition costs (including OTS solutions and any associated costs for requirements not met by the OTS solution)
- Comparison of cost estimates to available funding
- Risk assessment
- Assumptions, observations, rationale, determining factors
- Significant issues, impacts of each option
- If solution is in-house development/service, exit this procedure
- If solution is to acquire product/service, continue tailoring as needed based on development under contract or purchase OTS solution
- Other planning decisions resulting in best overall value to NASA
- Description of chosen acquisition strategy
- Identify stakeholders based on requirements and "make or buy" decisions:
- Those directly concerned with, or affected by, the acquisition decision.
- May include management, the project team, procurement, customers, end users, and suppliers.
- Report analysis and resulting decision to appropriate stakeholders.
- Document lessons learned for future acquisition activities.
- Develop acquisition schedule, including solicitation, supplier selection, supplier monitoring, and product acceptance and transition to operations, as appropriate.
- Develop acquisition plan using center-specific template.
Once the planning activities for software acquisition have been completed and the decision has been made to acquire the software or software development services, a selection process needs to be followed to choose the best provider for the project. This process typically begins with development of a Statement of Work (SOW). The following recommendations should be considered as part of this process. Additionally, a SOW checklist is included in the Tools section of this guidance document.
1. Develop solicitation, including SOW:
- Acceptance criteria
- Solicitation constraints
- Proper requirements from the software development perspective:
- Software classification (from NPR 7150.2A and safety criticality (from Software Safety Litmus Test)
- Technical requirements
- Development standard to be followed, if any
- Development lifecycle to be followed, or indication that developer can choose appropriate lifecycle
- Surveillance activities (and acquirer involvement) including monitoring activities, reviews, audits, decision points, meetings, etc.
- Management and support requirements (project management, schedule and schedule updates, configuration management, non-conformance and change tracking, risk management, metrics collection, IV&V support, required records, traceability records, electronic records and code access, V&V, etc.)
- Requirements for maintenance, support, updates, new versions, training to be included in lifecycle and cost estimates
- Concise task and deliverable descriptions, including delivery format
- Media format for code deliverables
- Templates or Data Item Descriptions (DID) for documentation deliverables
- Complete set of deliverables with delivery dates, review periods, and acceptance procedures for each
- Time period for responses to review findings, including making changes
- Data Requirements Documents for deliverables, if appropriate
- Government and contractor proprietary, usage, ownership, warranty, data, and licensing rights, including transfer
- Requirement to include notice of use of [open source software] in developed code
- OTS software requirements (identify which requirements are met by OTS s/w, provide OTS s/w documentation such as usage instructions, etc.)
- List of all mandatory NASA software development standards and DIDs, as applicable
- Requirements for non-expired CMMI rating as measured by a Lead Appraiser certified by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) (see the Useful Tools section below for sample text for the solicitation)
2. Ensure proper review of SOW before delivery to procurement/contracts official:
- Technical Authority to ensure proper flow down of NPR 7150.2A requirements
- Coordinate with the Safety and Mission Assurance Office to ensure all QA requirements, clauses, and intended delegations are identified and included3. Identify potential suppliers.
3. Identify potential suppliers.
4. Distribute solicitation package.
5. Evaluate proposals (typically an evaluation team), based on selection criteria, including:
- Cost estimation comparisons
- Evaluation of how well proposed solutions meet the requirements (including interface and technology requirements, NPR 7150.2A requirements)
- Staff available
- Past performance
- Software engineering and management capabilities
- Prior expertise on similar projects
- Available resources (facilities, hardware, software, training, etc.)
- CMMI ratings
- Check the SEI Published Appraisal Results (PARs) to confirm non-expired rating (http://sas.sei.cmu.edu/pars)
- Be sure to check the scope of the organization holding the CMMI rating to confirm the rating is held by the specific organization submitting the proposal
- Other factors relevant to the project
6. Select supplier/contractor and document basis for selection.
7. Negotiate and finalize contract:
- Based on SOW
- Identify and include management reviews and meetings, such as:
- Formal reviews, such as those found in NPR 7123.1 and NPR 7120.4
- Technical reviews
- Progress reviews
- Peer reviews (see Peer Reviews and Inspection topic guidance in this handbook)
- Software quality assurance meetings
- System integration test and verification meetings
- System safety meetings
- Configuration management meetings
- Other relevant review for this project
- Consider for inclusion in contract provisions (description of the method to be used) for verification of
- Contractor handling of requirements changes
- Accuracy of contractor transformation of high-level requirements into software requirements and detailed designs
- Interface specifications between the contractor's product and systems external to it
- Adequacy of contractor's risk management plan and its implementation in accordance with the required activities in the project Software Risk Management Plan
- Adequacy of the contractor's integration and test plan and its implementation in accordance with the required activities in the project Software Integration and Test Plan
- Adequacy of the contractor's configuration management plan and its implementation in accordance with the required activities in the project Software Configuration Management Plan
- Consider for inclusion in the contract the content and frequency of progress reports and metrics submissions
- Consider for inclusion in the contract identification of quality records to be maintained by the supplier
- Consider for inclusion in the contract the delivery process and how it will be accomplished; if incremental development and delivery agreed upon, state how the validation process works (e.g., incremental validation) and whether it requires integration and test with software/hardware products developed by acquirer and/or other contractors or organizations (other institutes, universities, etc.)
- Consider for inclusion in the contract a policy for maintaining the software after delivery: who is responsible for maintenance of the software, tools, testbeds, and documentation updates
Once the provider has been chosen, the acquisition process moves into a monitoring role. The following guidance should be included when establishing the process for provider monitoring and quality assurance:
- Provide technical requirements interpretation for contractor.
- Ensure contractor requirements documents meet original intent.
- Evaluate contractor progress with respect to cost.
- Periodically monitor contractor skill mix to ensure agreed-upon skills and experience levels are being provided.
- Oversee government-furnished equipment (GFE) to ensure equipment and information provided in timely manner.
- Periodically assess contractor processes to ensure conformance to process requirements stated in the contract.
- Review and assess adequacy of contractor-provided documentation and ensure contractor implementation of feedback, consider using Formal Inspections to accomplish this task
Track status considering the following example questions:
- Is the contractor meeting their staffing plan?
- Have the project and the contractor met the user's needs?
- Does the contractor have stable, educated staff?
- Does the contractor's project have adequate resources (e.g., adequate staffing and computer resources)?
- Is there realistic planning/budgeting in place?
- Is the build plan being met?
- Does the contractor have a good understanding of what is required?
- Are the requirements stable?
- Is the completion of designed functionality visible?
- Is the evolving capability and performance of the contractor's product likely to impact development on the acquirer side of the interface?
- Are integration and testing proceeding as planned?
- Is contractor cost/schedule performance on target?
- Is contractor developing a quality product?
- Provide regular status reviews to higher-level management on contractor progress.
- Regularly assess status of identified risks and provide reports during management reviews.
- Software engineering should provide technical review to the level required to enhance the probability of mission success (see the Useful Tools section below for a list of areas to consider for software engineering technical review).
In addition to monitoring the selection provider's progress and quality, contract administration activities are also carried out for the project. The following guidance should be included when establishing the process for contract administration:
- Regularly assess contractor financial data and invoices against budget.
- Work with Contracting Officer to ensure timely resolution of any contract-related issues.
- Work with Contracting Officer to ensure timely address of needed modifications to contract terms and conditions, as needed. Primarily those affecting schedule, costs, services/products, resources (people, facilities), deliverables.
- Periodically evaluate contractor performance in manner consistent with contract and provide documented evaluation to Contracting Officer.
Once the provider is ready to deliver the software product, the acquirer should have a process in place for review and acceptance of the product. The following guidance should be included when establishing the process for product acceptance:
- Review deliverables based on agreed-upon acceptance criteria (or generally accepted standards if no criteria established), document results, and work with contractor to resolve acceptance issues.
- Typically, an acceptance test plan is created addressing the following:
- Acquirer and contractor roles and responsibility
- Defined Test Strategy
- Defined Test Objectives
- Defined Acceptance Criteria
- Developed Test Scenarios
- Developed Test Scripts
- Developed Test Matrix
- Time and Resources Estimate
- Approval Cycle
- Strategy for post-delivery problem resolutions
- Once approved, the test plan is executed and results are documented:
- Select Test Tools
- Select and Train Team Members
- Execute the Test Plan (Manual and Automated Methods)
- Track Test Progress
- Regression Test
- Document Test Results
- Resolve Problems
- Typically, an acceptance test plan is created addressing the following:
- Place formal deliverables under configuration control.
- After acceptance of delivered products, support transition to an operational and/or maintenance environment.
The final acquisition step is to close out the contract. The following guidance should be included when establishing the process for contract close-out:
- Verify satisfaction of all contract terms and conditions, considering the following sample questions:
- Has the contract period of performance expired (level of effort type contract)?
- Have all deliverables been delivered (completion type contract)?
- Have all CDRL Items been delivered and accepted?
- Was the contractor's performance of the SOW acceptable?
- If the contract involved patent rights, has the final patent report been filed?
- Has the final invoice been received?
- Verify return of all GFE, as appropriate.
- Complete final reports as requested by Contracting Officer.
- Provide final contractor performance evaluation to Contracting Officer.
- Capture Lessons Learned, if not captured earlier in the project lifecycle.
The documents below are tools collected from various Centers that have been deemed good practices or practices that work well and produce good results. They are included here as aides for carrying out the software acquisition process.
Areas to consider for Software Engineering technical review consist of the following:
- Performing independent assessment of software systems engineering, software processes, software products, software integration, and software test analyses
- Reviewing all mission critical software products
- Software schedule and resource assessments and analyses
- Development of software technical oversight plans
- Coordination of any software related issues with the project
- Participate in reviews and Technical Interchange Meetings
- Perform periodic audits on pre-defined process(es)
- Chair board or serve as board member, or Review Item Disposition (RID) writer, at a formal review
- Participate in resolution and closure of issues
- Independent models to check and compare vendor data
- Perform evaluations of software products (software documentation, code, etc.)
- Serve as Software Technical Authority responsible for acquired software products
- Planning and Project Support:
- Support and coordinate software trade studies
- Assess software development processes
- Support review of system level requirements specifications
- Support development and review of system level verification and validation test plans
- Verify compliance with Software Development Plan(s)
- Verify compliance with software quality and configuration management plans
- Participate in project documentation reviews
- Support risk management activities
- Participate in project and software developer Review Boards, Technical Interchange Meetings, Working Groups and telecons
- Participate in developer's daily and/or weekly software development activities to maintain knowledge of software development progress
- Identify and track software metrics
- Review and assess schedule of the software development activities
- Provide a status of the developer's software progress, metrics and any problems to the project
- Conduct periodic site visits as needed to attain knowledge of software development progress
- Review and assess the content and completeness of instrumentation and command control list (engineering integration database)
- Requirements analysis:
- Verify absence of problems and risk items associated with requirements:
- Documentation standards used and properly applied
- System requirements clearly organized
- Even emphasis and levels of detail
- Consistent identification schemes
- Clear or concise requirement statements
- Good sentence structure
- Good word selection, unambiguous terms
- Track growth in size and complexity of requirements to identify positive/negative trends
- Estimate variances in schedule and costs based on requirements size & completeness
- Support software requirements problem and issue resolution
- Review and assess the interface specifications and data
- Verify software requirements traceability
- Support software requirements walkthroughs
- Support evaluation of potential requirements changes and associated impacts through the life of the project
- Verify absence of problems and risk items associated with requirements:
- Design Phase:
- Support review of preliminary and detailed design specifications (DDS)
- Support software design problem and issue resolution
- Verify traceability of design to software requirements
- Support design walkthroughs
- Code analysis:
- Track growth and complexity of source code modules across builds
- Rank source code modules according to their relative risk, as determined by:
- Percent of internal documentation
- Overly large files or modules
- Use of unstructured programming constructs
- High decision or calling complexity
- Unused or "dead" code
- Poor implementation, if applicable
- Compliance with program coding standards
- Develop and maintain knowledge of code functionality
- Present code functionality to subsystems for validity
- Support code development and integration testing
- Support software code problem and issue resolution
- Support developer code walkthroughs
- Test Phase:
- Support development and review of test plans, test procedures and test cases
- Support TRR:
- Review and identify discrepancies in software documentation
- Support final closure of discrepancies
- Support software test problem and issue resolution
- Support CSCI integration and test activities
- Review software test reports
- Software problem report & effort data analyses:
- Analyze Problem Reports and present understandable graphical summaries
- Track error detection and correction rates
- Assess adequacy of test program
- Detect schedule risks early
- Predict effective completion date
- Software Metrics:
- Help project office identify applicable software metrics
- Review and assess the software metric data provided by the contractor
- Develop, maintain and report software insight metric data to the project
- Software Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) support:
- Perform software criticality assessments,
- Perform software risk assessments,
- Develop software IV&V project plans,
- Develop software IV&V statements of work,
- Support projects in review of all software IV&V products,
- Provide expertise and assistance to the projects in resolution and implementation of any software IV&V recommendations.
This checklist was taken directly from the Langley Research Center Statement of Work (SOW) Review Procedure, LMS-CP-5523 Rev. B, and includes practices recognized by OCE as practices that work very well for NASA. See the <Lee: insert link to document > for the latest version of this checklist.
The following NASA Data Item Descriptions (DIDs) are listed as sample templates for the documentation templates called for during the solicitation portion of the software acquisition process. Center Process Asset Libraries (PALs) should be consulted for DIDs and Data Requirements Documents (DRDs) relevant to a specific NASA center.
NASA DIDs are defined in the NASA-STD-2100-91 Software Documentation Standard, which is available at http://satc.gsfc.nasa.gov/assure/docstd.html. The NASA DIDs provide a format for a documentation set, including what needs to be addressed in each section.
MASTER DOCUMENTATION DATA ITEM DESCRIPTIONS
- NASA-DID-000Software Documentation Set DID
- NASA-DID-999Template DID
MANAGEMENT PLAN DATA ITEM DESCRIPTIONS
- NASA-DID-M000Management Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M100Acquisition Activities Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M200Development Activities Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M210Training Development Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M300Sustaining Engineering and Operations Activities Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M400Assurance Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M500Risk Management Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M600Configuration Management Plan DID
- NASA-DID-M700Delivery and Operational Transition Plan DID
PRODUCT SPECIFICATION DATA ITEM DESCRIPTIONS
- NASA-DID-P000Product Specification DID
- NASA-DID-P100Concept DID
- NASA-DID-P200Requirements DID
- NASA-DID-P300Architectural Design DID
- NASA-DID-P400Detailed Design DID
- NASA-DID-P410Firmware Support Manual DID
- NASA-DID-P500Version Description DID
- NASA-DID-P600User's Guide DID
- NASA-DID-P700Operational Procedures Manual DID
ASSURANCE AND TEST PROCEDURES DATA ITEM DESCRIPTIONS
- NASA-DID-A000Assurance and Test Procedures DID
- NASA-DID-A100Assurance Procedures DID
- NASA-DID-A200Test Procedures DID
MANAGEMENT, ENGINEERING, AND ASSURANCE REPORTS DATA ITEM DESCRIPTIONS
- NASA-DID-R000Management, Engineering, and Assurance Reports DID
- NASA-DID-R001Certification Report
- NASA-DID-R002Audit Report
- NASA-DID-R003Inspection Report
- NASA-DID-R004Discrepancy (NRCA) Report
- NASA-DID-R005Engineering Change Proposal
- NASA-DID-R006Lessons Learned ReportF-10
- NASA-DID-R007Performance/Status Reports
- NASA-DID-R008Assurance Activity Report
- NASA-DID-R009Test Report
- NASA-DID-R010Waiver/Deviation Request
- NASA-DID-R011Review Report
9.2.2 Center DIDs and DRDs
The following DIDs and DRDs are samples available from center PALs. Consult your own center PAL for templates relevant to work performed for your center.
Marshall Space Flight Center Templates
Available from http://spi.msfc.nasa.gov/templates.html and the individual Project Asset sections of the Marshall Space Flight Center PAL.
- Software Configuration Management Plan
- Software Test Report (STR) Template
- Unit Test Procedure Template
Goddard Space Flight Center Templates
Available from http://software.gsfc.nasa.gov/ispaindx.cfm.
- Software Management Plan/Product Plan (SMP/PP) for Class A, B, & C Software
- ISD Software Management Plan/Product Plan (SMP/PP) for Class D&E Software
- Version Description Document
- Template for the Software Quality Assurance Plan
- Configuration Management Plan Template
- Other templates in progress or not available publicly
- Software Acquisition Statement of Work Guideline, SEPG-SWACQ-PRC-1, Glenn Research Center,
- Prepare Presolicitation Documents, LMS-OP-4509, Langley Research Center
- Statement of Work (SOW) Review Procedure, LMS-CP-5523, Langley Research Center
- Product Requirements Development and Management Procedure, LMS-CP-5526, Langley Research Center
- Process for Conducting a Make/Buy Analysis, 580-SP-075-01, Goddard Space Flight Center, http://software.gsfc.nasa.gov/AssetsApproved/PA18.104.22.168.doc
- WBS Checklist Tool, Goddard Space Flight Center, http://software.gsfc.nasa.gov/toolsDetail.cfm?selTool=22.214.171.124
- Software Supplier Agreement Management Plan, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
- Software Assurance: Five Essential Considerations for Acquisition Officials, Mary Linda Polydys, Stan Wisseman, STSC Crosstalk, July 2005
- A Method for Reasoning About an Acquisition Strategy, Mary Catherine Ward, Joseph P. Elm, Software Engineering Institute (SEI), 2005
- Software Acquisition Best Practices: 2004 Edition, Adams, Eslinger, Owens, Rich, 3rd OSD Conference on the Acquisition of Software-Intensive Systems