Book A.

Book B.
7150 Requirements Guidance

Book C.

References, & Terms

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SWE-075 - Plan Operations, Maintenance, Retirement
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1. Requirements

3.5.2 The project shall plan software operations, maintenance, and retirement activities.

1.1 Notes">1.1 Notes

NPR 7150.2 does not include any notes for this requirement.

1.2 Applicability Across Classes





























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

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2. Rationale

Per Marshall Space Flight Center's "Software Development Process Description Document", "The Software Operation phase spans the time from execution of the software product in the target environment to software retirement. The Software Maintenance phase of the software lifecycle begins after successful completion of formal test and delivery of the software product to the customer. This Software Maintenance phase overlaps the Software Operation phase and continues until software retirement or discontinuation of software support."1

As with any activity that builds on and relies on previous activities, software operations, maintenance, and retirement requires planning before implementation. The team documents and review those plans before they are implemented to allow its members to consider all the tasks, personnel, methods, tools, facilities and related criteria needed to perform those activities.

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3. Guidance

The results of planning for operations, maintenance and retirement of software are captured in the Software Maintenance Plan for implementation. In addition to the required contents for the Software Maintenance Plan ([SWE-105]) and the items listed in this handbook's guidance for requirement [SWE-074], consider the following items for each phase of planning:


  • Software team support of operations, including help desk activities, as applicable
  • Documentation required for operations support (e.g., as-built documentation, user's manual, source code, operations notes)
  • Tools required for operations support (e.g., email systems, servers, issue tracking systems)
  • Participation in mission debriefs, as appropriate^1^
  • Capturing of lessons learned during operations
  • Software assurance, including software safety, monitoring activities


  • Modification of software after delivery
  • Updates to system and software documentation to align with/reflect these modifications
  • Documenting, reviewing, analyzing, and approving modifications (i.e., configuration management of changes)
  • Tools required for maintenance activities (e.g., issue tracking systems, analysis tools, configuration control systems, compilers)
  • Other resources required to perform maintenance activities such as documentation, development environment, test environment
  • Testing of modifications
  • Delivery and installation of modifications, including generation of associated documentation such as version description documents (VDD)
  • Capture of maintenance metrics^1^
  • Software assurance and software safety activities for updates


  • Archival of software products, including capture in a configuration management system^1^
  • Retention period for retired software products^1^
  • Tools needed to complete retirement activities (e.g., configuration management system)
  • Security measures for access to and use of retired software products
  • Transition plans for functionality and data if software being retired is being replaced by another software product

The following personnel roles should be considered for involvement in the planning of operations, maintenance, and retirement activities:

  • Software project lead
  • Software team
  • Project manager

Planning for maintenance activities, in particular, should begin very early in the software development life cycle so that the software is designed for maintainability^4^. 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). The lifetime of use for software is not always known, so maintenance becomes easier if the software is designed with maintenance in mind. If there are specific design features that facilitate easier maintenance, those may be candidates for referencing in the Software Maintenance Plan.

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

Additionally, guidance related to operations, maintenance, and retirement planning may be found in the following requirements in this handbook:

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4. Small Projects


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5. Resources

  1. add
  2. add

5.1 Tools


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6. Lessons Learned


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