Software plans are to be complete, correct, workable, consistent, and verifiable.
Per NASA-STD-8739.8, product assurance is performed to assure that "All of the required plans (e.g., configuration management, risk management, provider's assurance plan, software management plan) are documented, adhere to applicable standards and procedures, are mutually consistent, and are being executed." For this reason, it is important to follow documented standards, policies, and requirements for format and content of software plans.
When developing software plans for a project, consider using templates for the content of each required plan to ensure consistent content and application across projects. Keep in mind that tailoring may be necessary for a particular project, especially given different safety and software classifications that may apply.
Plans "specify the standards and procedures for management, acquisition, engineering, and assurance activities." This includes documenting the work products, tasks, resources, commitments, schedules, and risks for the project, as well as describing strategies for development or acquisition, data management, risk management, stakeholder management, and measurement and analysis. See the related requirements list at the end of this guidance section for plans and content required by NPR 7150.2, NASA Software Engineering Requirements. Guidance for those requirements includes additional references which may be used when developing each specific plan.
Per the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook, many software plans are drafted during Phase A, Concept and Technology Development, including risk management plans, configuration management plans, safety and mission assurance plans, software development or management plans, and verification and validation plans.
Topic 7.8 - The Maturity of Life Cycle Products at Milestone Reviews provides guidance for the maturity of plans at various life cycle reviews.
See SWE-014 for guidance on maintaining and implementing software plans once they are baselined.
Consult Center Process Asset Libraries (PALs) for Center-specific guidance and resources related to software plans, including responsibilities for producing software plans.
Additional guidance related to software plans may be found in the following related requirement in this Handbook: