The NASA governance model prescribes a management structure that employs checks and balances between key organizations to ensure that decisions have the benefit of different points of view and are not made in isolation. The TA process (see NPR 7120.5, NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements, Chapter 3.3) provides for the selection of individuals at different levels of responsibility who contribute an independent view of matters within their respective areas of expertise. These individuals are responsible for assuring that changes to and waivers of technical requirements are submitted to and acted on by the appropriate level in the TA process. The involvement of the TA in program/project activities as a member of the program's/project's control, change, and internal review boards will ensure that any views from the TA will be available to the program/project in a timely manner.
A list of viable software TA candidates may be prepared and made available to the Center Director. This will ensure a timely selection and start of the TA for the Center's projects. The list typically contains only the names of individuals who are known for their expertise in the software engineering technical area and for their ability to work well within engineering and project teams. This expertise is usually demonstrated by successful involvement with projects that are typical of the Center's mission. It is essential that the TA candidate thoroughly understands Center-level software development requirements, as well as Agency-level software requirements, including NPR 7150.2, NASA STD 8739.8, NASA Software Assurance Standard, and NASA STD 8719.13, Software Safety Standard .
Typically, the software TA is chosen from the Center's engineering organization(s). However, the Center Director (or designee) is empowered by NPR 7150.2 to select individual(s) from the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Headquarters for class F software or from the Center's CIO office, if that makes the most sense, for classes G and H software. This ability to choose will assure the software TA is familiar with the software development policies, requirements, and practices associated with a particular class of software.
Because of the extent and variety of projects at a Center, it may be beneficial to assign multiple software TAs, each having responsibility for a unique portion of the software being developed or acquired in support of the Center's mission. The appointment of software TAs may be documented in appointment letters from the Engineering Technical Authority (or designee), in the Center implementation plans, in project plans, and in organization and project-specific documentation repositories.