1. Requirements

6.3.7 The Center-level Engineering Technical Authority shall keep records of projects' compliance matrices, waivers, and deviations against this NPR.

1.1 Notes

NPR 7150.2, NASA Software Engineering Requirements, does not include any notes for this requirement.

1.2 Applicability Across Classes




2. Rationale

The Center Engineering Technical Authority (TA) is required to maintain records for each project's compliance with NPR 7150.2 and records for requested and approved deviations and waivers for each project. This activity supports the Center-level TA's responsibility to monitor and control the use of procedural requirements. It provides appropriate reference material to support continuity in the event of a change in the delegated Center-level software TA. It also provides the software TA with sufficient current and historical knowledge to analyze compliance data and develop a consistent approach for interpreting the requirements of NPR 7150.2 across a number of Center projects.


Records maintained by the Engineering TA can also be used during Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) appraisal activity (see SWE-129 ) for evaluating TA performance. 



3. Guidance

The requirement for the Engineering TA to keep records of compliance, deviations, and waivers supports project management, appraisal activities by the Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE), and provides a quantitative basis for evaluating the TA process. Enough detail regarding these records is kept to provide sufficient information for use and reference during the life cycle of the project, as well as for comparisons and lessons learned across projects. The minimum set of documentation includes the project's software compliance matrix, waiver/deviation request package, and the final disposition (approval/disapproval). Records are to be kept in a managed repository.

The waiver/deviation request contains:

  • Project identification.
  • Scope and duration of the requested waiver/deviation.
  • Justification.
  • Risk characterization.
  • Identification of requirement(s) subject to waiver/deviation.
  • Criticality.
  • Mitigating factors.

General waiver/deviation processes and direction for NASA TAs are provided in NPR 7120.5 and at the OCE website.

The Center configuration management process is employed for the management of these records by the TA.

In addition to local Center records, approved waivers and deviations against NASA Policy Directives (NPD) and NASA Procedural Requirement (NPR) s are submitted for posting in the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) system at the website for Waivers in accordance with NPR 1400.1, NASA Directives and Charters Procedural Requirements.


The Engineering TA considers that decisions on compliance, deviations, and waivers are likely to be among the more important decisions the TA can make on these types of requests by a Center or project. This type of information will be reviewed extensively in the event of a mishap or accident. The decisions are likely to receive greater review and evaluation by management and members of the public. See the lessons learned below for additional considerations.


Release requirements for software developed or procured by NASA are governed by NPR 2210.1C, Release of NASA Software . Information and documentation required for the release activity by the Software Release Authority is often contained in records of project compliance to the requirements of this NPR, as well as in the records of deviation and waiver requests and approvals. Appropriate planning by the TA and the software team can assure availability of documentation that satisfies both needs.

Record retention and deletion procedures contained in the configuration management process are performed in accordance with Center record management directives, as well as NPD 1440.6H, NASA Records Management, and NPR 1441.1D, NASA Records Retention Schedules.


4. Small Projects

No additional guidance is available for small projects.


5. Resources



6. Lessons Learned

The NASA Lessons Learned database contains the following lessons learned related to TA records:

Accident Investigations/Archiving of Data & Library Requirements. Lesson Number 1457. A documented lesson from the NASA Lessons Learned database concerning the Columbia accident investigation describes a situation wherein the "...handling, destination and formats of archival documentation were not fully considered in initial startup of library requirements".  It suggests that "For accident investigations, handle all data and documentation with the understanding that it will eventually be officially archived."  This means that the data will be officially archived by sending it to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and, as such, will become public information.  The important element for this SWE guidance is that the considerations and plans for record retention are to include the needs of those circumstances that typically present themselves in the later stages of the system's life cycle. This helps set the needed level of completeness in the records at the beginning of the TA's involvement.