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Ames Procedural

APR 7123.1

Effective Date: July 23, 2012
Expiration Date: July 23, 2017


Responsible Office: Code D/Office of The Chief Engineer

Title: Systems Engineering Process Requirements

Table of Contents

Document Log


P.1 Purpose
P.2 Applicability
P.3 Authority
P.4 Applicable Documents
P.5 Measurement and Verification
P.6 Cancellation

Chapter 1. Roles and Responsibilities
Chapter 2. SEMP Development and Implementation Process
Chapter 3. Waivers

Appendix A: Definitions

Document History Log

Status (Baseline /Revision/Cancelled) Document Revision Effective Date DESCRIPTION
Baseline 0 7/9/2009 Systems Engineering Process Requirements Implementation
Revision 1 8/20/2009 Minor changes (addition) to the delineation of responsibilities of Project Line Mgmt
Revision 2 11/1/2010 Update document to reflect that ATAAC no longer exist and duties assumed by Chief Engineer Office (ACE)
Revision 3 4/2/2012 Significant update to reflect Agency philosophy of giving more latitude to projects regarding how best to implement systems engineering requirements.



P.1 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to ensure the requirements of NPR 7123.1, NASA Systems Engineering Processes and Requirements, are implemented in a manner most appropriate for the Ames Research Center and is to be used in conjunction with a Directorates approved set of Best Practices (BP)s. This document establishes the Systems Engineering (SE) roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved in the SE process area. The BPs describe the methods, tools, and processes that are to be implemented by each project or activity.

P.2 Applicability

This document is applicable to airborne and space flight systems (both flight and ground segments), technology matured to readiness levels for end-use in systems, mission critical software systems, and new and/or changes to both human rated and high energy ground facilities. Additionally, this document is applicable to other technical issues at the discretion of the Ames Chief Engineer (ACE).

P.3 Authority

This APR receives its authority from:

  1. NPR 7120.5 NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements
  2. NPR 7123.1 NASA Systems Engineering Processes and Requirements

P.4 Applicable Documents

  1. NPR 7120.11 NASA Health and Medical Technical Authority (HMTA)Implementation
  2. APR 1000.1 Ames Dissenting Opinion Process
  3. APR 1150.2 Engineering Technical Authority
  4. APR 7120.5 Program & Project Management for Space Flight Systems
  5. APR 7120.6 Lessons Learned Collection and Dissemination Process
  6. APR 7120.51 Program & Project Review for Space Flight Systems
  7. APR 8735.2 Waiver Process
  8. NASA/SP-2007-6105 Rev1 NASA Systems Engineering Handbook

P.5 Measurement and Verification

Measurement of effectiveness will be accomplished by the ACE via its oversight role. Verification is to be accomplished via the ARC internal audit program.

P.6 Cancellation


S. Pete Worden

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Chapter 1. Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 Center Director

The Center Director is the Technical Authority (TA) at Ames and is responsible for the implementation of the SE policies, processes, and procedures that ensure compliance to NPR 7123.1. To this effect, the Center Director has delegated responsibility for Engineering TA execution to the ACE. This execution is implemented and managed by the ACE with additional technical expertise obtained through the Center's technical and safety Directorates and the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC).

1.2 Office of the Chief Engineer

The Ames Chief Engineer is the Designated Governing Authority (DGA) for all technical efforts associated with this APR and NPR 7123.1. The Ames Chief Engineer shall:

  1. Provide the final approval signature for System Engineering Management Plans (SEMP)s and waivers of technical requirements.
  2. Provide independent evaluation of technical content and engineering approaches, including Directorate Approved BPs, being used on a project/activity/task to ensure compliance with this APR and NPR 7123.1.
  3. Maintain an awareness of systems engineering policies across NASA and interpret them for Ames personnel.
  4. Conduct various Center assessments and Program/Project reviews, per APR 7120.51, to assure that this APR is being followed and identify any appropriate modifications or process improvements.
  5. Approve all Project Systems Engineer (PSE) appointments made by Line Management to ensure all PSEs are capable of implementing their required TA responsibilities (per APR 1150.2).

1.3 Program/Project Management

Program/Project Management is responsible for implementing the program/project in accordance with all applicable requirements including, but not limited to, this APR and is accountable for program/project success. The Project Manager shall:

  1. Work with Line Management to ensure the appropriate resources are available to develop and implement the Project SEMP.
  2. Ensure the project complies with all the technical processes and requirements of this APR, tailored appropriately for the scope and nature of the project.
  3. Obtain approval of the ARC Chief Engineer of the Project SEMP prepared in accordance with this APR.

1.4 Project Systems Engineer

The PSE is responsible for the identification and implementation of the system engineering activities across all organizations within the project. The PSE shall:

  1. Be the Engineering Technical Authority for the program/project (as delegated by the Ames Chief Engineer per APR 1150.2) and serve as the primary point of contact for the engineering technical authority process within the project.
  2. Select the methods, tools, technical standards, and best practices that the project will use to implement the 17 Common Technical Processes (CTP) required by NPR 7123.1 in accordance with the appropriate Directorate approved BP.
  3. Develop the SEMP per the requirements of NPR 7123.1, NPR 7120.5, and APR 7120.5 and ensure it documents how each of the 17 CTPs will be implemented and provides rationale for any deviations from the chosen Directorate approved BP. A draft SEMP is due at the Mission Concept Review (MCR) and the baseline is due at the Systems Requirements Review (SRR). Subsequent to the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), projects document the need for additional non-compliance items at major independent milestone reviews
  4. Ensure that members of their technical team are aware of and comply with the requirements of this APR and the projects SEMP.
  5. Facilitate the resolution of technical issues within the project and where appropriate invoke the dissenting opinion process as described in APR 1000.1.
  6. Resolve issues related to systems engineering policy/approach/method with the Ames Center Chief Engineer and the appropriate technical Directorate.
  7. Report to and as required to the Ames Chief Engineer and the appropriate technical Directorate per APR 1150.2
  8. Ensure issues pertaining to the Health and Medical Technical Authority's (HMTA) purview are identified, reviewed, and acted on according to NPR 7120.11 (NASA HMTA Implementation) and Center's HMTA Implementation/Awareness Plan. This includes reporting HMTA issues to and as directed by the Center HMTA.

1.5 Line Management

Line Management has the responsibility to ensure that an appropriately trained, experienced, equipped and supported workforce is available to support the Center's systems engineering requirements. Line Management shall:

  1. Establish organizational level policies, procedures, and processes to implement this APR.
  2. Establish or identify a set of BPs that documents how each of the 17 CTPs should be implemented.
  3. Conduct periodic assessments of the BPs to implement process improvements.
  4. Concur with the SEMP after ensuring adequate resources can be applied to support its implementation.
  5. Perform the required Center Surveys in accordance with NPR 7123.1.
  6. Provide a forum for conflict resolution in events that pit technical requirements against administrative or management (cost and schedule) constraints.
  7. Appoint PSEs that have been ACE approved such that they are capable of fulfilling both their line organization and TA responsibilities; and provide other systems engineering staff as required.

1.6 Technical Team

The members of the projects technical team, including the Lead Discipline Engineers (LDE), shall execute the Center SE processes as established in this APR and as documented in the project-specific SEMP and Project Plan.

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Chapter 2. SEMP Development and Implementation Process

The SEMP reflects how all the SE related activities are to be specifically implemented by each project and is the most significant tool used in the SE process area, thus figure 1 depicts the process used to develop and implement the SEMP.

Figure 1. SEMP Development and Implementation Process

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Chapter 3. Waivers

All waivers of this APR shall be processed in accordance with APR 8735.2.

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Appendix A - Definitions

Designated Governing Authority (DGA): The management entity above the program, project, activity level that has the authorized technical oversight responsibility.

Process: A set of activities used to convert inputs into desired outputs to generate expected outcomes and satisfy a purpose or goal.

Program: A strategic investment by a NASA Mission Directorate that has defined goals, objectives, architecture, funding level, and a management structure that supports one or more projects.

Project: A specific investment having a beginning, goals, objectives, requirements, life-cycle cost, and an end; which yields new or revised products or services that directly address NASA's strategic needs. It may also be applied to any unit of work being performed which has these characteristics.

Requirement: An agreed upon need, desire, want, capability, or demand for personnel, equipment, facilities, or other resources or services by specified quantities for specific periods or time or at a specific time expressed as a "shall" statement. An acceptable form for a requirements statement is individually clear, correct, feasible to obtain, unambiguous in meaning, and can be validated at the level of the system at which the requirement is stated. Requirements as a set are not redundant, are adequately related with respect to terms used, and are not in conflict with one another.

Stakeholder: An individual or group of individuals who are affected by, or in some way accountable for the outcome of an undertaking. Since this can constitute a large number of people, the term "relevant stakeholder' is used to describe a subset of stakeholders that are identified to contribute to a specific task. Stakeholders who are not identified as "relevant stakeholders" are considered "other interested parties."

System: The combination of elements that function together to produce a capability to meet a need. The elements include all hardware, software, equipment, facilities, personnel, processes, and procedures needed for this purpose. Also, the end product and enabling products that make up the system.

Tailoring: The documentation and approval of the adaptation of a process and approach to complying with stated requirements for a specific program or project.

Waiver: A documented agreement releasing a program or project from meeting a requirement.

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