National Aeronautics And Space Administration Nasa Perspective

A NASA perspective with respect to handling requirements is well represented in its engineering guide to the mission design process [8.4]. NASA's

Figure 8.1. Mission Need Statement flow (major defense acquisition programs).

• Assessment

• Recommended concept studies

Figure 8.1. Mission Need Statement flow (major defense acquisition programs).

view is that ''the definition and tracking of requirements are among the most important aspects of the mission definition and system design process,'' which itself is defined in terms of Prephase A, Phase A, and Phase B activities, as alluded to in the previous chapter. Requirements are defined and tracked to produce functional, performance, operational, and interface requirements that are to be implemented and verified during the next system phase, which NASA defines as Phase C/D. The flow-down of requirements is shown in Figure 8.2. NASA encourages a ''proactive iteration with the customer'' as the only way that all parties can come to a true understanding of what should be done and what it takes to do the job. This is an enlightened view that is wholly supported by this author. Only by the developer and customer working together is it truly possible to successfully engineer a complex system. However, this flexible and joint relationship can be interfered with by an inflexible contracting officer and acquisition agent.

Figure 8.2. The flow-down of requirements.

NASA also cites the need, with respect to requirements, for iteration, trace-ability, verification, and validation. This acknowledges that requirements must be analyzed and worked with, usually over long periods of time. They are not viewed as static, but rather as changeable in the best interest of all parties.

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Project Management Made Easy

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