NASA's plan for getting tough on software

NASA's plan to embark on an agencywide effort to improve its software will have four focus areas:

    * Improve the process NASA civil servants and contractors uses to develop software. That includes reaching higher levels on the software capability maturity model developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute.

    * Establish metrics to measure productivity and quality of software developed at NASA. Two sets of metrics will be used to evaluate the characteristics of a project, including the skills of a project management team, and to evaluate development by comparing the actual cost, schedule and requirements against the planned allocations.

    * Strengthen the use of verification and validation internally and at NASA's Independent Verification and Validation center in West Virginia early in software design.

    * Conduct software research into ways to improve the reliability and reusability of software code and processes.

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