Chapter 4—Implementation Planning

4.1 Performance and Budget Planning Process

4.2 Five-Year Budget Planning Overview

4.3 Performance Planning

4.4 Developing and Issuing Guidance

4.5 Performance and Budget Decisionmaking Process

4.6 Management and Employee Performance Planning

4.7 Implementation in the Operation Year



Performance and Budget Planning Process

Implementation planning ensures that the detailed planning, resources, and performance expectations are aligned to support the achievement of the NASA and Enterprise Strategic Plans. Implementation planning is based on the previous cycle of NASA and Enterprise Strategic Plans, capital investment planning, the 5-year Agency budget, and the results of the ongoing performance evaluation process. Essential elements of implementation planning include program planning to establish technical, schedule, and cost, as well as performance criteria at all management levels. NASA's budget planning process is the vehicle for integrating these implementation plans.



Five-Year Budget Planning Overview



NASA's budget planning is an ongoing process that incorporates a detailed analysis of current requirements with outyear projections of funding needs. Each budget cycle is initiated by guidance from OMB that includes planning estimates, as well as policy guidance for the preparation of the Agency's budget request. This broad guidance uses the 5-year runout of the President's budget request for NASA before Congress at the time, and it updates the total to reflect further economic policy or program decisions that may have been made.



Agency guidance for allocations among the Strategic Enterprises, priorities for decisionmaking and tradeoffs, and any broad strategy issues are developed to initiate both the internal planning and budget processes. The Administrator issues this guidance, with full participation and advice of the CIC, through the Agency CFO. The CFO and Comptroller then integrate the Administrator's guidance with more detailed programmatic and funding guidance provided by the Strategic Enterprises and the Functional Offices. The multiyear budget estimates, program assumptions, and strategic direction establish a baseline for planning and budget formulation activities and are distributed as guidelines to the NASA Centers.



Responding to Program Operating Plan (POP) guidance from the CFO, the Centers assess their program planning and develop integrated resource requirements with the assistance of their respective Institutional Program Offices. They review these requirements with the Lead Centers and incorporate Lead Center decisions. The Lead Centers submit integrated resource recommendations to their Enterprise Associate Administrators and Institutional Program Officers for integration into the Agency's annual submission of its 5-year budget. Coordination among the Strategic Enterprises and the Functional Offices enables a comprehensive Agency budget submission that is reflected in Program Commitment Agreements, Program and Project Plans, and institutional planning.



As the budget formulation process proceeds, decisions must be made about activities that have been formulated—for example, whether they can be afforded within the guideline level and those that will be proposed as over-guideline activities. Each Strategic Enterprise must justify the relevance of the requested programs to the NASA and Enterprise Strategic Plans. New initiative candidates must be prioritized. The approval of such initiatives for inclusion in the Agency budget generally is subject to their having reached an appropriate stage of maturity in the formulation processes outlined in NPG 7120.5, as applicable.



In their capacity as principal advisors to the Administrator in their respective subject areas, the Chief Scientist, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Engineer will review the Agency budget proposals and evaluate them for science, information systems, and engineering merit.



The final budget request transmitted to OMB reflects this decision process for the entire Agency. The budget process will be compatible with NASA's Strategic Plan. The content of the budget request describes the way in which the Administrator plans to achieve progress toward meeting the goals and objectives that appear in the NASA Strategic Plan within the multiyear funding allowance available. The Administrator approves the final 5-year budget submittal (see Figure 4-1).

Figure 4-1 Implementation: NASA's Performance and Budgeting Planning

Figure 4-1. Implementation: NASA's Performance and Budgeting Planning



Performance Planning

GPRA requires the submission of an Agency Performance Plan, following the transmittal to Congress of the President's budget. This annual Performance Plan sets out measurable goals that define what will be accomplished during a fiscal year. The goals should reflect a level of accomplishment commensurate with the resources requested and subsequently funded. For a fiscal year, at least two iterations of NASA's annual Performance Plan are prepared: an initial plan (submitted along with the NASA budget request to OMB) and a final plan that reflects budget, policy, and programmatic decisions and is consistent with the President's budget. A final plan revised to reflect congressional action on an agency's budget request is not required by GPRA, but may be submitted by NASA, if necessary, early in the new fiscal year.



Developing and Issuing Guidance

The development of implementation guidelines flows from the approval of the Agency and Enterprise Strategic Plans and approved Functional Leadership Plans. Annually, the NASA Administrator issues guidance to the Enterprise Associate Administrators and the Functional Office Associate Administrators and Officials-in-Charge, consistent with those plans. The Strategic Enterprises and Functional Offices, in turn, translate the Administrator's guidance into a set of technical, managerial, and budgetary guidelines.



Agency Guidance

The Administrator's guidance initiates the implementation planning cycle. This guidance is developed taking into account the results of the prior-year planning cycle, new guidance from OMB, and any significant changes in the Agency's external and/or internal environment. The NASA Administrator's guidance will also be influenced by policy and budget recommendations to the President from the National Science and Technology Council and preliminary discussions with Congress. In developing NASA's POP guidance, the Administrator establishes first-order priorities for program content, also giving consideration to information received from senior management.

On behalf of the Administrator, the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) integrates the budget guidance from OMB, the Administrator's guidance, the specific programmatic guidance from the Enterprises, institutional guidance from the Institutional Program Offices, and guidance from Functional Offices into the integrated NASA POP guidance. The resulting POP guidance will contain directions for preparing and submitting budget and Performance Plan data, including formats and due dates. This guidance reflects prior-year budget plans and capital investment decisions documented by the CIC. It also includes additional guidance for potential new initiatives, an investment profile for ongoing programs, performance goals, and associated metrics.



Performance and Budget Decisionmaking Process



Enterprise Decisionmaking

The Strategic Enterprises integrate program planning and resource planning during the budget process. The Enterprises make a series of preliminary program decisions in response to changes in funding, new program emphases, and ongoing performance—decisions that are reflected in the POP guidance to the Centers. Once the Enterprise offices have received their Centers' budget requirements in response to the POP call, they work with their Lead Centers to balance anticipated resources with activities identified during implementation planning. This will entail integration and adjustment of Center implementation plans with Enterprise customer requirements and expected resources. The Institutional Program Offices are responsible for forwarding funding requirements and corresponding implementation plans from the Centers to the appropriate Functional Offices. This assists the Functional Offices in identifying needs for conflicts of a functional or institutional nature. The Functional Offices are responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Institutional Program Offices on the Center budget submissions. Functional Office reviews may also be used to develop associated performance measures or indicators. Enterprise Associate Administrators then reallocate resources among programs and revise performance requirements as necessary to establish performance baselines. This integrated package of performance objectives and resource requirements is subsequently provided to the Administrator, through the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.



Functional Office Implementation Planning

Functional Office implementation planning defines activities required to implement the Functional Leadership Plans (described in Section 3.6). In collaboration with the Strategic Enterprises and Centers, the Functional Offices ensure that Agency activities are conducted in accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements and fiduciary responsibilities.

Functional Office initiatives are efforts developed or sponsored by Functional Offices to meet new requirements, improve a current process or procedure, adapt to externally imposed mandates, or recognize evolving functional standards or trends. Such initiatives can reasonably be expected to have a significant Agencywide impact on personnel, resources, or organizations outside the Functional Office developing or sponsoring the initiative. Because the cumulative impact of functional initiatives on the Agency's program and institutional resources may be substantial, proposed functional initiatives require thorough Agency discussion and review prior to approval. The heads of Functional Offices developing initiatives likely to have a significant Agencywide impact on personnel, resources, or organizations outside the originating Functional Office must meet with the affected organization(s) to determine whether agreement on the initiative's implementation can be reached. If the affected organizations reach agreement, which must have the documented concurrence of the cognizant Institutional Program Officers and/or Officials-in-Charge, implementation shall proceed in accordance with the agreement.

If agreement is not reached, the Functional Office shall prepare a statement of need, along with an estimate of the costs and a projection of the benefits of the initiative, and submit this statement to the CIC for review. The Administrative Issues Board serves as staff to the CIC for these reviews and may, for significant initiatives, request a more detailed implementation plan, including, as appropriate, the scope, resource requirements (human, financial, and physical), a schedule, the impact on the Centers and Enterprises, the potential impact on other proposed or ongoing activities, and the expected return on investment. The Administrative Issues Board may also ask those Enterprises or Centers that do not agree to the initiative's implementation for their analyses of the impacts on resources, operations, or other Enterprise- or Center-related activities.

The CIC ensures the integration of requirements with the support of the Administrative Issues Board. The CIC also prioritizes funding to be included in the budget guidance during the annual budget development and review cycle. If the CIC supports the initiative, the CIC will recommend the proposal to the Administrator for approval and integration into NASA's budget request. The CIC may recommend to the Administrator that the proposing office create a Program Commitment Agreement, which will define the Program Management Council's review requirements. Program Commitment Agreements will be signed by the proposing office Associate Administrator or Official-in-Charge and the Administrator after formulation and prior to implementation. If the CIC does not support the initiative, the proposing Associate Administrator or Official-in-Charge may appeal directly to the Administrator.

Required initiatives originating from external requirements or from the Administrator's direction shall be reviewed by the CIC, with support from the Administrative Issues Board, for impact and implementation issues only.



Agency Performance Plan and Budget Submission

NASA's annual Performance Plan integrates the performance plans provided by the Agency's Strategic Enterprises. Consistent with GPRA requirements, this plan includes:
a. Performance goals
b. Level of performance to be achieved during the budget year
c. Specific nonprogrammatic actions planned within the timeframe and fiscal scope of the proposed budget
d. Performance indicators to measure or otherwise evaluate Agency performance

The annual goals, performance objectives, and associated information included in this plan will be grouped by Strategic Enterprise and Crosscutting Process.

Crosscutting Process performance targets and indicators must be developed and updated, if necessary, in parallel with the other performance planning activities of the Agency.

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer coordinates the integration of the Agency Performance Plan, the Enterprise Strategic Plans, and the Functional Leadership Plans with the Agency's 5-year budget. Each Enterprise or Functional Office, as appropriate, presents its recommended resources and Performance Plan targets to the CIC. The CIC supports this decision process as the principal advisory group to the Administrator in resolving Agency issues, prioritizing activities (programs, capital investments, and Functional Office initiatives), and distributing resources among the Enterprises. The CIC develops an integrated recommendation, which is then provided to the Administrator and the Senior Management Council. The Administrator's decisions, taking into account NASA's current Strategic Plan, form the basis of the Agency's 5-year budget request and Performance Plan that are to be submitted to OMB.

All program planning for the upcoming fiscal year is updated or revalidated following the submission of the Agency budget to OMB. The Enterprises work with their Lead Centers to balance anticipated resources with program and institutional planning. This may entail the adjustment of Center Implementation Plans, Program Commitment Agreements, and Program and Project Plans as necessary.



Center Implementation Planning

Center implementation planning integrates programmatic direction, resources availability, functional needs, and institutional capabilities to achieve strategic plans. The Center Implementation Plans define the relationship of the Agency and Enterprise strategic plans to the Centers' missions, Center of Excellence responsibilities, program-specific assignments, and support activities. These plans also ensure alignment of the institutional, program, and functional activities at the Centers with the Enterprise (Lead Center, Supporting Center) and functional (Principal Center) assignments. The Center Implementation Plans should be consistent with corresponding Center Program and Project Plans and coordinated during preparation with the appropriate Functional Offices. The plans must be updated as necessary to reflect current budget and program realities.

Institutional Program Offices are responsible for approving the Center Implementation Plans, with the concurrence of all Enterprise Associate Administrators associated with the Center. The Enterprise Associate Administrators approve the performance and budget decisions of their respective Centers, ensuring that the Center Implementation Plans support the Enterprise Strategic Plan and budget in force at the time they are issued. The Senior Management Council reviews the Center Implementation Plans annually.



Management and Employee Performance Planning



Enterprise Associate Administrator Performance Plans

Each Enterprise Associate Administrator's Performance Plan is executed annually, for the upcoming year, as a documented agreement between the Administrator and the respective Enterprise Associate Administrator. This planning requirement also applies to the Associate Administrator for the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications.



Functional Office Associate Administrator and Official-in-Charge Performance Plans

A Performance Plan for each Functional Office Associate Administrator and Official-in-Charge is also executed annually, for the upcoming year, as a documented agreement between the Administrator and the respective Functional Office Associate Administrator or Official-in-Charge.



Center Director Performance Plans

Each Center Director's Performance Plan is to be executed annually as a documented agreement between Enterprise Associate Administrators/ Institutional Program Officers and their respective Center Directors. This plan will include performance goals and indicators for the Center. Concurrence of other Headquarters officials may be required if the scope of the plan is broad and as agreed between the Center Director and the Enterprise Associate Administrator.



Individual Performance Plans

All civil service NASA employees, including managers and executives, will have personal annual performance plans developed with their supervisors. These plans will not only be consistent with all pertinent NASA directives, but also explicitly support the overall strategic goals of the Agency. The performance plans will serve as the reference documents for the annual performance appraisals of all employees, managers, and executives.



Implementation in the Operating Year



Preparation and Transmission of an Operating Plan

As a part of the budget planning cycle, and in anticipation of receiving new obligational authority from congressionally enacted appropriations, the Agency prepares a draft of a detailed operating plan. This draft documents programmatic changes that have occurred since the submission of the President's budget, and it identifies any associated changes in the resources required to implement the program for the upcoming fiscal year.

After Congress enacts the Agency's appropriation for the operating year, the draft operating plan is modified to reflect any congressionally directed changes contained in the appropriations or authorization bills. This initial operating plan is then signed by the Administrator after clearance from OMB and sent to NASA's congressional committees.



Appropriations or Authorization Impact on the Performance Plan

In the event that NASA's appropriations and authorization bills require changes to the programs or program funding that, in turn, require changes to the performance targets included in the final Performance Plan for the operating year, NASA will revise the plan to reflect those changes. The revised final Performance Plan must be cleared by the Executive Office of the President prior to transmittal to Congress, after which program planning that is affected during this budget deliberation and approval process is updated.



Operating Plan Adjustments

As necessary during the period of the appropriation's availability for obligation, NASA provides notice to the Executive Office of the President and Congress of material changes in program plans and funding allocations. These notifications enable NASA to keep all parties appropriately advised of new developments and receive in return their advice and consent.


Contents | Preface | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Appendices