SATE Curriculum Development

The NASA Safety Center (NSC) and its Technical Excellence Organization (TEO) has been charged with developing an Agency-wide SMA Technical Excellence Program (STEP). STEP is a structured professional development program that develops increasing levels of competencies in various SMA disciplines, subsequently resulting in enhanced awareness and safe mission execution.

Promoting a Safety Culture

The Client: The NASA Safety Center (NSC) and its Technical Excellence Organization (TEO) has been charged with developing an Agency-wide SMA Technical Excellence Program (STEP). STEP is a structured professional development program that develops increasing levels of competencies in various SMA disciplines, subsequently resulting in enhanced awareness and safe mission execution.

The Challenge: For Software Assurance Technical Excellence (SATE) to develop STEP discipline-specific curriculum serving software assurance and quality engineering practitioners as part of the Safety and Mission Assurance Technical Excellence Program (STEP), The NSC and, eventually, STEP found its genesis based upon findings identified by the investigation into the Space Shuttle Columbia accident in 2003. This investigation uncovered the existence of an “ineffective silent safety system” in which potential safety risks and hazards were not properly identified, addressed and mitigated. Ultimately, STEP will result in an enhanced, reinvigorated Safety culture across all NASA organizations at all management levels, correcting these identified safety deficiencies.

The Solution: KeyLogic led a team of small businesses in the development of comprehensive STEP discipline-specific courses and curriculum for the Software Assurance (SA) and Quality Engineering (QE) Disciplines. The SATE team developed and delivered eight SA courses; procured and delivered six SA courses; planned, coordinated, and conducted three (3) SA Guest Lecture Series webinars; supported meetings; and created three (3) software development tools. In all these ways, KeyLogic worked to advance software assurance knowledge and boost the skill sets of SA practitioners across NASA and directly contributed to the promotion of an authentic, safety-oriented culture within the Agency. Our curriculum development work within the QE Discipline is ongoing.

The Result: The KeyLogic team provided more than 250 hours of instructor-led and web-based training opportunities, with more than 200 NASA participants partaking of a cumulative 4,000 total hours of training—accounting for half of NASA Software Assurance Discipline training in 2010. Results include:

  • Improved Safety. Software Assurance courses, lectures, and tools available to NASA centers around the country are providing a career development pathway leading to advanced knowledge and skill sets for discipline practitioners and cultivating an increasingly safety-conscious corporate culture within the Agency.
  • Cost-Efficiency. KeyLogic employed a hybrid model/mix of course development and—where appropriate training already existed—course procurement, giving NASA more bang for its buck.
  • Collaborative Solutions. In developing curriculum, KeyLogic SATE team members worked closely with NASA subject matter experts, gathering and organizing the material, developing content instituting an instructional system design process, and updating the material based upon feedback received from review participants. Similar coordination efforts/interaction occurred during the procurement of existing courses from external vendors and in the conduct of the Guest Lecture Series webinars presented by highly esteemed subject matter experts.

To learn more about how KeyLogic can assist with Software Assurance or Quality Engineering curriculum development, please contact us today at 888.204.9649.

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“The professionalism and quality of the Guest Lecture Series presentation and Agency webcast was exactly what I envisioned when we established the STEP program.”

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