Guidance Details contain information that includes the following parts:
A NESI Guidance Statement must be atomic, succinct, absolute and definitive in nature. It contains specific instructions which can be validated through observation, measurement or testing.
Note: Guidance Statements are intended to be binding in nature, especially if the guidance statement is used as part of a Statement of Work (SOW) or performance specification.
||A Guidance Statement should only address a single topic. Indicators of non-atomic guidance are use of highly complex sentences, multiple sentences or conjunctions such as and, or, etc.
||A Guidance Statement should short and to the point. The definition of terms or caveats that explain when a statement is applicable are not acceptable as part of the guidance statement. Indicators of non-succinct statements are the use of words or expressions such as consider, when possible, if, etc.
|Absolute||A Guidance Statement should be able to be evaluated with one or more non-subjective questions. Indicators of non-absolute statements are those which are subject to the interpretation of the evaluator. For example,"All menus must be user friendly." No one intentionally produces menus that he or she feels are user hostile.|
||A Guidance Statement should be precisely worded and explicit in nature. There words, terms and expressions need to be defined and not subject to interpretation. Indicators of non-definitive guidance are words that are not intuitively obvious to an outside reader. Some words that are examples of non-explicit words are object, service and function.|
The Rationale is a brief explanation of the intent of the Guidance Statement. This is should not be a major treatise on the subject covered by the Guidance Statement, but rather a high-level summary indicating why the Guidance Statement exists. Point to details, if required, in other documents, white papers, mandates or standards.
Two reasons why the Rationale is so important are waivers and profiles. An outside reviewer will use the Rationale to analyze the justification for a waiver. During the development of a profile, the Community of Interest supporting the profile should use the Rationale when considering whether to include the Guidance Statement in the profile or not.The Rationale can be useful during any phase of acquisition to provide detailed background for the Guidance Statement, to include identifying definitions of terms, references, standards, and other documents which support the Guidance Statement.
This portion of Guidance Details contains links to other Guidance Statements and/or Best Practices that reference this specific Guidance.
Part of the definition of NESI Guidance is that it "can be validated through observation, measurement or testing." The Evaluation Criteria are the main method used to accomplish this in NESI. The published Evaluation Criteria provide a way of determining that the guidance was actually met. There may be other ways of determining compliance but these should be documented and submitted back to the NESI Working Group for eventual inclusion in the NESI document. Evaluation Criteria include three parts:
|Test||A direct question that can be answered
|Procedure||A process or procedure that can be followed to determine the answer to the question
|Examples||Optional pieces of code, text or graphics that explain the test or procedure
The Test is usually a question formulated from the Guidance Statement. The answer to the question can be used to determine if the guidance or the intent of the guidance has been met. There are several different categories of questions. For example, Yes/No or True/False questions which indicate that the activity was done.
Level of compliance questions usually mean that there can be variation within the program or project in the rigor of compliance. NESI supports the following levels:
|None||No attempt has been made to meet the guidance statement intent
||Very few of the possible places of where the intent of the guidance statement could be implemented have been implemented
|Some Compliance||Many of the possible places of where the intent of the guidance statement could be implemented have been implemented|
|Complete Compliance||All of the possible places of where the intent of the guidance statement could be implemented have been implemented|
Note: The absolute levels (i.e., None or Complete) are easy to determine. The differentiation between Low and Some is more subjective. A good tenet would be the 50% mark.
The Procedure is intended to help increase the repeatability of the evaluation process. It defines a specific way that an answer to the question can be derived from observing the program or project deliverables. It is the hope that once a procedure can be formulated, these procedures could be automated. This will eliminate the subjective nature of the evaluation as well as increase the speed of the evaluation and reduce the cost of evaluations.
Examples are specific examples of what will pass or not pass in the Evaluation Criteria procedure. They are provided as a convenience to the evaluator.