Software Management Plans in Research Projects

The IDEAS Productivity project, in partnership with the DOE Computing Facilities of the ALCF, OLCF, and NERSC and the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP) offers a monthly webinar series on Best Practices for HPC Software Developers, which we began in 2016.

As part of this series, we offer one-hour webinars on topics in scientific software development and high-performance computing, approximately once a month. The next webinar in the series was titled Software Management Plans in Research Projects, and was presented by Shoaib Sufi (Software Sustainability Institute). The webinar took place on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm ET. (One hour earlier than the usual time.)


Software is a necessary by-product of research. Software in this context can range from small shell scripts to complex and layered software ecosystems. Dealing with software as a first class citizen at the time of grant formulation is aided by the development of a Software Management Plan (SMP). An SMP can help to formalize a set of structures and goals that ensure your software is accessible and reusable in the short, medium and long term. SMP’s aim at becoming for software what Data Management Plans (DMP’s) have become for research data (DMP’s are mandatory for National Science Foundation grants). This webinar takes you through the questions you should consider when developing a Software Management Plan, how to manage the implementation of the plan, and some of the current motivation driving discussion in this area of research management.