Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

CEIH Project Lifecycle

The CEIH Project Lifecycle has been co-designed as a roadmap through the phases of a project, from ‘Discovery’ to ‘Closure’, and includes links to useful project management tools at each step.

At the CEIH, we work collaboratively to deliver innovation and improvement projects that address complex issues across the health system.

We recognise the importance of supporting each stage of project planning and delivery, from early ideation to transition into business-as-usual. Acknowledging the numerous project management methodologies and resources that exist, we have co-designed our own Project Lifecycle with project management experts, staff and clinicians to maximise efficiency and effectiveness in our healthcare project management processes.

Importantly, the Project Lifecycle is accompanied by a selection of suggested tools and templates to guide projects through each phase, ensuring they align to strategic goals and allow for continual reflection and review.

We are sharing this model and the connected tools with our partners and other health organisations so that, where useful, they can be tailored and utilised.

Project lifecycle

A detailed version of the Project Lifecycle includes hyperlinks to tools recommended for use through the phases.

Further explanation of each phase of the Project Lifecycle and the associated tools are provided below.

We are excited to also share some of our tools in a digitally collaborative format – these have been developed as templates for use through Mural, a digital collaboration platform.

MURAL provides shareable, collaborative, digital whiteboards where people can simultaneously work together in different places.

*Register with Mural for a free account is to access these templates. Account upgrades have associated fees.

Mural Tools

Phases of the Project Lifecycle


The Dis­cov­ery phase con­sid­ers the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion of whether the work sought or the prob­lem to be solved war­rants a project and whether your organ­i­sa­tion is best placed to progress the ini­tia­tive. It also involves the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of projects depend­ing on whether the prob­lem is local, organ­i­sa­tion­al or sys­temic and mag­ni­tude of the impacts (i.e. how many stake­hold­ers are impacted).

This phase pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to seek ear­ly endorse­ment of the pro­posed approach with organ­i­sa­tion­al lead­er­ship pri­or to pro­ceed­ing onto Project Design.


Project Plan – Dis­cov­ery Section

Sup­port­ing Tools (option­al)

Stake­hold­er map­ping and analysis

Design think­ing tools:

Fram­ing a Prob­lem Statement

Prob­lem Tree

Pri­ori­ti­sa­tion Matrix
Empa­thy Map
Expe­ri­ence Mapping

These are just a hand­ful of design tools that the CEIH com­mon­ly uses; find fur­ther design tools and resources at Design Kit.

Project Design

The Project Design phase of the life­cy­cle looks at options for project deliv­ery to achieve desired out­comes. It looks at estab­lish­ing what the project could deliv­er and defin­ing bound­aries with­in which the project will operate.

Approval of the project design pri­or to pro­gress­ing to the Plan­ning phase ensures organ­i­sa­tion­al lead­er­ship buy-in to the high lev­el objec­tives and out­comes the project seeks to deliver.


Project Plan – Design Section

Sup­port­ing Tools (option­al)

Stake­hold­er Engage­ment Plan

Part­ner­ship Agreement

Log­ic Mod­el (Microsoft Word)

Log­ic Mod­el (MUR­AL template)

Design think­ing tools:

See the Dis­cov­ery phase above


The Plan­ning phase details how the project will pro­ceed. It iden­ti­fies the sequence, tim­ing and dura­tion of activ­i­ties and esti­mates the details of costs involved. Plans are devel­oped for the engage­ment of stake­hold­ers at each point in the project and risks are iden­ti­fied and mitigated.

It is rec­om­mend­ed that exec­u­tive spon­sor approval of the project plan and bud­get is sought before pro­ceed­ing to the Deliv­ery phase.


Project Plan – Plan­ning Section


Busi­ness Case Tem­plate (for projects requir­ing sig­nif­i­cant addi­tion­al resources)

Sup­port­ing Tools (option­al)

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Plan

Eval­u­a­tion Plan

Issues Reg­is­ter – utilise your organisation’s process for record­ing and mon­i­tor­ing issues

Risk Reg­is­ter – utilise your organisation’s process for record­ing and mon­i­tor­ing risks


This phase focuss­es on deliv­er­ing sched­uled activ­i­ties and mon­i­tor­ing progress against plans. The Deliv­ery phase also pro­vides oppor­tu­ni­ty for review and adjust­ment of out­comes and plans when changes occur.

Sup­port­ing Tools (option­al)

Project Progress Report

Issues Reg­is­ter – utilise your organisation’s process for record­ing and mon­i­tor­ing issues

Risk Reg­is­ter – utilise your organisation’s process for record­ing and mon­i­tor­ing risks

Change Requests


In the Clo­sure phase a project is eval­u­at­ed against its planned out­puts and out­comes and learn­ing is shared. This phase allows for project review and sign-off by the exec­u­tive spon­sor to close the project and tran­si­tion to busi­ness as usu­al (if appropriate).


Project Clo­sure Report

Eval­u­a­tion Report

Sup­port­ing Tools (option­al)

Lessons Learned Log


The impact of the project is inte­grat­ed sus­tain­ably into the ongo­ing oper­a­tions of the organ­i­sa­tion, deliv­er­ing the ben­e­fits or out­comes sought at the begin­ning, or a fol­low up project is planned. This may include updates to stan­dard oper­at­ing pro­ce­dures and oper­a­tional budgets.

Fur­ther Information

If you require any fur­ther sup­port or have any ques­tions about the Project Life­cy­cle, con­tact us at CEIH@​sa.​gov.​au.

If you are work­ing with­in SA Health, don’t for­get you can also go to the Imple­men­ta­tion Sci­ence Unit (inter­nal link only) for addi­tion­al project man­age­ment and imple­men­ta­tion sci­ence resources and support.