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 is pro­vid­ed below:


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:

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

Design think­ing tools:

Part­ner­ship Agreement

Log­ic Model


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.