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A key to successful IT management is a solid project management methodology that incorporates best government and commercial practices through a consistent and repeatable process, and provides a standard structure for planning, managing and overseeing IT projects over their entire life cycle.  The HHS EPLC Framework provides that methodology for HHS.

EPLC establishes a project management and accountability environment where HHS IT projects achieve consistently successful outcomes that maximize alignment with Department-wide and individual OPDIV goals and objectives. Implementation of the EPLC methodology allows HHS to improve the quality of project planning and execution, reducing overall project risk.   

EPLC enables HHS to approach the management of IT projects from an enterprise perspective that facilitates smooth interfaces among HHS IT investments and with HHS partners. These investments and their interfaces must be adequately established through robust enterprise architecture.

Adherence to recognized IT standards, as well as to Section 508, security and privacy requirements is essential to this goal.  With this enterprise-wide approach to project management, there is an emphasis by the Department on demonstrating measurable results for each of its IT investments and to better justify actions taken as IT projects are being developed.


This HHS EPLC Policy applies to all Department Operating Divisions (OPDIVs), including NIH, and Staff Divisions (STAFFDIVs), and organizations conducting business for and on behalf of the Department through contractual relationships.

See the HHS EPLC Policy for more detail and clarifications on the scope of the HHS EPLC.

Relationship to the NIH Enterprise Architecture

The EPLC provides the ability for NIH to ensure that its projects, investments, and systems align with NIH business needs. In order to accomplish this goal, NIH enterprise architects and solution architects are critical partners during a project's development life cycle.

The following diagram shows at a high level the major deliverables and milestones for each phase of the EPLC.1 

Enterprise Archtiecture and the Enterprise Performance Life Cycle (E.P.L.C.) Concept Phase - Includes sound alternatives analysis?  Identified reuse opportunities?Planning Phase - Considered SOA impacts and reuse opportunities? Architectural deliverables included in the plan?Requirements Phase - Requirements are good basis for design - business and data models established? Relevant standards and reuse opportunities identified?Design Phase - Design satisfies requirements and aligns with NIH EA? Aligns with relevant standards and leverages reuse?Development Phase - Dependencies with other systems/projects are managed? Maintained NIH EA alignment?Test Phase - Dependencies with other systems/projects are managed? Maintained NIH EA alignment?Implementation Phase - Updated NIH EA Repository? Maintained NIH EA alignment?Operations and Mainenance Phase - Continues operations according to performance targets? Maintained NIH EA alignment?Disposition Phase - Data/records disposed of according to schedules? NIH EA Repository updated?
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NIH Enterprise Architecture EPLC Guide Overview

This guide should assist architects in fulfilling their role as critical partners and should position project teams to successfully align with the NIH Enterprise Architecture.

The guide includes a high level description of each phase, the purpose of each stage gate review, the role of the enterprise architecture critical partner, and the architecture related questions that the architect and project team should ask at each phase of the project.

Initiation Phase
Concept Phase
Planning Phase
Requirements Analysis Phase
Design Phase
Development Phase
Test Phase - There are currently no EA-related checklists for the test phase.
Implementation Phase
Operations and Maintenance Phase
Disposition Phase

Help with the Guide

If you have a questions about the guide or would like to recommend changes to it, please contact us.


1 The Initiation Phase is part of the HHS EPLC. Although it is not depicted on this graphic, there are important EA requirements for this phase. See the Initiation Phase.

Last Updated: December 15, 2011