Skip to Main Content
Main Content

TLC Overview

ATTENTION: CMS will be transitioning from the eXpedited Lifecycle (XLC) to the new Target Lifecycle (TLC) as the official CMS System Development Lifecycle (SDLC). A CIO Directive with more information about the TLC is forthcoming.  In preparation of the transition, this webpage was created for educational purposes to begin acclimating project teams and contractors with the TLC process.  Although the Intake Form and contact information included here are applicable to all projects, much of the below information describes the TLC process, which is not applicable until the issuance of the CIO Directive. Projects should continue to follow the XLC Process until the Directive is issued.

TLC Banner

Welcome to the Target Life Cycle!

TLC Overview

The TLC is CMS's new system development life cycle governance process that promotes business flexibility, and replaces point-in-time gate reviews with continuous evaluation and situational reviews. The TLC sets governance expectations for all stakeholders who are developing and maintaining IT solutions.  There are four (4) distinct phases: Initiate, Develop, Operate, and Retire.





  • Clarify business case
  • Evaluate alternatives
  • Begin TLC System Profile
  • Begin Security Authorization
  • Establish Requirements / User stories
  • Deploy to non-Production environment
  • Complete any integration testing
  • Complete TLC System Profile
  • Maintain availability and performance
  • Maintain accurate TLC System Profile
  • Store and maintain required documentation

More information about the TLC is available in the CMS TLC Guidance Document. A video recording of the February 28, 2019 Tech Topics TLC and Navigator presentation is also available for viewing.

New business need or significant changes to existing system? Begin here:

(Internal CMS Link)

CMS TLC Guidance Document
TLC Project Worksheet

Related Links
CMS IT Intake Form
Feb 28, 2019 Tech Topics TLC and Navigator Video

For inquires about the Target Life Cycle, please contact CMS IT Governance at