TLC Overview

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Welcome to the Target Life Cycle!

TLC Overview

The TLC is CMS's system development life cycle governance framework that promotes business flexibility and replaces point-in-time gate reviews with continuous evaluation and situational governance reviews.

The TLC provides assistance and guidance to support smart system development and investment oversight.

Contractors must utilize a formal development methodology in support of CMS' IT investments, in order to optimize the CMS IT portfolio, increase reliability and sustainability, and produce desired outcomes.

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.






  • Establish Requirements / User stories
  • Deploy to non-Production environment
  • Complete any integration testing
  • Evaluate success of implementation
  • Maintain availability and performance
  • Store and maintain required documentation
  • Evaluate continued business value

New business need or need a Life Cycle ID for an existing IT investment? Begin here:

Internal CMS Link

(Internal CMS Link)

Helpful Links
CMS TLC Guidance Document (PDF)
Investment Reporting Life Cycle (PDF)
Note: This document provides an overview of the major IT Capital Planning and Investment Control reporting requirements but is not inclusive of all OMB-required artifacts. Contact for reporting guidance tailored to your situation.
Optional Project Management Templates (ZIP)
Section 508 Accessibility Templates
Technical Review Board (TRB) Slidedecks (ZIP)


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

Page Last Modified:
10/24/2023 03:01 PM