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Volume 3 | Issue 1 | January 2009

Daniel Vitek, MBA, PMP

Information technology (IT) projects play a critical role in helping CDC carry out its mission and objectives. Through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Enterprise Performance Life Cycle (EPLC) Framework, and its interconnections with the Capital Planning and Investment Control processes, CDC uses IT to support its public health programs. CDC IT investments include many interconnected systems linked through a nationwide network of federal, state, local, tribal, and private partners. To effectively manage the complexities of this environment, CDC must ensure that its diverse portfolio of IT investments is properly aligned within a coherent Enterprise Architecture (EA).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has prescribed a Performance Improvement Lifecycle (PIL) for linking goals to IT results. The PIL has three-phases: Architect, Invest, and Implement. HHS extends this integrated process model to include other key HHS management processes.

Each lifecycle phase is comprised of integrated enterprise processes which combine to transform top-down strategic goals and bottom-up system needs into a logical series of work products designed to achieve strategic results. The PIL provides a foundation for sound IT management practices, end-to-end governance of IT investments, and the alignment of IT investments with strategic goals.

The Strategize Phase establishes the strategic HHS business and technology direction. HHS enterprise needs are, in part, derived from external drivers such as legislative mandates or other capabilities to be pursued as a mechanism to improve mission performance. In many cases the needs to be satisfied will correspond to gaps between the current state of HHS organizational capabilities and an intended future state.

The Architect Phase identifies and analyzes capability gaps between current and future states of segments of CDC mission functionality. A segment architecture is detailed, results-oriented, and has a transition strategy for a portion of the EA. The Federal Segment Architecture Methodology (FSAM) supports three segment types as defined in the OMB Federal EA Practice Guidance: core mission area, business service, and enterprise service segments. Analysis of segments reveals needs for investments to fill capability gaps. CDC analyzes and prioritizes segments across the Agency, utilizing the newly announced FSAM and the HHS Architecture Development Methodology (ADM).

The Invest Phase ensures alignment of sound business investments in support of strategic, and sometimes tactical, goals and objectives.

The Implementation Phase ensures that projects and investments are executed according to agreed upon project or investment management plans. This phase also measures performance to determine how well the implementation solutions achieve desired results and mission outcomes.

Leveraging the HHS PIL and monitoring the effective management of investments throughout the EPLC provides validation and assurances that a project or investment is addressing specified capability gaps and providing intended performance improvements.

Portions of this newsletter were paraphrased from the HHS EPLC Framework. For more information on EA contact the EA Program Management Office at For more information about the CDC Unified Process or the EPLC please visit the CDC UP website at

Consider a new year’s resolution in 2009 that provides tremendous networking opportunities and offers to expand your knowledge and skill set. Join many of your peers already participating in an existing community of practice (CoP). Some active CoPs at the CDC are described below. For additional information and an expanded list of CoPs visit the Public Health Information Network (PHIN) website at

Enterprise Architecture (EA) CoP
The EACoP brings together PHIN Enterprise Architects to work collaboratively with informatic, programmatic, and IT communities to share ideas and build upon the foundation of EA. Members benefit from continual learning, greater access to EA expertise, and personal development. For more information contact the EA Team at

Laboratory Messaging (LM) CoP
The LMCoP brings together PHIN stakeholders involved in defining, implementing, maintaining, and evaluating lab reporting. This community collaboratively develops knowledge, innovation, and best practices through discussion of current laboratory messaging obstacles and the sharing of lessons learned to facilitate the modernization of public health surveillance. For more information contact

Vocabulary and Messaging CoP
The Public Health Vocabulary Community of Practice (PHVCoP) utilizes facilitated dialogue to execute problem solving around vocabulary development, usage, and distribution within public health while sharing ideas, identifying collaborative efforts, and developing solutions to resolve common public health vocabulary and messaging challenges. There is also an expanded community referred to as the Vocabulary and Messaging CoP (VMCoP). For more information contact the PHVCoP at

Information Links ILCoP
The ILCoP is a vibrant community of public health professionals from across the United States with hands-on experience in organizing, implementing, and working with Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). The ILCoP seeks to promote the use of HIEs and spark innovative solutions to today’s barriers by sharing knowledge and openly discussing challenges of implementing HIE’s in the United States. For more information contact Janise Richards at

Public Health Information Network CoP
The PHIN is a national initiative to improve the capacity of public health through the use and exchange of information electronically. PHIN promotes the use of standards and defines functional and technical requirements for public health informatics systems.

The PHIN community exchanges information and perspectives on PHIN requirements, policies and procedures for PHIN coordinators, and other relevant information. For more information contact the PHINCoP at

PHIN CoP Resource Kit
PHIN has developed a resource kit that provides a program overview, templates, and guides that can be used to develop a new community or enhance an existing one. This Kit contains step-by-step guidance for all stages of CoP development and is available at

For more information and tools related to the topic(s) covered in this newsletter, the CDC Unified Process, or the Project Management Community of Practice please visit the CDC Unified Process website at

Please also visit the CDC Unified Process Newsletter Archive located at for access to many additional newsletters, articles, and management related topics and information.


The CDC UP offers a short overview presentation to any CDC FTE or Non-FTE group. Presentations are often performed at your location, on a day of the week convenient for your group, and typically take place over lunch structured as one hour lunch-and-learn style meeting.

Contact the CDC Unified Process at or visit to arrange a short overview presentation for your group.


The CDC Unified Process Project Management Newsletter is authored by Daniel Vitek, MBA, PMP and published by the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services.

For questions about the CDC Unified Process, comments regarding this newsletter, suggestions for future newsletter topics, or to subscribe to the CDC Unified Process Project Management Newsletter please contact the CDC Unified Process or visit



  • January 23, 2009
    Topic: Project Metrics - Which to Whom
  • February 06, 2009
    Topic: 2009 Project Management Summit
  • March 27, 2009
    Topic: Agile Development at CDC
  • April 24, 2009
    Topic: Integrating EA into your Project
  • May 15, 2009
    Topic: The C&A Process
  • June 19, 2009
    Topic: Program Management & PMOs
  • July 31, 2009
    Topic: Risk Management
  • August 28, 2009
    Topic: Managing Teams Across Generations
  • September 25, 2009
    Topic: More on Records Management
  • October 30, 2009
    Topic: Stage Gate Reviews - EPLC Lessons
  • December 04, 2009
    Topic: Authority, Power, & Influence


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