The overall lifecycle has four phases to it: develop an idea, gain approval, deliver the project, and realise the benefits.

project process overall lifecycle


The first step in any project is to develop the idea and confirm the priority of it. The three key questions to ask are:

  1. When we want to service our students better or be more efficient in our work, what needs to change?
  2. If we succeed in the change, how does it benefit the University and students? Consider factors like time saved, increased success rates, etc. They would need to be expressed in a way that can be objectively measured.
  3. What would be an ideal way to achieve this? Think of process and work practice changes, what data is required or produced and how it flows through, and what kinds of tools or systems would work well.

Please discuss any new ideas with the Service Improvement Coordinator in your local Professional Services Hub who can help you to refine it and determine what would be the best way to progress it. If it becomes a candidate project, then you will be guided on how to create a submission for approval.


To get a new project approved, you need to follow the main steps outlined here.

project process approval steps

In our project management method, these steps cover the Pre-Initiate (Proposal) and Initiate (Business Case) phases.

Proposal - First it is time to write a brief Proposal to articulate the "what and why". This should focus on the need or opportunity we have, why we should address it now, and what value does it bring to the University. The Proposal will need to have a draft Financial Model attached.

If you need specific funds to analyse the idea further so that you can develop the Business Case, you can request for "seed funding" in your Proposal. However, the analysis should usually be funded from the operating funds.

Assessment and prioritisation - Send your Proposal to the Finance Business Partner in your area for it to be registered and assessed. Information on this you can find on the Project Assessment page. The Finance Business Partner will then forward the material to the Investment Management Committee (IMC, chaired by the Chief Financial Officer) for prioritisation. Only those projects which get prioritised will continue further.

Business Case - Projects which are assessed as medium or complex projects will require a Project Business Case. This is the detailed analysis of the change proposed and how it should be carried out. Essentially, it is the Executive Sponsor's promise to the University on the intended improvement and what it takes to deliver it. The Business Case is accompanied by a revised Financial Model, a Benefit Map and a draft Benefits Realisation Plan.

If you need product or service pricing information from vendors, please contact the Procurement Team in Finance for advise on how to run a Request for Information or Request for Quote step in the procurement process.

The Service Improvement Coordinator or Finance Business Partner may instruct you to produce additional or alternative documents. Simple projects typically enhance their Proposal instead of developing a Business Case and the amended Proposal is used for the approval.

Approval - The project approval If given as shown in the table below. Before submission for approval, please ensure the project is registered.

FUNDING SOURCE Current operating budget Additional operating funds are needed Capital funds are needed Uses external funds (e.g. grants)
APPROVAL FROM Portfolio Head IMC prioritisation, RTF endorsement, VC approval IMC prioritisation, RTF endorsement, VC approval Portfolio Head

The Portfolio Head refers to the Senior Executive (management level 2) for their respective portfolio.

Please note; in a faculty, if the project can be funded from the contribution margin (CM), the approval can be given by the Executive Dean.

Once the funding is approved, the Executive Sponsor need to request a new finance code to be created for the project and advice the Finance Business Partner of the code, when received. They will the arrange the journalling of funds to the project.


Once your project has been approved and funded, it is time to deliver it.

project process delivery steps

Plan - This phase has three purposes:

  1. The Benefit Owners detail how the intended benefits will be realised and measured. This is captured in the Benefits Realisation Plan.
  2. The Business Change Manager details how the business change will be implemented and sustained.
  3. The Project Manager details how exactly the project will be carried out. The main outputs from this are the Project Initiation Document (PID, sometimes known as "Project Plan") and the project schedule. They are approved by the Executive Sponsor. The approval will form the project baseline for schedule and budget, i.e. the approved limits of your project.

At this phase, you can also start committing purchase orders and executing contracts based on the funding given.

The project governance commences in full at this phase. The Project Manager also sets up the project in the Project and Portfolio Management System and commences regular status reporting.

Implement - In this phase you produce and put in place the artefacts which the project is expected to deliver. This may be a business system, a facility, a new or changed process or service, documents, operational and staffing arrangements, etc.

Please note that during this phase you can request for changes to the project scope, benefits, timeline or budget. The Project Change Request template identifies when a change impacts the PID vs. when the Business Case needs to be reviewed and re-approved.

Please note that at the end of implementation, the remaining funds will need to be sufficient to complete the project closure and pay any remaining contracts without going into deficit. Any additional funds required will need to be applied for during the Implement phase.

Close - After you have finished the implementation, it is time to review the work and lessons learnt, close all contracts and pay final invoices, and release the resources from the project. At this point, no new work or deliveries are allowed. Also, no further change requests are made.

Any residual work related to the items implemented is transferred should already have been transferred to the respective operational teams. Alternatively, you can initiate a new follow-on project for the work.

You produce a Post-Implementation Review Report (PIR) which is approved by the Executive Sponsor in the final project governance meeting. This approval will close the project.

Financial Closure (DLP) - Following the project closure, the remaining funds are kept available for any late invoices or warranty work. This period lasts for three (3) months (12 months for the Defect Liability Period (DLP) in Properties & Facilities). After that, Finance will close the project code and transfer any remaining funds back to the central pool (if applicable).


Benefits, the long-term improvements, are the reason to do a project. A project is the means to implement something that makes a new future state possible. The success of the future state is expressed through the benefits it brings.

After the project has been delivered, the benefits realisation continues alongside reinforcing the business change.

The Benefits Realisation Plan which was finalised during the project planning usually identifies follow-on actions which are carried out now to secure the long-term value of the changes made.

Once the benefits have been achieved or the intended time period has elapsed (usually max 12 months after project closure), the Executive Sponsor submits a Benefits Realisation Report to the body which approved the project Business Case.


The project delivery lifecycle is outlined in a process map in Nintex Process Manager.

The idea and approval phases are shown in more detail in the 'Manage project assessment & approval' process map in Nintex Process Manager (ProMapp).

An overview diagram which maps key roles, project phases and artefacts together (some references may become outdated but the logic prevails).

The templates for the documents needed you can find on the Project Management Templates page.

Information and templates for the benefit management are on the Benefits Management for Projects page.

Information and templates for the business change are best sourced from the Change Managers or analysts in Corporate Services.

Page last updated on 31/10/2023

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