The DLP (Data LifeCycle Plan) guides an organization and serves as a blueprint for how to create every type of data across all therapeutic areas and functional specialties. Howard describes the DLP as "an overall document that says here are the things you need to think about." In some DLPs, there might be more than 15 chapters, each controlled by a group of domain experts.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) typically cover process. DLPs, in contrast, are technical specifications about what happens to the data. Both SOPs and DLPs should be subject to similar governance. The DLP creates a framework for discussions that do occur on their own, but it forces them to an earlier stage of the process.
Here's a sample chapter of a DLP for demographic data from Kestrel Consultants, Inc.