Project Management Essentials (PM Essentials)

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Processes and Tools



PM Essentials (Project Management Essentials) is a project management process made up of tools, templates, and best practices that empowers its users to be more efficient and effective in project delivery regardless of project size or complexity. 

This methodology is based on the Project Management Institute's "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) and the Texas Project Delivery Framework. It is meant to facilitate a scalable and easy to use toolset that aligns to global standards.

The DIR Project Management Office (PMO) created PM Essentials to help enable state and local entities to achieve their core missions through successful project delivery. PM Essentials is an optional process. Using these tools and templates can help your organization achieve project consistency, standardization, and project success.

PM Essentials was formerly called PM Lite.

Processes and Tools

The below documents help to further explain the PM Essentials process, giving an in depth look at each of the project phases and templates.



Process or Tool


​Background on the PM Essentials methodology and its underlying principles

​PM Essentials Overview (DOCX)

Project Classification Method Guide agencies can use to classify IT projects as small, medium, or large in size PM Essentials Project Classification Method (PDF)


To plan and execute a project using an Agile approach.


PM Essentials Agile  (DOCX)

Agile Guide for Major Information Resources Projects (MIRPs) (PDF)


To plan and execute a project using a more traditional, waterfall, approach.

PM Essentials Waterfall(DOCX)





​Business Case*

​The Business Case defines the business need to assess alignment with strategic goals and investment value.

PM Essentials Business Case (DOCX)

​​Project Charter*

​The Project Charter officially authorizes the project and allocates resources.

PM Essentials Project Charter (DOCX)

​Requirements Document

The Requirements document details specific project and product requirements required to satisfy business objectives.

PM Essentials Requirements Document  (DOCX)


​​A product backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities a team may deliver to achieve a specific outcome.


The sprint backlog is a list of tasks identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the Scrum sprint.

​PM Essentials Agile Backlog (XLSX)

​Project Management Plan

The project management plan defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. ​

​PM Essentials Project Management Plan (DOCX)

​Project Toolkit*

​The Project Toolkit is a comprehensive set of project management tools collected in one file. 

PM Essentials Project Toolkit (XSLX)

Schedule The Schedule allows the identified work to be tracked against time so that progress can be measured.

PM Essentials Schedule (XSLX)

​Project Change Request

The Project Change Request (PCR) is used by the Project Manager to request a change to the project scope, schedule, costs, project milestones and/or deliverables.

​​PM Essentials Project Change Request  (DOCX)

Test Planning The Test Planning document identifies participants, environments, schedules, access, and support resources needed for testing.

PM Essentials Test Planning (DOCX)

Test Scripting Test Scripts document to what extent products and systems meet the requirements and provides a means for developers to remedy any flaws. PM Essentials Test Scripting (XSLX)
Status Report Status Reports conveys project progress, issues, risks, and other details to project stakeholders. PM Essentials Status Report (DOCX)
Meeting Notes The Meeting Notes memorializes the key points discussed and agreed to in a meeting. PM Essentials Meeting Notes (DOCX)
Transition Planning Once the product or system has been developed, the Transition Plan identifies how it will be rolled out to the customer and how its consumption will be monitored and responded to. PM Essentials Transition Planning (XSLX)

​Lessons Learned*

The Lessons Learned document is used to identify and preserve the lessons learned on each project.

PM Essential Lessons Learned (DOCX) 

​Project Closure*

​The Project Closure document formalizes the completion of the project.

PM Essentials Project Closure (DOCX) 

*These templates are highly recommended when using PM Essentials.


If you have any questions about PM Essentials, please contact the Project Management Office at Project Management Office.

Why use PM Essentials?  Standard Project Management processes and documentation such as PM Essentials increases business value by consistently and predictably delivering organizational strategy.

PM Essentials does not replace the Project Delivery Framework for major projects. To confirm that your project is eligible for PM Essentials, consult the Project Delivery Framework page​.

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