Project management guide

Find samples and templates to support project management best practices including activity guides with definitions and tips for each step of the process.

The Project Management Guide (PMG) offers resources for project management best practices.

Below you'll find the five project management process groups:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing


Assemble the team
Project success depends on the effectiveness of the team delivering it. During initiation and alignment, identify the team, define the project, and establish the responsibilities of the project manager and team to deliver the project. Use the Initiate and Align worksheet (DOCX 50KB) to focus and record the efforts of this phase.

Initiate the project
Initiation is the process of defining and authorizing the project or phase, selecting the project manager and identifying the project team. Region or organization management provides the team with the initial project information, project phase, legislative milestone commitments and project boundaries (limits).

Refer to the Project Management Initiating process map to help organize team and initiate the project (PDF 91KB).

Master Deliverables List (MDL)
The Master Deliverables List (MDL) (XLSX 137KB) is a comprehensive listing of project elements. The list could also be thought of as the “Milestones and Deliverables List”. This list functions as a starting point for creating project work breakdown structures (WBS).

The MDL is organized into three levels:

  1. Process
  2. Group
  3. Milestones & Deliverables

The list offers consistently applied names to the deliverables level. Levels four and beyond are user-defined. This list simplifies project initiation and work planning.


Planning produces the Project Management Plan and work plan. Both define the project performance baseline, project deliverables, schedule, budget and other strategies to deliver the project.

Refer to the Project Management Planning process map to help define objectives and plan work (PDF 93KB).

The project performance baseline documents the project team's detailed goals for the performance of the project within the scope, schedule, and budget parameters established by region or organization management.

The baseline includes:

  • Scope - the deliverables to be produced by the project team.
  • Schedule - the logical sequence of work and related milestones.
  • Budget - the allocation for the project.
  • Risk - potential risks to the project.


This is where the planned work is accomplished and the value and benefits of a quality work plan are realized. Everyone works in collaboration to produce deliverables and move the project forward to meet defined milestones.

Refer to the Project Management Executing process map to help direct and perform work (PDF 87KB).

Executing work includes:

  • Team management and development
  • Meeting project specifications
  • Coordinating resources
  • Performing Quality Assurance
  • Ensuring communications plan is executed properly
  • Managing expectations and dealing with change
  • user defined activities specific to your project

Monitoring &controlling

Monitoring and controlling the project involves continuous review and periodic reporting of actual work accomplished as compared to the planned work. Review project performance requirements as the work is accomplished and verify performance requirements.

Schedule verification - Verify actual work and compare to planned start/finish dates and milestones. Review the critical path - has it changed? What is the impact?

Cost verification - Verify actual costs and compare to planned expenditures. Identify the variance; determine the impact and take the necessary corrective action.

Specialty groups - Review the scope, schedule and budget commitments; including start/finish dates, milestones and costs. Report on accomplishments, delays and variances to management.

Refer to the Project Management Monitoring and Controlling process map to help monitor progress and manage change (PDF 116KB).

Monitoring and controlling includes:

  • Monitoring budget
  • Updating cost forecasts
  • Updating schedule forecasts
  • Control scope
  • Report on progress
  • Controlling risks
  • Controlling quality
  • Controlling communications
  • Develop and implement recovery plans if needed
  • Update project management plan as necessary


Closing - completing a major activity, phase, or the project itself. The Transition and Closure plan (DOCX 20KB) outlines the points in the project when transition and closure activities take place, the requirements and the process steps to accomplish an efficient and effective transition or closure.

Use the Deliverable Expectation Matrix (PDF 996KB) to identify transition points. It uses a range of project development deliverables in the general order they occur.

Refer to the Project Management Closing process map to help finalize activities (PDF 95KB).

Tools and forms

You may further augment these processes with region/mode specific requirements. Each region/mode is responsible for ensuring that additional requirements adhere to WSDOT standards.

Initial Schedule Development process (PDF 100KB)
Schedule & Cost Management process (PDF 89KB)
Construction Schedule Development process (PDF 56KB)
Construction Schedule Review & Update process (PDF 56KB)

Internal scope of work agreements
Development (PDF 77KB)
Management (PDF 64KB)
Change Management (PDF 66KB)
Contract Change Management process (PDF 51KB)

Cost control, estimates and earned value
Cost Control and Earned Value process (PDF 69KB)
Cost to Date Tracking process (PDF 57KB)
Project Cost Estimate Creation, Update, Review and Approval process (PDF 85KB)
Activity and Project Code Management Process (PDF 60KB)
Electronic Content Management (ECM) Process (PDF 686KB)

The following guidance documents are intended to augment the agency's project delivery policies and procedures and assist staff in implementing them in a manner that effectively and efficiently improves capital project delivery.
Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) /Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Guidelines (PDF 145KB)
Control Account Guidelines (PDF 156KB)
Schedule Template Guidelines (PDF 102KB)
Progress Reporting Guidelines (PDF 103KB)

Cost control and earned value
Estimated Outstanding Cost Guidelines (PDF 164KB)
Earned Value Guidelines (PDF 189KB)

Desktop procedures
Desktop procedures for Primavera Scheduler (PDF 1.44MB)- detailed step-by-step instructions or direction on project creation, TRAINS interface, baselines, control accounts, layouts, mandatory milestones, role and cost loading, schedule constraints, scheduling the project, User Defined Fields (UDF), and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) vs. Master Deliverables List (MDL) (PDF 180KB)

Templates and checklists
Change Management Log (XLSX 23KB)
Communications Plan Template (DOCX 29KB)
Deliverables Expectations Matrix (PDF 966KB)
Endorsement Template (DOCX 17KB)
Internal Scope of Work Agreement (DOCX 39KB)
Project Management Plan One Page Summary Template (XLSX 800KB)
Project Management Quality Plan (DOCX 19KB)
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (DOCX 22KB)
Project Management Process Matrix (PDF 101KB)

Project Management Plan (PMP) examples
The following Project Management Plans (PMP's) were created by WSDOT staff to provide examples to assist in developing project specific plans.

Project management executive orders & instructional letters
WSDOT Secretary's Executive Orders (E.O.'s) provide policy direction regarding project management and related disciplines.

Project Management (PDF 300KB) (E.O. 1032.02) - Directs the use of the WSDOT project management process and clarifies the requirements for executives, project managers, project team members, and others in WSDOT who participate in project management.

Enterprise Risk Management (PDF 36KB) (E.O. 1038.07)- Provides policy and direction about the department's Enterprise Risk Management Program.

Project Risk Management and Risk Based Estimating (PDF 64KB) (E.O. 1053.02)- Formalizes the identification, sharing and managing risks across organizations and functions.

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