A project charter is sometimes referred to as a Project Overview Statement. It is a signed document that defines and authorizes a project. If a project charter is not agreed upon, the goals of the project are left up to interpretation by key stakeholders because each may have a different view on how the project will proceed.
Sign up to our email newsletter to be notified about our special offers and latest articles. One that sets your project off on the right path by outlining the preliminary project framework, providing clear guidance to your project team and stakeholders and ensuring the organization and senior management are committed to the project.
To achieve these objectives a project charter must contain eight essential elements. Project Authorization — this includes the name of the project, its formal authorization and a very brief description of the project.
The preliminary scope describes what the project involves, any high-level resource or requirement descriptions, and what constitutes successful project completion. Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. SMART goals and objectives make it easy to track and measure progress and success.
High level risks can also be included. Deliverables — a concise description of the high level deliverables required by the client, project sponsor or stakeholders at the successful completion of the project.
Business Case — the benefits of the project to the organisation and its alignment with organisational objectives. How will this project enable the organisation to meet its objectives?
Depending on the project scope and the organisational structure, the project manager will have varying levels of authority and responsibility for resources, scheduling and expenditure. Time frame — this section sets out the preliminary project time frame. Be aware that this will change as the project progresses and tasks and milestones and their associated requirements are more clearly defined.
This may also change as the project progresses, but any changes must be communicated by the project manager and approvals gained.
The Project Manager is authorized to approve expenditures up to, and including, the allocated budget amounts. The project sponsor is the appropriate person to sign the charter, because he or she is the person who will be actively supporting the project.
You can also think about getting your customer to sign the charter as this displays confidence from both the sponsor and the customer. When written down in the project charter these elements define and authorize the project, its resources and activities.
So find the right balance with your project charter. If the charter is unclear or fuzzy- that wastes time and causes confusion about what actions are supposed to be taken.
On the other hand, being overly prescriptive diminishes the benefits of having a talented team. It is best to encourage your team to self-manage and do goal focused work.
Continuing Professional Development offers a series of project management online courses to advance your project management skills and your career while adding to the intellectual wealth of individuals and organizations. This course gives you practical skills so that you can confidently prepare a quick and easy Project Charter after you have completed the example project charter template based on our case study.The Project Charter is a living document that outlines a process improvement project for both the team as well as leadership.
Teams use the charter to clarify the process issue being addressed, the reason for addressing it and what “success” looks like for those working on it. The project charter is almost finished and you already have a strong idea of what your project needs and how to organize it to get the job done.
Now the next step . This course gives you practical skills so that you can confidently prepare a quick and easy Project Charter after you have completed the example project charter template based on our case study. Related Courses & Articles.
How to Write a Project Charter by Karen Lawson - Updated September 26, Writing a project charter requires knowledge of the project's purpose and how it relates to . Writing a Project Charter If you spend time seeking management or customer approvals for your projects, you know how messy and drawn out the process can be, as the decision makers request clarification on things like project deliverables, risks, resources, and financial payback.
Writing a great project charter entails significant time and effort on your part, so ensure that you get the full benefit by sharing the charter broadly. Don't forget to leave your comments below Simon Moore is the author of Strategic Project Portfolio Management (Wiley, ) and the Strategic PPM blog.