A Project Charter is basically a statement of objective and also the people who are participating in the project. It initially defines the responsibilities of the participants involved describes the goals of the project. The charter also involves the stakeholders and authority of the project manager.
Purpose of a project charter;
- Why does this project exist? – Communicate the values and reasons for the existence of every person and part of this project to the team manager.
- What is the essence of the project? – Describe the goals and objectives of the project and the road map and timeline to achieve it.
- Can we agree on this project? – The charter is an agreement between the project sponsor, key stakeholders and the project team that provides their individual responsibilities.
The project charter documents the following;
- Reasons for undertaking the project
- Objectives and constraints of the project
- Directions leading to the solution taking various shapes and forms
- Main stakeholders
- In-scope and out-scope items
- Project budget
- Project value-added benefits
- Potential risks
Uses of the project charter
- We need it to authorize the project- It’s a document that sells the project to the stakeholders and defines broadly their return on investment in order to sell the project
- It’s a document that stays in handy throughout the life cycle of the project. It acts as a roadmap and can be referred to during meetings, assist scope management, etc.
- It serves as a primary sales document. The stakeholders will have a summary of the project in terms of budget, sales which makes them focus on the resources needed
Format of a project charter
- Vision- It all starts with knowing the vision of the project
- Objective- SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) objectives need to be set
- Scope- Initially outline the formal boundaries of the project by describing how the project may alter in the way forward
- Deliverable- List down all the deliverables
- Organize- organize the charter into four following ways
- End users – Who are the customers and deliverables they need
- Stakeholders- Identify the stakeholders of the projects and the need for their requirements
- Roles – Assign roles and responsibilities to everyone present in the project
- Structure – Define the lines of reporting between these various roles of those working in the project
- Implementation – After vision and organizing develop the implementation plan
- Plan – plan for all the resources functional/non-functional requirements and arrange them
- Milestone – Mark major phases of the development stage to check the progress
- Dependencies – list all the dependencies important to the project
Risk, Issues & Budget
- Gather all the potential risks and issues that can derail the project in advance be prepared in handling those hurdles
- A risk might or might not occur but better be prepared on a safer side
- After all these assessments the probable budget of the project can be clearly predicted and make stakeholders ready or negotiate with them.
Reporting – One of the critically important part of the tenure of the project is reporting the progress of the project to the project manager and stakeholders as you can receive more inputs and change requests respectively.