What’s included in a project charter

A project charter is a common Project Management tool used to convey key information around the Project and its deliverables. It is produced early on in the project process and is often used to gain approval from key stakeholders for the project to proceed.

When new projects are being proposed its important to collate and share key information amongst decision makers – the project charter provides a vehicle for that activity and in doing so provides a snapshot of the project at approval stage and what led to decisions being made.

Using a project charter infers a certain discipline in project management as a robust charter will include determining objectives, risks and issues and helps mitigate ambiguity about the project approach and targets. This final point is important – for a project to be approved stakeholders need to know beyond reasonable doubt what’s it about and how it will achieve. As such the power of a project charter as a communication tool should not be ignored.

The project charter will usually be authored by a mix of the Project Manager and the Project Sponsor – the actual mix will vary from project to project (and also organization to organization).

What to include in your charter?

While there’s no set template for your charter you’ll want to consider the following:

1/ Objectives
2/ Scope
3/ Stakeholder assessments
4/ Risks
5/ Assumptions and Constraints
6/ Approvals
7/ Cost Appraisal
8/ Initial Timeline

Once signed off by relevant stakeholders the Project Charter acts as the Project Managers authority to proceed and certain elements of the charter can be transferred into a Project Initiation Document if required.

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Related posts:

  1. Project steps – key stages to incorporate into your project – Part 1
  2. Project Management Guide An Introduction to Project Management
  3. Project steps – key stages to incorporate into your project – Part 2