Before we present our project chart article, we are happy announce that Master of Project Academy has partnered with us to bring you a real Project Charter Template. One of their 50 Project Management Templates is a Project Charter Template.
A Project Charter is an essential deliverable for any project. It is required by the PMBOK Guide as well as other best practices standards. It is a document that contains key information about a project and gives approval to start it. It serves as a formal announcement that a new project has been approved. The Project Charter also contains the name of the project manager, who is responsible for overseeing the project. This is a Project Charter Example.
A Project Charter is Essential
Each organization will have a different definition of a Project Charter. A Project Charter is essential for every project. Without it, there is no official document or proof that the project has been properly defined, presented and approved by stakeholders. There are many benefits to having a Project Charter. It authorizes the project to begin, which is important but not mentioned. It establishes a shared vision and understanding of the project. The project manager is empowered with the authority to manage the project. The Project Charter defines the high-level objectives of the project and the scope. It defines the criteria for success at the end. The whole organization is aware of the project and can support it. A Project Charter is a way to ensure that all stakeholders are informed about the project. It helps to secure the budget and resources needed for the project. The document is also a reference point for the project team.
Contents of a Project Charter
A Project Charter is a mandatory part of most project management frameworks and methodologies. The actual contents of the template are not specified. This is understandable as projects can differ in many ways. For example, the Project Charter for a large public works project should differ from that of a small IT file deletion program. The accepted principle for writing a Project Charter is to clarify the what, who, when and cost aspects of the project. These questions and aspects can be answered by including the following sections in a Project Charter, based on the PMBOK Guide:
Information about the project – This section includes the name and ID of the project (if it is used by an organization), the name of its manager and the sponsor(s).
This section attempts to identify the main reason for the project’s existence. It describes the context or circumstances in which the project was conceived.
Project objectives and benefits – These are the goals that the project aims to achieve. The SMART acronym is a guideline for writing objectives. They should be specific, measurable and achievable, realistic, time-bounded, and achievable.
Project organization – This section explains how the project is managed. It should clearly indicate the key roles of each person responsible for managing and directing the project. A RACI chart is a useful tool.
High-level project scope – This section describes the project’s boundaries at a high-level. It is important to define the scope of the project, as well as what is outside it. This section should also include the key deliverables for the project.
High-level project timeline – The Project Charter should include the key stages and estimated duration at a high-level, along with milestones. The project charter should include milestones and key stages.