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The Project Charter

Understanding and agreeing to project scope is key to a project’s success. A key tool for a project manager in securing project scope is the project charter.

The project charter document will be established in either the Initiation Phase or the early Planning Phase of the project lifecycle. The charter will identify the objectives of the project and its key deliverables. A good project charter will also provide the reason for the project and a brief explanation of the background that lead to the initiation of the project itself.

The importance of clearly identify what is in-scope and out-of-scope cannot be overstated enough. Clear objectives will minimize project re-work that can impact time, resources and cost to name a few. Moreover, using the project charter to secure an agreement of scope will be an iterative process. It will not be surprising to have multiple revisions of the charter as you review the document with the project sponsor and key stakeholders.The_Project_Charter3

Charters should be clear and concise and void of any ambiguity. Clearly state what you know and what you do not know.  Leverage the use of risks and assumptions to explain what you do not know for certain.

The Project Charter should include:

  • INTRODUCTION 
  • PURPOSE OF PROJECT CHARTER DOCUMENT 
  • PURPOSE OF PROJECT 
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT 
  • PROJECT APPROACH 
  • PHASING PLAN 
  • GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 
  • PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 
  • SCOPE 
  • COSTS 
  • RISKS 
  • IMPACTED BUSINESS AREAS 
  • ASSUMPTIONS 
  • PROJECT ASSUMPTIONS 
  • PROJECT CONSTRAINTS 
  • CRITICAL DEPENDENCIES
  • APPROVALS

Lastly, remember to review and secure the sign-off of the project charter with your project sponsor and key stakeholders.

Checkout our free Project Charter templates for subscribers:

https://www.thinkitprojectmanagement.com/project-management-documents/project-initiation-phase