"What is a project charter really? Why do you need one? When do you need one? What should all be included? ... "
Such and other questions about the project charter may spinning around in your mind. Espacially if you have to do it for the first time or for a complete new type of project.
With this article and our "MP4PM Project Charter Map Package" we will throw some light on all of that and hopefully also of the benefits of having a project charter. Finally we have outlined a checklist for you with all the steps need to be done for creating a project charter (which works great in companion with our "MP4PM Project Charter Template and Toolkit Package").
What is a project charter and why do you need one?
The project charter authorizes the project and enables the project manager to assign resources to the project work. It’s all about power. The project manager is officially identified in the charter, though the project manager should be selected as early as possible during the project.
The project charter also demonstrates the organization’s commitment to the project and the investment in the endeavor. According to PMI, it is not the project manager, who creates and issue's the charter. In an ideal project world the charter comes from outside of the project.
The project manager may help develop the project charter, but it’s not signed or issued by the project manager; the charter needs the authority of a higher instance in the organization who has the power to provide the resources the project will require.
But the project manager is accountable for the project charter getting issued. Therefore the project manager cooperates with any of the following, who should issue the project charter:
- Project management office
- Portfolio governing body, such as a steering committee
- Program organization
- Portfolio organization
- any authorized organizational representative
The project manager or business analyst may create a business case that defines why a project needs to be chartered. It can be because of opportunities, problems that need to be solved, business requirements, and lots of other reasons.
A business case determines whether the investment in the project is worth making. The business case will define the project purpose and characteristics, such as the following:
- Market demand
- Business need
- Customer request
- Technological advance
- Legal requirements
- Ecological impacts
- Social need
Creating the Project Charter
The point of the project charter - besides authorizing the project and the project manager - is, to launch the project officially and to enable the project manager to start with planning the project work and get it done.
The charter gives the project a definite start and maps out the high-level objectives for the project. The charter needs to communicate all of the following directly or through references to other documents:
- Project purpose
- Project requirements for satisfaction
- High-level project description
- High-level requirements
- High-level risks
- Milestone schedule
- Summary budget
- Stakeholder list
- Project approval requirements
- Exit criteria
- Project manager
- Project sponsor
To develop the project charter, the project manager will most likely rely on expert judgment. Expert judgment, simply means the project manager is relying on someone with more knowledge and wisdom to help make the best decisions for the project. For the charter, expert judgment can be from people with insight into the organization’s strategy, benefits management techniques, technical knowledge, estimating skills for schedule and costs and risk management.
The project charter will also need data to communicate the goals of the project. Data-gathering techniques for creating the charter include the following:
- Focus groups
During this early process, the project manager will need to implement meeting management skills to keep people on track and keep the charter creation process moving forward.
The project manager may also need some conflict management skills to manage disagreement among stakeholders. Finally, the project manager may be serving as a facilitator when meeting with large groups of project stakeholders.
The Complete Guide for developing a Project Charter contains the following sections:
- What is a project charter and why do you need one?
- Creating the Project Charter
- Benefits of a Project Charter
- Project Charter Example and Template
- How to Develop Project Charter - Step by Step
Here is the overview to our "Project Management Plan Template" Outline:
To access the complete Project Charter guide including the "MP4PM - Project Charter Tools & Templates Package" and a ton of additional content click on the following Picture (or HERE):
If you are not a MP4PM Member yet, you should have a look at our Homepage >>>
Have a look at MP4PM.club (or click on the Logo on the left) to find out what MP4PM ha to offer (it is a lot!) and if it fits to your demands.
Do not forget to Sign up now to our Newsletter >>>
Now it is up to you!
We wish you success by creating your own project charter template.
Please let us know how it works for you?
How may we improve the template and process?
Any suggestions? Any other feedback?
We would love to hear what you have to say!
We do highly appreciate any kind of feedback and we will continuosly develop our deliverables and our membership experience based on your feedback!
See you inside,