​The ultimate Guide to a 100% PMBoK Guide aligned Project ​Charter

Project Charter Ultimate Guide


"What is a project charter? Why do you need one? When do you need one? What should all be included? ... 

Such and other questions about the project charter may spin around in your mind, especially if you have to do it for the first time or an entirely new type of project.

With this article and our "MP4PM Project Charter Map Package," we will shed light on all of that and hopefully also the benefits of having a project charter. Finally, we have outlined a checklist for you with all the steps needed 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 issues 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 should cooperate with any of the following who should issue the project charter:

  • Sponsor
  • 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 many other reasons.

A business case determines whether the investment in the project is worth making. The business case will define the project's purpose and characteristics, such as the following: 

  • Market demand
  • Business need
  • Customer request
  • Technological advance
  • Legal requirements
  • Ecological impacts
  • Social need

Try out with the FREE Project Charter Map Package!

You may download our FREE Project Charter Map Package to try MP4PM out(click on
the Image on the right or on the Button
below to go to download page): 

Creating the Project Charter

The point of the project charter - besides authorizing the project and the project manager - isto launch the project officially and to enable the project manager to start planning the project work and getting 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

The project manager will most likely rely on expert judgment to develop the project charter. Expert judgment means the project manager relies 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 project's goals. Data-gathering techniques for creating the charter include the following:

  • Brainstorming
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews

During this early process, the project manager must implement meeting management skills to keep people on track and keep the charter creation process moving forward. 

The project manager may also need conflict management skills to manage stakeholder disagreements. Finally, the project manager may serve as a facilitator when meeting with large groups of project stakeholders.

The Complete Guide for developing a Project Charter contains the following sections: 

Here is the overview to our "Project Management Plan Template" Outline:

Project Charter Outline

Try out with the FREE Project Charter Map Package!

You may download our FREE Project Charter Map Package to try MP4PM out(click on
the Image on the right or on the Button
below to go to download page): 

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): 

Project Charter Ultimate Guide

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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!

Thank You!

See you inside, 


Try out with the FREE Project Charter Map Package!

You may download our FREE Project Charter Map Package to try MP4PM out(click on
the Image on the right or on the Button
below to go to download page): 

Visual Tools That Get Things Done

Not just pretty pictures. Data-linked visual apps to streamline all your efforts.

If you prefer working with a collaborative online platform, CREATELY might be a good alternative! 

They also offer various ready-to-use project charter templates as you can see in the image below. Just click on the image or button below the image to get directly there and figure out of this is an option for you.

We do have a Creately-User Group within MP4PM exclusive for our members, where you can ask for help and guidance. Please feel free to write us your questions or feedback right down below in the comments. We guarantee to take care of any post. 

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