A project charter is one of the very important project management documents. It can greatly benefit project management and it is worth the time to write one up. In this article we will go over what a project charter is, elements, a real life example and the importance of its documents.
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What is a Project Charter?
A project charter tends to be a short, concise and formal document that serves as a description of the project you and your team are carrying out. This description will include what the objectives of the project are, how these objectives will be reached, who the stakeholders are among other elements. It is crucial for the planning stage of the project and is used throughout the life-cycle of the project itself.
You need to know what one includes. Let’s take a look at its contents:
- Reason for undertaking the project
- Project objectives
- Main stakeholders
- Team members
- Identified risks
- Benefits the project will bring
- General budget overview
Project Charter Example
Let’s take a look at a real life example so that you understand better how to write a project charter. We can see just how concise and simple project charter documents can be, while including very important information about the project. The PMP question is something you must know for the PMP exam, further demonstrating the importance of project charter documents.
In terms of project charter vs project plan, the first one is created as part of the planning process but is not the project plan. The information included components serve as an overview of the project that can be referred to throughout the project life-cycle.
As you can see, the project is given a name and description, the project manager and sponsor are named, the date of approval is stated, the team members and their roles are listed as well as the milestones, deliverables and any identified constraints. Creating a this document is essential to keep this information compiled in one place and so that everyone is aware of the structure that the project will follow.
Project Charter Purpose
The project charter objectives and purpose are to give direction to project management from the very beginning to the very end. It also identifies the authority around the project. This simple document is what legitimises the authority of the project manager over the project.
The benefits of a project charter include clear direction and important information surrounding the project. Everyone involved with the project has access to this document. This means that they are aware of this document deliverables and its stakeholders among other important project aspects. It captures a high level of planning information about the project without going into very specific details; that step comes later.
Project Charter in Project Management
Whether you are preparing an IT project charter or a marketing campaign, this document represents the official start of the project. If use formal authorisation to the project its self and to the people in charge for its work. It serves as a reference throughout the project life-cycle for everyone involved and gives the project a sense of purpose.
When project charter imports are correct and the project charter plan itself is created properly it helps the executives of the organisation or your clients to see the true value behind the project. It can also be used as an overview to see how each project is aligned with the overall organisational strategy before getting into the work of the project.
Overall, it may seem like a brief document and can even be overlooked. We hope that after reading this article, you understand the importance and effectiveness of the document. It is well worth the time to create an effective overview of the project before beginning work. Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below! 😊