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Article by Natasha M. Baker (4,707 pts ) Edited & published by Rebecca Scudder (23,305 pts ) on Mar 25, 2010 Related Guides: Project CharterProject Life CycleProject Stakeholders In this article by Natasha Baker describes what a project charter is. She also discusses why the project charter is a critical component in the project management-planning phase, and throughout the life of the project.
Defining the Project Charter
With every project, you need to define what needs to be accomplished and decide how the project is going to achieve those objectives. Each project begins with an idea, vision, or business opportunity; a starting point that must be tied to the organization’s business objectives. In project management, the project charter is this starting point. The charter is the foundation of the project. It forms the contract with all stakeholders involved in the project. It includes a statement of business needs, an agreement of what the project is committed to deliver, an identification of project dependencies and technologies, and the roles and responsibilities of all the team members involved. Basically, the project charter defines the boundaries of the project, no matter what type of project management methodology you are using. The project charter is not only an effective project planning tool; it is a communication vehicle that can be referenced throughout the project. The original project charter does not change throughout the project life cycle. It is created at the beginning of the project, approved by the key project stakeholders, and is available for reference throughout the project life cycle. Modifications, additions, or change conditions are only applied to the original charter based upon agreement by all parties. The project charter is a single, consolidated source of information about the project in terms of initiation and planning, and provides information and data about the project scope, objectives, deliverables, risks, and issues.
Why Create a Project Charter?
The project charter provides a condensed, summary-level overview of the project. It allows all parties involved in the project (stakeholders) to document the agreed upon scope and objectives, approach, and major deliverables of the project. At the beginning of the project, the charter documents the agreed upon communications plans, control mechanisms, and responsibilities of team members. In other words, the project charter is a fundamental communications tool within the project environment. Additionally, the project charter contributes to the following key success factors:
Structured management organization
The project sponsor is instrumental in providing the PM with a solid understanding of the background of the project.aspx#ixzz14Vm2bOKS Project Charter Example for Every Project Manager Article by Natasha M. Read more: http://www. Included is a brief description for each section along with an explanation of the contents of the section and the rationale for including that section in the project charter.com/office/projectmanagement/articles/5161. since it outlines an agreement among the project stakeholders of what the project will deliver and how. 2010 Related Guides: Project CharterProject ScopeMedia Gallery The following guidelines explain the project charter contents. having a project charter will provide the following benefits: • • • • • • • Improved client partnerships and other relationships Improved project management processes Improved headquarter/regional communications Better project sponsorship Recognition of senior management’s role Improved on-time and on-budget delivery of projects Progress towards industry best practices Who is Responsible for the Project Charter? The project manager (PM) has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the project charter is developed and approved. the key sections of the project charter are outlined. Baker (4.brighthub. The project sponsor provides support and approval for the project charter. In the article Project Charter Example For Every Project Manager.707 pts ) Edited & published by Rebecca Scudder (23. .• • • • Disciplined management processes Project governance Project management best practices Internal/external communications Furthermore. The development of the project charter should be a team effort. In addition a project charter template is available to download from the Project Management Media Gallery.305 pts ) on Aug 11.
what should you be sure to include in this form? Every project charter should consist of at least three primary components: • • • Project Overview Section Project Approach Section Project Approval Section Depending on the nature of your project and the project management methodology being used. being careful to note boundaries and limitations. Project Background: Give any background information that will help explain how the project came to be. additional sections may be required. it will be easier for all parties involved – such as the project team. If applicable. Identification: Give the formal name of the project as well as any other terms that might be used to identify the project and the primary groups that will be involved with it. The following guidelines will take a closer look at the items that should be detailed in each of these sections and give a brief explanation of why that information is needed. Purpose / Business Need: Explain why the project is needed. Project Scope: Define the project scope. So. With this consistent terminology. The project scope should be clearly detailed so that all parties involved are very aware of exactly what the project includes as well as what it doesn't. 3. 2. include details of why existing tools or products are inadequate. but we'll restrict ourselves to examining these three components in this article.What Goes in the Project Charter? A project charter is one of many project management forms used in the planning stage of project management – and one of the most crucial documents. Proper construction of a Project Charter can help ensure the success of any project and. taking shortcuts in the preparation of this all-important document can subject your project to numerous pitfalls and unnecessary hold-ups. . likewise. Project Overview Section 1. and end users – to discuss and work on the project. stakeholders. 4.
download the Project Charter Template located in the Media Gallery. Baker (4. Read more: http://www. giving a high-level overview of how and when the project will be completed. state all objectives for the project. Continue on to the next page for information on what should be included in the Project Approach and Approval sections of a Project Charter. 6. remember to include the key milestones of the project. glossary that defines special terms related to the project.aspx#ixzz14VmFCtbm Project Charter Example for Every Project Manager (Page 2 of 2) Article by Natasha M.com/office/projectmanagement/articles/5159. Organization and Responsibilities: Include a summary of all parties that will be involved in the project and what their roles will be. Terminology: Provide a basic. There are several standard components that normally comprise the Project Approach Section.brighthub. Most importantly. be sure to identify the role of each individual listed so that there is no confusion concerning responsibilities later down the line. Project Objectives: Using appropriate business terminology. . or acronyms that might prove to be confusing or new to anyone related to the project. In addition. 2010 Related Guides: Project CharterProject ScopeMedia Gallery go to:page 1 Project Approach Section A Project Charter should also include a Project Approach section. 2.305 pts ) on Aug 11. such as the scope and business need. 1. 8. phrases. If there are any key terms. References: List any related documents or other resources that could be helpful in understanding various aspects of the project. For a description of all components. In the following section are eight key components determined to be the most important. Be sure to include the project's intended purpose in language that is both concise and explanatory.707 pts ) Edited & published by Rebecca Scudder (23. stakeholders. Sponsorship & Ownership: Provide a list of names identifying the major parties involved in the project.5. such as project sponsors. 7. but complete. Project Deliverables and Quality Objectives: List the major deliverables of the project and include when these goals should be achieved. and eventual project owners. be sure to include them in this section.
If certain resources will only be needed during specific phases of the project. Project Resources: In addition to the human component.Also. Process Stages: Give a basic breakdown of the project life cycle. Depending on the size of the project. and project stakeholders. raw materials. it can be quite advantageous to use a project management software tool to produce a schedule that can be monitored and adjusted as the project progresses. such as a Gantt chart (including the associated Work Breakdown Structure) should be included in this section. 3. Project Control: The project control component explains the tools that will be used to assist the project manager in tracking the project's progress. the key milestones and stages of the project. It also serves as a communication device for communicating the project's progress to the project team. Risk mitigation and action steps can be listed. 6. list the needed skills and expertise that each individual brings to the project as well as each person's responsibilities. How to Write a Risk Management Plan. A step-bystep guide for writing a risk management plan is available in the article. Process Options and Deviations: Explain which of your organization's project management methodologies will be employed for this project. In addition. Risk Management: Give an overview of the risks that may be encountered during the project as well as how these risks may be minimized. and list the various stages that your project will go through. 8. and any other resources that might be taxed during the project's life cycle. Project Approval Section The Approval section of a Project Charter may be the simplest section to put together. make note of that as well. but it is one of the most critical in terms of the project's eventual success. a representative from each of these divisions should be listed in the Approval section as well. explain that as well. among other things. if the project will require resources from other departments or groups. project sponsor. 5. what other resources will be needed for satisfactory completion of the project? Provide a list of computer equipment. working space. indicating that each of these individuals is satisfied with the details included in the Project Charter. Various exhibits. Project Schedule: Provide a high-level schedule that lists. 4. 7. The signatures of these individuals will signify that they accept their own responsibilities for successful completion of the project and agree to provide needed support. such tools can be critical to its success. Here. If you plan to deviate from standard means and methodologies. Make sure to include the objectives of each stage and why the stage is necessary. . This section should list all of the names and roles of the major stakeholders along with their signatures.
The ease and flow of project completion is directly due to the care taken with the preparation of a Project Charter.com/office/projectmanagement/articles/5159. For more in-depth information about what a Project Charter is. Conclusion This basic Project Charter can be adapted to fit any organization and an array of projects. An easy to use template for developing a Project Charter is available in the Project Managment Media Gallery. Read more: http://www.References and Additional Information Sources Bright Hub wishes to acknowledge the aid and the valuable resources found in NWCG Project Charter Guidelines. and why it is instrumental in project management. including technology-driven projects. read the article What is a Project Charter. A good Project Charter literally keeps everyone involved in any way on the same page.brighthub.aspx?p=2#ixzz14VmMXWPw .
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