Project Charter

The final output of the initiation process it an authorization for a project which satisfies the expectation of stakeholders. That document is commonly known as Project Charter. It is also common to call that document ‘statement of work’, ‘project proposal’, ‘statement of objective’ or ‘performance work statement’. Generally, the Project Charter should answer questions like “What are we trying to do?”, “what are alternative options” and how are we going to perform the work?”

What should Project Charter include?

The content of the project charter varies depending on the type of the project and the organization nature. However, it should include below sections:

  • Project name
  • Background

This section describes the background of the problem/opportunity and explains how meeting the objectives of the project would lead the organization to overcome a challenge/ boost its rank among other competitors.  Applying ‘Fishbone analyses’ and ‘5 Whys’ helps to have a deeper understanding of the background of the project

  • Goal statement

It would complement what was explained it background section. The objectives should be specific, measurable and time-bound.

  • Key metrics

Depending on the objective and the nature of the project the delivered value of the project would be measured. Return on Investment, customer satisfaction, the percentage of sale growth are examples of the metrics which measure the extent to which the objectives of the project are achieved.

  • Project scope

As the project goes forward, It is very likely that the scope changes. Therefore, the PM should have a deep understanding of the project’s scope of work. This section answers questions like “what is to be done?”, “What are alternative options?” and “what are off-limits?”

  • High-level Milestone

The major event of the project should be included in the charter. However, the details of the schedule and would be described in more details in the Project Management Plan.

  • Schedule budget

 The Grand total budget for the project should also be included

  • Information about the project manager name responsibility authority

This includes the PM names, his/her responsibilities and a brief explanation of the work the PM does as well as the PM authority limit concerning i.e. whether or not the PM is permitted to request resources or to sign a contract on his own

  • Sponsor support declaration

It means a formal declaration about delegation of the task from project sponsor or customer to the Project Manager. This can be done differently in different origination but generally, the charter should be finalized and approved by three signatures:

  1. The project Leader as the person who takes on the project.
  2. The finance person who agrees on the benefits and cost.
  3. The champion who approve the lunch the project.

Mohammad Farah Bakhsh, July 2017



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