Essential Project Charter Tips
1. Work collaboratively
Project charters are wonderful because they provide clarity regarding project direction. In order to ensure that all key players are on the same page from the get-go and that your project is built on a collaborative foundation, have your team leaders work together on project charter development. You won't be able to include everyone, but make sure to include project managers, stakeholders, project sponsors and any key experts you deem necessary.
2. Stay organized
This tip might seem obvious, but it's overlooked far too often. A project charter document is no good if it isn't well organized. It should be easy to read and find information. Make sure all your project charter elements are laid out clearly, use headers and include a table of contents where appropriate.
3. Be concise & specific
Specifics are what turn an average project charter into an excellent project charter. We've said it once and we'll say it again... project charters should answer questions, not prompt them. Make sure you provide your reader with all the key details they need to know about your project. Don't speak vaguely; provide specific and measurable information.
Example: If one of your project objectives is capitalizing on your company's social media presence, think: 'We will use our social media presence on X platform to do X, Y & Z in order to achieve X.'
This tip provides an added benefit... thinking about specifics often helps flesh out ideas and separate the good ones from the bad ones.
4. Use a high-quality project charter template
We're not going to lie, putting together your first project charter document can be a daunting task. There a lot to keep in mind and not much room for error. If this is your first project charter (or you just want a little extra help), your life will be made a lot easier by using a high-quality project charter template. If you're still feeling lost, you can also research project charter examples for extra inspiration.
5. Be transparent & seek approval along the way
If you're a team leader working on a project charter document, now is the time to voice concerns and ideas about project direction. Don't be shy; being transparent, asking questions and sharing ideas should absolutely be prioritized at this stage. Project charters act as foundations for entire projects and it only gets more complicated to make changes down the road. Make sure all voices are heard as development continues and seek ongoing feedback & approval before putting together the finished product.
Pro Tip 💡: Hold feedback meetings, either in-person or via video conference. Sometimes document edits and emailing back and forth doesn't cut it. Authentic feedback should be discussed face-to-face, even digitally.
Project charters are your friend
As you can see, there's no reason to fear project charter documents. In fact, project charters are your friend. They're concise, help you get organized, provide direction, and get your whole project team on the same page from the get-go.
Trust us, it's absolutely worth it to invest a little bit of time into assembling a killer project charter document at the beginning of your project planning process. You'll have an invaluable resource to refer back to throughout the rest of your project's development.
When you get going developing your own project charter, make sure to refer back to this resource if you have any questions or require any guidance. We love seeing collaborative projects get completed and become successful!