A project charter is a formal document used for project planning that allows the start of a project and makes an idea or initiative become a real project. A project charter document is a key internal document used for project planning.
A project charter document is important for a couple of key reasons:
Why you need a project charter?
Information such as project name, project definition, project sponsor, project manager, key stakeholders & core project team members.
This provides an overview of the scope of the project, projected deliverables, and project criteria. Be specific about what's motivating your project and why it's necessary (sometimes referred to as business need).
A specific, concise overview of the scope of the project, the motivations behind it & the most important deliverables.
Giving more context on the "why" of the project and what we are assuming to achieve.
A proper business case helps validate the purpose of the project and gives more validation to the time and resources spent on it.
Pro Tip: Be specific when it comes to your statement of work. This might seem obvious, but defining motivations at the project start can go a long way in terms of future planning and avoiding problems down the road.
To make sure everyone is aware and tuned-in with the goals.
This doesn't need to be set in stone and can be updated in real-time, but should account for the general project lifecycle, major milestones, and end dates.
This helps get an overview of the assumed costs and be aware of the project budget.
Project risks include any known threats to your project's success. Constraints, assumptions, and dependencies refer to other variables that need to be accounted for in your project plan.
Measurable indicators that will clearly demonstrate your project's success. These should always refer back to the purpose of the project.
These documents are valuable to make sure everyone has access to the project resources
A project charter document is an essential component of any large-scale project because it:
Project charter documents can save you a lot of trouble, and who doesn't love that? They ensure that all parties involved have a shared understanding of the goals of the project, ensuring that there's no confusion on deliverables or criteria.
Pro Tip: This is especially important when talking about the scope of the project.
Project charter documents are invaluable organizational resources. Project team members and project managers alike will refer back to it throughout the project's lifecycle.
It's easy for project management to determine your project's value just by glancing at your essential project information and project statement.
An excellent project charter template explicitly sets out all the most important parts of a project, well-placed headers and sign-offs included. This shows all parties involved that your project will be a success and should be taken seriously.
We thought you'd never ask. Start customizing your project charter template by:
An excellent project charter document starts with a strong foundation. At the beginning of your project planning process, take the time to thoroughly brainstorm all the essential elements of your project. Get all the most important project leaders in a room (or conference call) together and develop your vision collaboratively as soon as you can.
Once you've fleshed out the basic foundational elements of your project, collect all the key information you'll need to get your project charter document together. Remember, be specific. All the elements should answer questions rather than prompt them.
By this point, key project leaders should already be established. Now's your chance to put together your dream teams. Make sure to consider all the different departments, fields, and industries that need to be involved, inside and outside your company.
Getting initial approval is what really turns a collection of documents into a project charter. This step normally involves the project manager as well as key sponsors, organizers, and stakeholders.
There you have it! Assembling a high-quality project charter document doesn't have to be an impossible task. Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to getting your project off the ground.
Are you ready to put together a project charter document for your next project? We're thrilled that we've convinced you. In even better news, we have a project charter template that you can use to take the first steps in your project charter development process.
Here at Slite, we're passionate about helping you work with your team collaboratively and efficiently. Forget about emailing documents and excel sheets back and forth and use our free template to keep all the key documents you need in one place. What are you waiting for?