CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC ABOVE TO HEAD TO ALL OF TODAY'S NEWS STORIES
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to Create a Project Charter

METHOD 123: empowering managers to succeed

The best way to get a "Go" for a project is to get anapproved "Project Charter". So read on to find out...
How to Create a Project Charter
Project Charter is a document which outlines the purpose of the project, the way the project will be structured and how it will be successfully implemented. There are typically 5 main sections that must be created in a Project Charter.
Section #1: The Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is the first section in the document right behind the Table of Contents. The purpose of the Executive Summary is to sum up each section of the rest of the document by providing a very high level summary of the project. This includes a summary of the definition of the project, the organization and plan, risks and issues, and any assumptions or constraints that may have an affect on the project.
How should you write the Executive Summary? Picture yourself talking to the CEO of your company. You get right to the point and net things out for them. It's the same thing when you are writing the Executive Summary. Write it as if you are writing it for the CEO of your company and keep it brief and to the point.
When should you write the Executive Summary? Even though it's the first section of the document, it makes most sense to write it after you've written all the other sections. This will allow you to incorporate what you have just written for the other sections.
Section #2: Project Definition (What are We Doing?)
The Project Definition section allows for the opportunity to lay out the details a bit more than what is included in the Executive Summary. However, it should still be kept at a relatively high level. This is where you tell the reader what the project is all about. Standard sections and questions that need to be answered are:
  • Project Vision - What is the big picture that this project is setting out to accomplish?
  • Project Objectives - What are the major business and technology objectives that will be met in order to implement the vision?
  • Project Scope - How far reaching will this project be? Will it be limited to just implementing new technology or will it encompass new processes, applications, and even multiple locations?
  • Project Deliverables - What are the tangible project results that must be delivered to meet the scope, objectives, and vision of this project?
Defining the project by answering the questions above allows for a logical breakdown of the project and how it will meet the big picture that is needing to be accomplished.
Section #3: Project Organization (Who Will Be Doing It?)
The third section of the Project Charter outlines who is involved in this project and what are their roles and responsibilities. This is an especially important section to spend time on when you are putting the Project Charter together.
First, you need to identify the various customer groups that will be using the finished result of the project. This could be either internal or external customers. You won't need to include the name of every customer, but rather break it down by customer groups and include a representative for each group that can serve as a spokesperson on behalf of that group.
Next, identify other stakeholders that are interested in the success of the project but may not necessarily be the end user. This could include company executives from multiple organizations, outside regulators, along with others that have a vested interested in how the project is progressing. Include a brief note next to their group names as to specifically what interests them about the project.
Finally, identify the roles required to undertake the project. Examples include Sponsor, Review Group, Manager, and Team Member. Specifically outline what they can and can't do when it comes to the part they play on the project along with an authority matrix. This will be especially useful when questions come up later about who can request a change or approve an increase in budget.
Section #4: The Project Plan (How Will It Get Done?)
This is another important section in the Project Charter document. This provides a general idea of how the project will be implemented. Components of this section include the Overall Plan, Project Milestones, Dependencies, Resources, Financial Plan and Quality Plan.
This sounds like a lot to include in a document that is supposed to be high level and provide a general understanding. You can tailor this section to fit your needs. A good rule of thumb to follow is to include each section with whatever known information you have at the time of putting the project charter together. You can include caveats and disclaimers along the way that these are budgetary estimates and plans only. A more refined and accurate project plan will be developed during the Planning phase of the project.
Section #5: Project Considerations (What Could Go Wrong?)
Everyone assumes that their projects are going to go swimmingly well. However, there does need to be a reality check as to what could go wrong. That's what this section is all about. Take time to identify and include any Risks that could negatively impact the project along with their likelihood of occurring, impact on the project, and what is being done to mitigate the risk from occurring. Also, you'll want to include any Issues, Assumptions or Constraints that could make or break the project once it gets off the ground.
Once you've put together your Project Charter document and have it signed by the project sponsor, you've been given the green light to move forward.
There's no need to start from scratch when it comes to putting your Project Charter together. Download thisProject Charter Template now.
Get the Green Light
Get approval by using this Project Charter Template.
It helps you:
TickIdentify your project vision and objectives
TickDefine the critical deliverables
TickCreate an organizational structure
TickList any risks, issues, and assumptions.

Or get the complete kit of... Project Management Templates
© Method123 Ltd 2012