How to Write a Project Charter
Project Charter is one of the key deliverables as part of the Project Initiation phase. Project Charter is the initial document that formally authorize the project for execution and provide funding. Project charter should be kept summarized & concise. Here are the key 10 items that should be included in a well written Project Charter.
- Project Name / Project ID : This is the unique name, project title or the unique ID that will identify the project.
- Project Description, Objective & Problem Statement: In this section, summarize the details about the project, what outcome are we expecting to achieve and the problem that will be solved after successful completion of the project
- Project Budget : This is the total financial amount the project is approved to onbooard and or procure resource and to execute the project to completion.
- High Level timeline : At this stage PM would be able to only arrive at a roadmap and high level plan which can be added to the charter. Later during the planning stage this will need to be refined further with the full project team.
- Deliverables : Document the deliverables / outcome of the project. What product/service or process will the project create on it successful completion.
- Project Scope : Document clearly what is IN & OUT of scope
- Project Issues, Risk and Mitigation approach : Document the key Issues & Risks identified during the initial stages and document it in the Charter, any mitigation approach thought about can be added for further clarity.
- Assumptions & Constraints : Any assumption made for project initiation & execution as well as any interdependencies can be documented in this section.
- Key Stakeholders & Key team members : Document the key stakeholders name, title and their role in the project. List out Approvers, Reviewers, Core Team and End-Users.
- Success Criteria : What would qualify as a successful completion of the project, document the signoff criteria.
Also remember to keep the details very concise and bullet pointed if required. The idea is not to exceed more than five pages in total. Project Charter needs to be reviewed and signed off by the Project Sponsor so it is extremely important to keep things at a high level without going in to the weeds.