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Thursday, 25 January 2007 17:31

Project Charter

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To begin the project, a project charter is needed. The project charter is a formal document that brings the project into existence. The project charter is a small document but one that is extremely important to getting a project started in the right direction. The essential components of the project charter are simple. First, it formally authorizes the project to begin and names the project manager. It will also contain a brief business case showing the justification for the project.

The project manager writes the project charter, but it must be distributed under the signature of the person who is authorized to create the project and funding for the project. It would make no sense to have project managers creating and authorizing their own projects. However, it is important that the project manager actually write the project charter. This is because it is the first opportunity for the project manager to define the project as he or she sees it.

The Project Charter also:

  • Keeps others informed
  • Provides an early statement of direction
  • Outlines problems and opportunities
  • Aids in authorization of Project
  • Provides some reassurance to performing organization that they will receive some positive return


Once the charter is present, the project manager is named. The project manager then assembles the project team and begins the planning processes. The Project Charter does not come from the project sponsor; it comes from a manager outside of the project. On the exam the charter is from Senior Management. In addition, the Project Charter doesn't launch the project; it names and authorizes the project manager.

Reasons to Charter a Project:

  • Market Demand
  • Business need
  • Customer Request
  • Technological advance
  • Legal Requirement
  • Social Need   


The Project Charter should address:

  • Requirements to satisfy customer, sponsor and other stakeholder needs, wants and expectations.
  • Business needs, high level project description or product requirements
  • Project purpose or justification
  • Assigned project manager and level of authority
  • Summary milestone schedule
  • Stakeholder influences
  • Functional organizations and their participation
  • Organizational, environmental and external assumptions
  • Business case and ROI
  • Summary Budget


Read 5564 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 December 2009 18:51

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