How to Write an Effective Project Charter? Plus Project Charter Templates and Examples

How to Write an Effective Project Charter? Plus Project Charter Templates and Examples

May 22, 2020| slideuplift

What Is A Project Charter?

A Project Charter is a document that formally authorizes the existence of the project. It officially defines the roles and responsibilities, scope, and objectives of the project. The charter provides a direction and a sense of purpose to the project team and, also gives a project manager the authority to use the organizational resources for the project.

It is an important part of the project planning as it is used throughout the project lifecycle.

To summarize, an effective Project Charter should outline the following three aspects related to the project: 

  1. The essence of the Project: Key Goals Objectives and Roadmap for them
  2. Provides adequate information to bring alignment amongst all the stakeholders of the Project – Senior Management, Team, Client, Sponsors, etc. The information like
    • Reasons for undertaking the project
    • Constraints of the project and any possible resolution for the same
    • Items which should be in scope or out of scope
    • Any risks, issues related to the project
    • Budget and  any other FInancial Information
  3. Establishes clear roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved

What Is The Difference Between A Project Plan And A Project Charter?

Project Charter is high-level documents with an overview of objectives, scope, deliverables, and stakeholders of a project. 

Whereas a project plan is quite detailed and guides the project implementation and control. It is a formal document that contains even the minutest details about the project deliverables and roadmap. The project plan has all the required information about the products, milestones, activities, and resources required for the project. 

Why Have A Project Charter? 

  1. To get Senior Management Alignment – It is like an elevator pitch to sell your project idea to the Project Sponsors 
  2. To always have a reference document to refer to during the Project Lifecycle. It acts as a high-level roadmap without going into details. 

How To Write An Effective Project Charter?

The more thorough a project charter is, the better reference it will become for the future. You can include the information which you find most beneficial. Typically, below are a few things you should include in your project charter to make it more persuasive: 

1. First Structure Your Vision For The Project

The vision statement must highlight the purpose and define the end goal of the project. The vision must include the following-

  • Objective
  • Scope
  • Deliverables

2. Ensure The Interests Of All The Stakeholders Of The Project Are Highlighted In The Charter

  • End-user: Who is the end-user in the context of the Project? How will the project fulfill his requirements 
  • Project Sponsor: What are the end goals of Project Sponsor? How will he benefit out of the Project 
  • Project Team: Identify team members and their roles and responsibilities; Ensuring a clear understanding of the lines of reporting between the team members

3. Showcase A High-Level Execution Roadmap Of The Project  

  • Once the vision and project structure is clear, you need to develop a plan to implement it. 
  • List down high-level milestones and project phases that would showcase the entire life cycle of the project.  

4. Highlight Risks, Issues, and Budget 

No Project Charter can be complete without highlighting the potential risks and issues that can derail a project. This section should also include assumptions and constraints related to the project. 

A few Project Charter Template Examples for your reference

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