A project as whole involves many documents. One of the most important of them is Project Charter. Through this article, you can you can clearly understand why starting a project without a project charter is like inviting trouble into the project. You can also see the breakdown of the project charter.
What is Project Charter?
A project charter is a formal project authorization, which documents the mutual understanding of a project’s scope, development, and objectives, while also characterizing the roles and responsibilities of each party involved. In some organizations, it may be called a Statement of Work (SOW), Estimate response document (ERD), or Business case. In reality these are different from Project Charter. These are inputs to Project Charter. It’s a simple to understand document because it is created at the beginning of a project, way before a lot of the planning and analysis have been done. So at the time of the creation of the Project Charter all that is known are things at a higher level (not detailed). Project charter answers the question of what the project is? , Why is it useful and how it is used?
Writing a Project Charter
Writing a project charter is one of the most confusing tasks in the project. It starts at the very beginning of a project. The main sections the project charter will include are:
- Name of Project and Project details, which includes Formal authorization and the concerned authorising stakeholders of the project: The description of the project states the need of the project, the solution that this project is going to provide for the organization.
- Project scope: This includes more details about the deliverables and the final product of project.
- Project Managers: The project Charter also outlines the project manager’s roles, and responsibility. It gives them the authorization to assign resources and do various functions that they have to do on their project.
- Milestone Schedules: Since this is prepared before the detailed planning of the project, this only gives high-level milestones and will not be accurate.
- Project Budget: This is the same as in the case of the Milestone Schedule. These are high-level budget. The team will put together a project budget that is allocated for the project.
This document is submitted to project sponsors who are accountable for the project and fund the project. The project sponsors will review the Project Charter and the project. Then they will approve the project by signing off the project charter.
Therefore, the project charter will give you formal authorization to do the project. Now the project can start. The team will be allocated to begin planning. This planning effort produces a project plan, and from this project plan comes the more specific scope, deliverables, timelines, resources, and more specific budget. This is the main difference between the project charter and project plan.