The project charter is the main document of the project proposal. It contains all relevant information about the project. The project manager, sponsor, and the client should accept the card project before signing contract. It is the basis for subsequent claims. The project charter should contain at least the following information:
- essence and the overall objective of the project (the clarification),
- description of substantive partial tasks,
- implementation schedule,
- cost estimates.
Project charter is not only the presentation of the project and the expected results, but at the same time it is a valuable tool for project management. The main function of the project charter is the presentation of the program of tasks to be realized. It not only clearly define the attributes of the project and the end result, but also identifies the supervising group of persons. Usually, this group include: project sponsor, project manager and team leaders. Project charter defines the role of each of these persons, and provides contact information.
Contents of project charter
In the process of creating the project charter, managers can insert almost any desired information about the project. Sample table of contents of project charter:
- Abstract of the project.
- Overall objective of the project:
- characteristics of the overall project objective,
- description of the subject matter,
- relevance of the project (in particular economic efficiency),
- comparison of the utility of domestic and foreign solutions.
- Partial tasks (subtasks).
- Classification of subtasks.
- Diagnostic and research tasks:
- Directions for further research.
- Results of the project:
- cognitive results,
- utility results,
- economic results.
- Cycle the design process.
- Resources for the execution of the project (financial expenditure).
- Description of evaluation studies.
- Description of the application work.
- Project implementation schedule.
- Cost estimate of the project:
- direct costs,
- indirect costs.
In most projects, the charter is the key success factor, enabling much faster achievement of the goal. With it, manager can accomplish the following tasks:
- authorization of project,
- full definition of business requirements,
- definition of project sponsor,
- identification of the project manager and making him responsible for project implementation,
- delegation of authority from sponsor to the project manager.
It should be also noted that a project charter in various organizations may be called in a different way. Its level of detail can vary depending on the company or project. However, most charters has two main tasks - authorizing and defining work needed to be done.
Project charters (with the exception of the budget) are often shared throughout the company, which increases sense of responsibility between anyone involved in the project.
- Hayes, D. S. (2000, March). Evaluation and application of a project charter template to improve the project planning process. Project Management Institute.
- Ruecker, S., & Radzikowska, M. (2008, February). The iterative design of a project charter for interdisciplinary research. In Proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on Designing interactive systems (pp. 288-294). ACM.
- McKeever, C. (2006). The Project Charter–Blueprint for Success. CrossTalk. The Journal of Defense Software Engineering, 19(1), pp. 6-9.
- PMI (2001). Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® GUIDE). In Project Management Institute.