You can use a Project Charter in discussions with your team, and other stakeholders.
You've just been appointed project manager for a new project. Senior managers have already signed off the project's business case, and you're busy recruiting your full-time project team.
You're also identifying a wider group of people in your organization from whom you'll need to get support for certain project tasks. Some of these people have already been involved in developing the business case, and some are completely new to the project.
As project manager, you'll often need to implement a business case that's already been approved. You'll have team members who have had different levels of involvement in the project so far. The problem is that some of these people may have different views of the project's goals, particularly if the project has been planned over a long period of time.
So, how can you get your team working in a positive and productive manner, and how can you make sure that everyone understands the goals of the project?
This where a Project Charter can help. In this article, we'll review the reasons you might use a Project Charter, and look at the main things that you'll need to include in one.
Project Charters outline project goals, and give an overview of how projects will look and feel while you work on them. You can use Project Charters in discussions with project team members, governance groups, and other stakeholders – either individually or as part of workshops – as a way of ensuring that everyone understands the project's requirements.
Writing a Project Charter forces you to think through the project as a whole. You must understand all of the existing project documentation, consider how you want to approach implementing certain parts of the project, and identify the key points that everyone involved in the project needs to understand.
You can also use a Project Initiation Document (PID) instead of a Project Charter for these purposes as they are very similar documents. However, a Project Initiation Document is usually much more detailed. So a Project Charter is more suited to projects where you don't have the resources to write a detailed Project Initiation Document, or where you want to start work on the project quickly.
You can deliver your Project Charter as a report or a presentation.
The contents of each Project Charter are specific to the project, but they generally include the following:
With the Mind Tools Club, you get much, much more than you do here for free.
And we'll give you the 4 workbooks above when you join!
Learn on the move with the free Mind Tools iPhone, iPad and Android Apps. Short bursts of business training ideal for busy people.