Introduction:

A project charter describes an entire project, from its objectives to how the project is to be carried out and the project's stakeholders. Use our Project Charter Template to guide you through the creation of your project charter document.

A project charter, also known as a business case, project definition, or project statement, is a brief document indicating the scope, objectives, and participants of a project.

Project charters have been around for as long as the concept of work. The Egyptians, for instance, used a form of a project charter to create the pyramids. The Greeks used a project charter to erect the Parthenon.

Granted the project charters created by the latter do not match today's regarding complexity and sophistication. But a project charter of some form was created to foresee a project to completion.

A Project charter document is to be issued by the project initiator or sponsor, to formally authorize the existence of the project, and provide authority to apply organizational resources to the project activities.

Studies show that 70% of projects fail. 3/4 of this failure is attributed to senior management not getting involved, to foresee the project to completion. Other causes include:

  • A lack of communication,
  • Poorly defined project scope,
  • Inadequate management of risk,
  • No use of formal methods or strategies,
  • Inaccurate time and effort estimates,
  • Failure to identify key assumptions

This template has been designed with the above in mind, to guide you, as the user, away from common project pitfalls. For instance, this template has a strong focus on gaining input from senior executives and upper management - with this, statistically speaking, being the most significant cause for project failure.

How to use this checklist

At the beginning of this checklist, you will be presented with a set of specialized questions given as form fields. You are required to populate each form field with your data.

Other features included in this template are:

  • Stop tasks - To ensure task order.
  • Dynamic due dates - To make sure your initiative is reviewed on time.
  • Role assignment - To delegate tasks within your team ensuring your supervisors are appropriately assigned to the review tasks.
  • Approvals - so the relevant manager can give the go-head or rejection on specific tasks, adding comments for any changes to be made.

Record checklist details

In this Project Charter Template, you will be presented with the following form fields for which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information for each form field is provided via linkage to our help pages:

Let's start by recording important information for this checklist.

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot progress in this template until the required form fields are populated.

Your details

Project manager details

Executive sponsor details

Business details

Project details

General information:

Check general project information

Review the general information to ensure it is correct. This information will be sent to the project manager for approval. Approval is a stop task meaning progression in this template cannot occur until approval has been obtained.

General information for {{form.Project_name}}

Project manager: {{form.Manager_name}}

  • Phone: {{form.Manager's_phone_number}}
  • Email: {{form.Manager's_email}}

Executive sponsor: {{form.Executive_sponsor's_name}}

  • Phone: {{form.Executive_sponsor's_name}}
  • Email: {{form.Executive_sponsor's_email}}

Approval: General information

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Check general project information
    Will be submitted

Project scope:

The project scope section will need managerial approval to move forward in this process.

Determine the problem, the project goals, and vision

Define the situation/problem/opportunity in one sentence. This sentence needs to communicate the purpose of the project.

Next, determine the project goals and vision.

Determine in-scope/out-scope

Define the project's in-scope and out-scope.

The scope statement delineates what is in scope (the work required).

  • In-scope refers to the boundaries and requirements of the project. It is all elements that the team plans to address, as well as the work needed to complete it.
  • Out-scope is anything that does not fall within the required functionalities and specifications documented in the scope statement.

Determine project objectives, and deliverables

Determine your project objectives/deliverables.

Project objectives described the desired result of a project. Objectives need to be both tangible, measurable, achievable, realistic, and in-line with the project budget and quality standards.

Detail project assumptions

Detail the assumptions for your project.

A project assumption is a factor in the planning process that is considered to be true, real, or certain often without any proof or demonstration.

Detail project risk and dependencies

Detail project risks and dependencies.

A risk is an event or condition that is likely to happen, which can impact at least one of the project objectives. Risks can happen due to many factors.

A project dependency is a task or activity that is reliant on another. Sometimes referred to as inter-dependencies.

Approval: Project scope

Resource requirements:

The resources requirements section will need managerial approval to move forward in this process.

Determine and document your projects requirements

Detail the resources needed for the completion of the project.

Project resources include people, capital, and/or material goods required for successful project execution.

Use the members form field provided to detail the people to be involved in the project.

Next, detail the project's start and end dates, the project's budget, and any other resources required.

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Determine and document your projects requirements
    Will be submitted

High-level milestones and timeline:

The high-level milestone and timeline section will need managerial approval to move forward in this process.

Develop a high-level milestone plan

Develop a high-level milestone plan.

Use the long-text form field to draft your key events and dates for your project.

A high-level milestone plan identifies and sets important steps in the work and completion of a project, it signifies a change or stage in development. Milestones are powerful components in project management because they show key events and map forward movement in your project plan.

Use the milestone chart templates provided - sources obtained from Office timeline -to detail key project events and dates in a high-level milestone plan.

Note that dates and milestones are subject to change pending final requirements and resource availability.

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Develop a high-level milestone plan
    Will be submitted

Project team roles and responsibilities:

The project team roles and responsibilities section will need managerial approval to move forward in this process.

Detail your project team, their role, and responsibilities

Create a document with a detailed overview of your project team, their roles, and responsibilities.

Use the subtask form field below to ensure you have included all required information:

  • 1
    Team members
  • 2
    Team members roles
  • 3
    Team members responsibilities

Upload your document using the file upload form field provided below:

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Detail your project team, their role, and responsibilities
    Will be submitted

Communication strategy:

The communication strategy section will need managerial approval to move forward in this process.

Detail your communication strategy

Detail your communication strategy.

Effective communication is important to ensure the success of your project. Use this section to plan-out your communication strategy. That is, the project communication efforts required, who will deliver communication efforts, when the communication efforts will be delivered and how.

For example:

What:

  1. Description/title: Kick-off meeting
  2. Description/title: Meeting minutes
  3. Description/title: Action items

Who:

  1. Provider: Project manager. Recipient: Project team.
  2. Provider: Project manager. Recipient: Distribution list.
  3. Provider: Project team. Recipient: Project team.

When:

  1. Frequency: One time only
  2. Frequency: 2 days after meeting by COB
  3. Frequency: TBD

How:

  1. Format: Meeting. Medium/Distribution on method: Face to face. Conference call.
  2. Format: MS word file on a shared drive. Medium/Distribution on method: Email.
  3. Format: MS Excel file on a shared drive. Medium/Distribution on method: Face to face. Conference call.

Project charter summary

Your project charter information has been summarized below for approval by the project's executive sponsor.

This approval step is due 1 day before your project charter's due date.

Note: Please upload the document detailing your project's team roles and responsibilities again, for review by the executive sponsor.

General information for {{form.Project_name}}

Project manager: {{form.Manager_name}}

  • Phone: {{form.Manager's_phone_number}}
  • Email: {{form.Manager's_email}}

Executive sponsor: {{form.Executive_sponsor's_name}}

  • Phone: {{form.Executive_sponsor's_name}}
  • Email: {{form.Executive_sponsor's_email}}
Project scope
  • Problem/situation: {{form.Situation/problem/opportunity}}

Project vision

{{form.Project_vision}}

Project goals

{{form.Project_goals}}

Project scope

Project in-scope: {{form.In-scope}}

 Project out-scope: {{form.Out-scope}}

Project objectives/deliverables

{{form.Project_objectives/deliverables}}

Project assumptions

{{form.Project_assumptions}}

Project risks and dependencies

{{form.Project_risks}}

{{form.Project_dependencies}}

Resource requirements

Project start date: {{form.Project_start_date_2}}

Project due date: {{form.Project_due_date_2}}

Budget: {{form.Project_budget}}

Other: {{form.Other_requirements}}

High-level milestones and timelines

Key project events and dates: {{form.Key_project_events_and_dates}}

Communication strategy

What (title/description): {{form.What_(title/description)}}

Who - Provider: {{form.Who_-_Provider}}

Who - Recipient: {{form.Who_-_recipient}}

When (frequency): {{form.When_(frequency)}}

How - Format: {{form.How_-_format}}

How - medium/distribution on method: {{form.How_-_medium/distribution_on_method}}

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Project charter summary
    Will be submitted

Sign off the project charter

Review and approve the project charter. Consult other relevant personnel if needed.

Executive sponsor sign-off
Senior manager sign-off
Employee manager sign-off

Sources:

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