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Project Charter Guide :

A Project Charter is a formal document prepared by the project initiator or sponsor. This document formally defines the project’s identity and provides the project manager with the authority to proceed.

Key Elements of a Project Charter

1. Project Objectives and Reasons for Project Initiation: This section outlines the primary objectives of the project and the reasons for its inception within the organization.
2. Project Success Criteria from the Perspective of the Client and Organization: In this part, the criteria for measuring the project’s success are specified.
3. High-Level Project Requirements: This section details the initial specifications and essential project requirements.
4. Description of Constraints Imposed by the Organization: It identifies the units and constraints that the project must comply with.
5. Key Deliverables of the Project: This section lists the essential project elements that must be delivered.
6. High-Level Project Risks: Risks that the project may encounter are identified in this section.
7. Project Milestones Table and List: Important project milestones and their timing are specified in this section.
8. Predefined Resources by the Organization: People and resources assigned in advance for project execution are mentioned in this section.
9. List of Key Stakeholders: Primary stakeholders and individuals or organizations significantly influencing the project’s progress are identified in this section.
10. Stakeholders’ Expectations of the Project: This section covers the expectations and requirements of stakeholders concerning the project.
11. Project Output Criteria: Quality criteria for project deliverables are mentioned here.
12. Defining the Project Manager, Responsibilities, and Levels of Authority: The project manager and their precise responsibilities and authority are specified in this section.
13. Names and Authorities of Supporters and Other Key Persons in the Project: Individuals or other organizational units supporting or holding authority over the project are identified here.

This Project Charter serves as a foundational document, providing clarity and direction for the project and the project manager. It also ensures that key stakeholders understand the project’s purpose, objectives, and expectations.

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Inputs Required for Creating a Project Charter :

1. Business Documents Relevant to the Project Charter :

1.1. Business Case: Many organizations require a strong business case for project investment. A business case outlines the reasons for the project’s existence.

which may include:

1.1.1 Changes in market demand.
1.1.2. Organizational needs for business expansion.
1.1.3. Customer requests for new products or services.
1.1.4. Technological advancements driving the need.
1.1.5. Legal requirements or compliance.
1.1.6. Environmental impacts and sustainability considerations.
1.1.7. Social needs and corporate responsibility.

1.2. Benefit Management Plan:

The Benefit Management Plan is a document that outlines how the organization manages benefits. It specifies how benefits are identified, tracked, and optimized. This plan guides how the organization can maximize the value it gains from the project.

2. Agreements and Contracts:

Any formal agreements or contracts related to the project are crucial inputs for the Project Charter. These legal documents define the obligations, responsibilities, and terms of engagement with various parties involved in the project.

3. Enterprise Environmental Factors:

Enterprise Environmental Factors include external factors beyond the control of the project manager that can have both positive and negative impacts on the project. These factors are critical in understanding the project’s context. They may also serve as constraints or opportunities for the project.

4. Organizational Process Assets:

Organizational Process Assets consist of various resources, processes, policies, procedures, templates, lessons learned, and historical information from previous projects. These assets provide guidance and historical data that can be beneficial in structuring and managing the project effectively. They help in maintaining consistency and applying best practices.
These inputs are essential for developing a comprehensive Project Charter, as they provide the necessary context, justification, and constraints that shape the project’s boundaries and objectives.

Tools and Techniques for Creating a Project Charter :

1. Expert Judgment Techniques:

Expert judgment involves seeking input and guidance from knowledgeable individuals or subject matter experts. Experts provide valuable insights and help ensure the accuracy and completeness of the project charter.

2. Data Gathering Techniques:

Data gathering techniques are used to collect essential information and data that are needed to define the project’s objectives and boundaries effectively. This can include market research, surveys, and analysis of existing documentation.

3. Brainstorming Method:

Brainstorming is a creative technique used to generate ideas and identify potential project objectives, constraints, and assumptions. It encourages open and spontaneous idea generation from team members.

4. Focus Groups Method:

Focus groups involve facilitated discussions with a selected group of stakeholders. They can help identify key project requirements, expectations, and constraints.

5. Interviews Techniques:

Interviews with relevant stakeholders, such as the project sponsor, potential team members, and key stakeholders, provide an opportunity to gather in-depth information and insights about the project.

6. Interpersonal and Team Skills:

Interpersonal and team skills are essential for effective communication and collaboration during the charter development process. Skills such as conflict management, facilitation, and meeting management are crucial for productive interactions.

7. Meetings Techniques:

Meetings can be used to bring key stakeholders together to discuss and define the project’s objectives, constraints, and assumptions. Meetings can help facilitate the collaborative process of charter development.

Outputs of the Project Charter Process:

1. Project Charter: The primary output of this process is the Project Charter itself. It is a formal document that outlines the project’s objectives, constraints, assumptions, and the roles and responsibilities of key project stakeholders.
2. Assumption Log: The Assumption Log is a document that records all assumptions made during the charter development process. Assumptions are often the basis for identifying and managing risks in the project, making this log a critical reference.

Important Notes:

1. If the Project Charter needs significant changes, it is essential to revisit the business case and feasibility study to ensure the project’s continued justification.
2. A project without a Project Charter lacks a formal existence, and a project manager has not been officially designated for it.
3. The Project Charter is typically prepared by the project sponsor or senior management, and it is advisable to seek approval from the project manager.
4. All information in the Project Charter should align with the project sponsor’s and organization’s expectations and requirements.
5. It is beneficial to select the project manager before charter development, as their input can be valuable during the process.
6. Choosing the project manager during the feasibility study phase is considered ideal for project planning and charter development.

Author: Arash Beyazian Serkandi & Hamid Hoseinnasab

Eizat Alhayat Project management Services

Topic: Creating a Project Charter Using the PMBOK Standard.