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Components of a Project Charter

Components of a Project Charter
By Anna Schäfer

Every CI (Continuous Improvement) event or project starts with a Project Charter. The PMBOK book says you start with Stakeholder identification before you make a charter.

This document is best achieved using tables in MS Word. The components of a charter can vary from project to project, however the most common ones are:

  • Date of Project Charter creation
  • Date of Revision
  • Project Manager’s Name
  • Project Name
  • Type or Commodity (product or service)
  • Project Statement (why we are doing this project)
  • Current State
  • Desired State (what success looks like)
  • Contract Expiration (if applicable)
  • Diversity Supplier Potential Opportunity (what an interesting thing to point out!)
  • Stakeholders (list who are negatively and positively affected by the project)
  • Saving Opportunity (quantify it)
  • Describe Current Process or Metrics (what’s going wrong)
  • Describe Future Process or Metrics (what the goal is, mention numbers)
  • Customers (list who the customers are, internal, external, all of them)
  • Customer Requirements (what do they expect, remember we do this for them)
  • Risks (every project has a risk, quantifiable or not)
  • Estimated Project Expense (travelling expenses, subcontracting, etc)
  • Team Members
  • Executive Sponsors (who will approve the charter and modifications to the charter)
  • Steering Committee Members (some names may cross the stakeholder’s list)
  • Project Timeline: milestone (phase 0, phase 1, etc), deliverable (example: prepare contract), status (on time, past due, etc) and due date
  • Approval signatures by phase

Anna Schäfer is currently a Supply Chain Manager working in the biotechnology industry with over twelve years experience, mostly in the aerospace industry. Read the Complete Article

An Example of a Project Charter

An Example of a Project Charter
By Merrie Barron and Andrew R. Barron

Introduction

  • Overview of the ProjectProvide a simple but precise statement of the project.
    • Example 1Rice University is planning to create a store to sell computer supplies.
  • Purpose of the Project Charter

    This Project Charter outlines the purpose, objectives, and scope of the project. The purpose of a Project Charter is:

    • to provide an understanding of the project, the reason it is being conducted and its justification
    • to establish early on in the project the general scope
    • to establish the project manager and his or her authority level

    A note of who will review and approve the Project Charter needs to be included.

    • Example 2The Project Charter will be reviewed by the project team and approved. The final approval will be the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Project Objective and Scope Objective

    The objective of the project should “clearly stated” and contain a “measure” of how to assess whether they have been achieved.

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The Project Brief

The Project Brief
By Mark Norman

The Project Brief is a key quality document used when we begin a project, it is a powerful tool and there to help us. Its purpose is to provide a clear definition of the project’s direction and scope and forms the ‘contract’ between the project team and corporate management. Once the document has been approved, any significant change to the material contained in the Project Brief will need to be referred to corporate or program management for re-approval.

The document will define the requester’s acceptance criteria and the required final objectives and outcome. It will detail the constraints and assumptions that impact on those responsible for the project. It will also highlight an outline business case along with any known risks. This level of detail will allow management to make a considered decision on whether to proceed with the request.

On gaining approval to proceed, the contents of this document will be used to form the Business Case as well as the Project Initiation Document. Read the Complete Article

Increase the Effectiveness of Projects by Using Project Management Templates

Increase the Effectiveness of Projects by Using Project Management Templates
By Michael Stanleigh

Project Management Tools and Templates are critical components for consistent project management delivery and research shows that they help improve the success rate for projects.

Recent research shows that senior management and Project Management Offices are struggling with the issue of consistency in the management of their projects and there is a significant opportunity for organizations to improve their productivity, market share and shareholder value through improved management of their projects. Using project management templates is a good way to ensure consistency of project delivery. To create your templates you should give consideration to the following factors.

1. Establish Project Governance

Establish your terms of governance. This can be done through a PMO or management committee. Governance establishes decisions that:

  • Define expectations for how projects will be managed.
  • Grant power to those responsible for the successful management of projects.

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Fundamental Elements of a Project Scope Document

Fundamental Elements of a Project Scope Document
By Justin Phipps

For project management to be successful, documentation and communication are critical. With a formal, written Project Request in hand, followed by a hosted requirement review and creative meeting with stakeholders, you’re now ready to lock down the details in a Scope Document.

I’m not fooling myself to think a Marketing person will enjoy writing out every detail of every project. What I can promise is the solace of knowing you have documentation if scope creep rears its ugly head.

In this article, I’ll provide you the basic structure of a Scope Document. The level of detail is up to you since, initially, it’s important that you simply begin the process of documentation. This format may change over time to meet the unique requirements of your organization and the clients with whom you interact.

  • Project Description – Provide a summary of the project, including the problem/opportunity, goals/objectives and any information that will help the team understand the need for the project.
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A Project Charter for Lazy Teams

A Project Charter for Lazy Teams
By James King

I have been creating a couple of articles on this context recently – the idea is that if you know a bit about your users and the product that you are building. Both can take months or years, but I like to think we can even spend an hour or less to understand our project.

When you think about it though, shouldn’t we do a similar thing to define our project purpose when we start the project. I guess the answer is yes, but it could turn into a lot of work. So what we need is an easy, lazy approach.

This is what I think you can do on just about any project.

  1. Define the problem you are meant to solve.
  2. Define your scope.

  3. Flavor to taste:

    1. Consider PAC (People, Activities, Context) to define the users

    2. Consider defining your product

    3. Consider adding an estimate

    4. Consider listing risks and other bad stuff

Paragraph one – choose one of these problem statements

  • Problem statement from the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott (you should really read this book if you want to be both lazy and successful at the same time):
    • The problem we have is ….

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Why Project Debriefs Are Important

Why Project Debriefs Are Important
By Laura Townson

I think it goes without saying, that when it comes to our work, many of us are fearful of the mistakes we make and the repercussions they may cause. But mistakes don’t necessarily need to be perceived as failures, provided we find value in them; and the most obvious way to achieve this, is by learning from every mistake we make.

More often than not, organizations overlook this integral step in project management. Whether it is due to time constraints, worries of offending one’s colleagues, or perhaps the lack of knowledge on how to conduct an effective debriefing meeting, we miss out on the opportunity to evaluate our performance and learn how we can enhance and improve our approach in future endeavours.

When done properly, debriefing can harvest invaluable information about how to progress in the future, thus helping an organization sustain growth and overcome challenges. Read the Complete Article

Financial Control Of Projects

Financial Control Of Projects
By The Office of Government Commerce – OGC, UK

Purpose

Established and effective cost control systems and procedures, understood and adopted by all members of the project team, entail less effort than ‘crisis management’ and will release management effort to other areas of the project.

Fitness for purpose checklist

  • The prime objective of the government’s procurement policy is to achieve best VFM.
  • To exercise financial/cost control, project sponsors need to review and act on the best and most appropriate cost information. This means that they should receive regular, consistent and accurate cost reports that are both comprehensive in detail and presented in a manner that permits easy understanding of both status and trends. Reports need to be tailored to suit the individual needs of each project and should always be presented to give a comparison of the present position with the control estimate.
  • Reports to project sponsors normally give only the status of the project overall.
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The Generic Project Schedule

The Generic Project Schedule
By Clifford Ananian

Although every project is unique, and its execution plan is specific to its goals and objectives, there are some common rules and tendencies of project schedules that are not project specific.

The purpose of this article is use a simplistic “generic” schedule to illustrate some of these rules and tendencies. The schedule attached below is “generic”. It is a “straw man”. Many who read this will justifiably critique many of the activities, task durations, and links. Because the schedule is “generic”, it lacks depth and detail. However flawed this “generic” schedule may be, it illustrate some guiding principles that govern project execution and reinforces some basic “Rules of Thumb” that are common to most projects.

Generic Schedule

Generic Schedule – Click to Open (PDF)

Schedule Assumptions

Before highlighting some general conclusions that can be drawn from this schedule, it is proper to address the basic assumptions. Read the Complete Article

Key Stakeholder Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM)

Key Stakeholder Responsibility Allocation Matrix (RAM)
By Michael D. Taylor

Projects are done with groups of people. Groups lacking clearly defined leadership, however, typically fail to complete assigned activities because responsibility is ambiguous at best. Project teams as a whole generally do not feel responsible for their actions. Individuals, on the other hand do. Hence, to complete projects, responsibility for tasks must be specifically delegated to individuals. This is the purpose of the Responsibility Allocation Matrix. It establishes individual project responsibility on a task-by-task basis among the team members.

The Responsibility Allocation Matrix is a project management tool, a simple tool with only one purpose–It identifies who is to do what.
The Responsibility Allocation Matrix does not show when or how much – this information is provided in other tools. Instead, the Responsibility Allocation Matrix answers the question: “Who needs to do what to deliver the end-of-phase or end-of-project results?”

A simplified RAM is shown below:

Responsibility Project Manager Sponsor Functional Managers Customer Project Team Leaders
Meet project goals 1 2,4 2,4 2 2,4
Issue project charter 2 1 2 2 4
Provide skilled personnel 4 1 2
Define product requirements 2 3 2 1
Develop the project plan 1 3 2 3 2,4
Provide funding to project 1
Control changes to project plan 1 3 3,4 3 2,4

Legend: 1=Primary responsibility 2= Provides inputs 3=Approval authority 4= Overall support

Two other RAMs will be developed later; one between the project managers and the team leaders, and the other will be at the team level. Read the Complete Article

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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