The purpose of the project charter is to formally recognize the existence of a new project or the next phase of a project. Content and format guidelines for this document are prescribed by the organization’s policy and vary from company to company. The initiation of the selected project is formally documented and communicated through the project charter and it provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to begin project activities.
The project charter should be created by the Project Sponsor and Project Manager and issued to all affected organizations in the company to inform them of the start of a project. The distribution of the Project Charter paves the way for inter-organizational cooperation and should minimally take the form of a memo or e-mail from the project sponsor to everyone who will contribute to or be impacted by the project. Further, the project sponsor and project manager should meet directly with managers and key contributors in the affected organizations to obtain their personal support for the project.
Templates for the project charter may be standard to an organization and should include:
- The names of both the project manager and sponsor
- A statement of the overall project purpose and the execution authorization
- Specific management objectives for the project
- An estimated duration of the project
- The priority of the project relative to other organizational initiatives
- The extent of and limits to the project manager’s authority and accountability
- A description of known assumptions and constraints, including expected completion time and resources limitations, that may directly effect the project
- Complete the Project Charter from the template
- Identify all the stakeholders and organizations potentially affected by the project
- Formally communicate the project authorization in writing or electronically
- Follow-up by meeting with key project stakeholders in person to discuss expectations and concerns
Owner of This Step
- Project Sponsor with the Project Manager
John F. Filicetti, PMP, MBA
John Filicetti is a Sr. Sales Engineer/PM-PMO-PPM Consultant with a great depth of experience and expertise in enterprise project management, project management methodologies, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Project Management Offices (PMOs), Governance, process consulting, and business management. John has directed and managed project management teams, created and implemented methodologies and practices, provided project management consulting, created and directed PMOs, and created consulting and professional services in such areas as project portfolio management, Governance, business process re-engineering, network systems integration, application development, infrastructure, and complex environments. John has enjoyed many years as PMO Director for large corpoations in the Seattle area and leads the PMO Roundtable discussion group and forum.
John has attained a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education/Technology from Washington State University and an MBA from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.