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The Project Charter: A Concise Definition
By Jeremy Siegel, Northwest University

The project charter is constantly the subject of misinterpretation by many in the PM realm. Below is an accurate, concise, and clear definition of the project charter. The importance of the below definition is that it highlights the authority of the project charter especially when it comes to clearing out ambiguities and resolving high level conflicts during the execution of the project.

The Project Charter is a document that authorizes the project. It also names and empowers the project manager. Objectives of the project are established, and scope of the project is recorded. Another important aspect of the project charter is that it gives definition to what the finished product should be.

The significance of the charter endures beyond the initiating phase of the project; it serves as the unifying document for the stakeholders for the duration of the project. If disagreements arise between groups of shareholders regarding the direction of the project, the project manager can refer the parties to the approved charter.

As part of the overall project management process, the project charter is the deliverable of the initiating phase and transitions the project to the planning phase.

Northwest University opened to students on October 1, 1934. It is a regionally accredited institution awarding associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees.

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