The project charter formally authorizes the project and establishes a partnership between the performing organization and the project’s stakeholders and yet-to-be-named project team.
The charter can be as detailed as is warranted by the project, but it’s usually done only at a high level.
The project charter should contain the following:
- A high-level, broad description of the project.
- The business case, which describes the organizational need and justification for the project's existence, including ROI or other cost/benefit data.
- A statement of work describing the desired product or services, including the business need and linkage to the organization’s strategic plan.
- The project manager assigned to the project and other initial roles (sponsor).
- The major stakeholders and their influences and project interest.
- The expectations of the initiator, sponsor, and stakeholders.
- The requirements of the customer.
- What is necessary to meet everyone’s expectations.
- The measurable success criteria for the project and who’ll sign off and measure those success points when the project is completed.
- A summary budget.
- What are the major milestones and a summary schedule?
- Any assumptions that have been made or constraints that have been established.
Develop Project Charter Process Decomposition
Develop Project Charter Process: Inputs
- Project statement of work
A statement of work is a written description of the project's deliverable. Statements of work can range from informal to very formal, especially when parties outside of the performing organization are involved. It's usually supplied by the external or internal customer, but the project manager should work with the customer, initiator or sponsor to create a statement of work when it doesn't exist.
- Business case
The business case provides the strategic and financial justification for the project.
It includes a narrative and benefit/cost information.
The exact content of the business case will usually depend upon the organization's policies, the type of project, and the effort and cost of the project.
If the project is being undertaken for an organization other than the performing organization then a contract is likely to be involved.
When a contract exists it's an input to the Develop Project Charter because it'll contain information about product requirements, cost, milestones, and procurement requirements.
- Enterprise environmental factor
Any of the many enterprise environmental factors and systems that influence the project should be considered, especially any standards or regulations that may apply and marketplace conditions.
- Organizational process assets
Organizational process assets certainly influence project success, and they are the source of existing policies, templates, processes, organizational data and knowledge, and they should be drawn upon.
These can provide inputs to project management process requirements, help identify stakeholders who may not otherwise be known at this stage, and identify constraints and assumptions.
Develop Project Charter Process: tools and techniques
- Expert judgment
Expert judgment is based on the experience and knowledge of subject matter experts. It's used to assess and evaluate the inputs and the information they contain.
Develop Project Charter Process: outputs
- Project charter
The project charter formally authorizes the project and the project manager. It also provides the business case, objectives, and success criteria of the project. The charter provides the framework for project planning activities.