What is a Project Charter? The Complete Guide

Trending 1 year ago

Project charters supply a guiding airy for immoderate caller initiative. So, whether you enactment arsenic a task manager oregon operations professional, you’ll request to go a pro astatine penning these documents.

team discusses a task absorption charter successful an office

Click Here to Get HubSpot's Project Management Tool

Besides providing you with the authorization to statesman projects, project charters assistance you merchantability your project’s viability to stakeholders. This papers volition besides assistance get your full squad connected committee with your plans and deadlines.

In this guide, we’ll research everything you request to cognize astir task charters. We’ll cover:

  • What is simply a task charter?
  • The Benefits of Creating Project Charters
  • How to Write a Project Charter
  • The Anatomy of a Project Charter
  • Project Charter Examples
  • Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Project Charter

What is simply a task charter?

A task charter is simply a one- to two-page papers containing cardinal accusation that stakeholders request to spot earlier they authorize an initiative. Project charters usually see task objectives, task scope, task risks, and more. Project absorption teams notation this papers passim a project’s lifecycle.

The Benefits of Creating Project Charters

“The task charter is specified an important papers that a task cannot beryllium started without one,” says Rita Mulcahy, a renowned task manager, trainer, and author. This papers tin support your squad connected way to execute your task objectives connected deadline.

Here are different benefits of creating a well-written task charter:

  • You’ll determine connected a task budget.
  • You tin specify the task outcome.
  • You’ll debar scope creep and conscionable your deadlines.
  • You tin get stakeholders’ buy-in for your project.
  • You tin acceptable the expected commencement and extremity dates of the project.
  • You tin intelligibly explicate however your task goals align with organizational objectives.

Next, we’ll research champion practices for penning a task charter.

How to Write a Project Charter

When penning your task absorption charter, it’s important to get it close from the onset. “You shouldn’t alteration a task charter aft its approval,” says Mary Beth Imbarrato, writer of The Project Roadmap. Last-minute changes tin marque stakeholders question the project’s feasibility.

This step-by-step usher volition assistance you constitute a large task charter from the get-go.

1. Gather insights from your task team.

Talking to your squad members is indispensable erstwhile creating task charters. Your colleagues tin assistance you acceptable realistic task timelines. They tin besides assistance you uncover the goals, scope, and hazard mitigation plans for the project.

“You should acceptable speech clip for your squad members to sermon the project, however they privation to attack it, and what's their existent bandwidth,” says Will Yang, Head of Growth at Instrumentl. “Doing this ensures your task squad is connected the aforesaid page.”

2. Store the charter successful a cardinal location.

To foster collaboration, store your task charter successful a cardinal hub truthful squad members tin remark connected and edit it.

This gives everyone a consciousness of ownership of the project. Programs similar Google Drive and Dropbox connection co-editing capabilities.

3. Keep the task charter brief.

You whitethorn beryllium tempted to seizure each item successful your task charter. But remember: You should spell in-depth successful your task readying document, not successful the task charter.

"Stakeholders won’t person the clip to work a verbose 15 pages charter due to the fact that they person different priorities,” advises Konstandinos Christofakis, caput of selling astatine ULTATEL. “That’s wherefore charters should beryllium a high-level overview of projects, stay abbreviated capable to beryllium useful, and agelong capable to beryllium valuable."

If accusation is digestible, the chances of task support rise, according to Christofakis.

4. Add visuals to your charter.

Using images oregon plan elements tin assistance amended the readability of your task charter and support your papers brief.

For instance, if you privation to outline a lengthy connection program oregon milestone successful your charter, a Gantt illustration tin help. These charts besides basal retired successful the task charter, allowing squad members to notation them easily.

Project charter timeline example

Image Source

5. Create a task charter template.

Have you written a task charter successful the past? Or possibly the papers you conscionable completed is simply a masterpiece. Turn these documents into templates that you tin usage successful the future.

Having a template for your task absorption charter helps you prevention clip and support consistency successful the future. This attack to task charters besides ensures you don’t skip important elements successful your document.

Pro tip: If you don’t already person a template, you tin browse options online. HubSpot offers a escaped task charter template that you tin download astatine immoderate time.

Image Source

Now that you cognize the basics of creating task absorption charters, let’s spell implicit the anatomy of a task charter.

The Anatomy of a Project Management Charter

After processing a task charter, task managers nonstop them to the task sponsor to get approval. A sponsor whitethorn see the government, idiosyncratic financier, oregon apical absorption of the enactment executing the project.

Here are the elements your task charter needs to get support from sponsors.

1. Project Objective

The task nonsubjective is the high-level crushed for undertaking the project. Tying objectives to your institution goals is simply a superb mode to pique stakeholders’ involvement successful your project.

Pro tip: Use the SMART framework to marque your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

2. Project Overview

Your task overview goes into greater item astir the timeline and ownership of a project. This conception outlines details similar the task name, task sponsor, task Manager, expected commencement and completion dates, and estimated budget.

Pro tip: Add a array to your task overview. This makes accusation skimmable and casual to find.

Project charter overview template, HubSpot

Image Source

3. Project Deliverables

This is simply a database of the services oregon products the task squad volition supply to stakeholders. Be wide connected what your squad is delivering to debar immoderate disagreements that’ll marque you widen your deadline.

4. Project Scope

The task scope explains the boundaries of the project. While PMs typically constitute elaborate task scopes, keeping it little successful the task charter is simply a champion practice. Why? You tin make a elaborate scope connection successful the task readying phase.

5. Project Stakeholders

This is simply a database of the names and responsibilities of the parties progressive with a project. Stating who’s liable for antithetic tasks holds your squad members accountable.

6. Project Risks

Outlining the risks to a task volition assistance you place blockers to the occurrence of your task and their imaginable impact. Doing this enables you to devise hazard mitigation strategies.

Pro tip: Create a array of imaginable risks. Be definite to explicate wherefore the hazard poses a menace to your task and the mitigation strategies you program to enact.

Project charter hazard template, HubSpot

Image Source

7. Project Resources

Always make a database of resources your task volition need. And that’s not conscionable money. Your resources should see squad members, facilities, equipment, and different indispensable items which are captious to the occurrence of your project. This helps you relationship for everything you request to instrumentality the task to the decorativeness line.

Project charter resources template, HubSpot

Image Source

Project Charter Examples

1. Project Management Charter for Lean Six Sigma

project charter example, thin six sigma

Image Source

This illustration task charter follows the Lean Six Sigma format, 1 methodology for task management. Teams that already usage this model whitethorn opt to operation their task charter successful this way.

What we like: The Lean Six Sigma task charter offers a wide scope of work. Project goals besides travel the SMART framework, making however the task volition payment the institution highly clear.

Project charter limitations: While this charter outlines cardinal information, including the task extremity and occupation statement, immoderate cardinal accusation is missing. The process proprietor didn’t authorities the task costs oregon risks. If you emulate this format, beryllium definite to see this information.

2. Project Management Charter for Website Redesign

Image Source

In this task charter, the University of Guelph explores precisely what its web squad indispensable bash to redesign the school’s room website. That includes each of the indispensable stakeholders and who’s owning the project.

What we like: This task has a well-defined scope and timeline. Sponsors cognize precisely who is moving connected what and when.

Project charter limitations: While this task explores the risks associated with the project, mitigation plans would amended this conception of the document.

Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Project Management Charters

1. Missing a Clear Purpose Statement

Every task should person a wide extremity and purpose. But sometimes, the superior nonsubjective becomes unclear. To combat this, use the illusory information effect, which states the usage of repeated accusation increases understanding.

Lauren Carter, main advisor astatine Lauren Ashley Consulting, says she uses this strategy to assistance her squad retrieve the intent of projects. In Lauren’s words:

“Project members often suffer the ‘North Star’ successful the heavy of the work. One effectual mode I forestall this is by having a wide intent connection successful the charter, which I repetition successful respective ways passim the project’s lifecycle."

"This tin beryllium arsenic a header connected task documents, putting it astatine the apical of timelines oregon charts, oregon utilizing it arsenic a metric against which you measure planned and unplanned activities that arise.”

2. Creating a Charter Mid-project

Project charters should footwear disconnected your initiative. Writing this papers halfway done tin pb to scope creep, ill-defined responsibilities, and confusion.

“Changing the task charter aft initiation and readying means you’ll person to reappraisal immoderate enactment you’ve completed and adjacent rework immoderate completed tasks,” says Mary Beth Imbarrato, a 25-year seasoned successful the task absorption industry.

She adds, “This tin pb to delays, elevated costs, and make much task risks.”

Mary Beth besides says changes to the charter whitethorn interaction however squad members presumption a project. The result? Reduced committedness and engagement.

The bottommost line: Creating the charter earlier starting the task volition assistance you debar scope creep, forestall wasted clip by redoing work, and support other risks to your task astatine bay.

3. Ignoring Your Company’s Project Charter Template

Using existing task charters arsenic templates tin prevention you clip and guarantee consistency.

Instead of creating caller charters from scratch, petition a illustration of a completed charter papers the institution liked and usage it arsenic your template. This template volition assistance you recognize however your enactment prefers to contiguous ideas, allowing you to travel suit and statesman projects connected the close foot.

Start New Project Without Missteps

A well-thought-out charter is simply a roadmap for achieving your task objectives successful grounds time.

Get started by gathering input from your squad and creating a task charter that volition get the greenish airy from stakeholders.

New Call-to-action

Source Marketing