How To Create a Project Charter Step by Step (Plus Tips and Examples)

Le processus de présentation et d’approbation d’un projet peut paraître frustrant si vous ne l’avez jamais vécu. Mettez donc toutes les chances de votre côté pour réussir cette étape en obtenant les bonnes informations et en les présentant de manière pertinente aux parties prenantes du projet. Dans cette démarche, la charte de projet est sans doute l’outil idéal.

How To Create a Project Charter

Project management charter template example

The charter will typically include the following sections:

1. Project title

Make sure that the title is descriptive. A good project title should inform the reader about the type of project, as well as give them some insight into why you’ve started the project.

2. Project team

Each role should be supported by a job description that acknowledges the skills, performance criteria and responsibilities. You should also include the name, department, telephone number and email of each individual.

3. General project description and background

What is the purpose of this project? Why was it conceived? This is where you briefly outline project motivations and goals.

4. Objectives

Describe the SMART (smart, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) goals of the project (e.g., reduce expenses by $1 million or increase output by 10 million units).

5. Deliverables

List the outputs that will be created (e.g., improved distribution process, faster employee onboarding process).

6. Scope

Describe what is and isn’t included in the project (e.g., this project will address departments that report to the Director of Finance. Units that report to the Director of Operations are not included). The scope of the project should concentrate on answering the following questions:

7. Milestones

Estimate important start and end dates for the various phases of the project (e.g., inception, elaboration, planning, transition, construction and delivery) and other significant milestones. It’s highly recommended by experts to create a visual diagram that explains how each phase will be tackled. Many project leaders use a Gantt chart, which summarizes the plan.

8. Budget

A project financial plan acknowledges all of the costs associated with the project. These expenses are budgeted in such a way that allows them to be allocated within the available resources. Once this has been completed, the financial plan will dictate how much can be spent on each task in order to remain within the budget. A significantly more detailed financial plan may be created during the planning stage.

9. Constraints

List any situations that may limit the options in regard to resources, personnel or schedule (e.g., limited budget, project completion date, number of team members that may be allocated to the project).

10. Assumptions

Identify the statements that were made from which a conclusion was obtained. Document the facts, statements or interpretations that are not expected to change for the entire duration of a project.

11. Risks

Pinpoint any major risks that may cause the project to not succeed and classify them (low, medium or high).

12. External dependencies

List any individuals or groups outside of the project team that you may end up depending on or coordinating with. Dependencies relate to the relationship of a preceding task to the one that succeeds it. For example, when painting a wall, the application of the paint is one activity, while preparing the wall is another. The painter is unable to begin painting the wall unless it has been first coated with a primer. When a task depends on another task to be completed prior to its own completion, it’s denoted as being task dependent. Verify who has agreed to work with the project team.

13. Communication strategy

Address how the project manager will correspond with the sponsor(s), stakeholder(s) and the project team (e.g., frequency of team meetings, frequency of status report updates, etc).

14. Stakeholders

Project stakeholders are entities or individuals that have an interest in the project but aren’t necessarily on the project’s development team. Some examples of stakeholders are:

Include the name, department, telephone number and email of each person.

15. Project approval

Include the name, signature and date for each individual.

16. Appendix

Use the appendix to attach any supporting documentation.

What is the purpose of a project charter?

A project charter contains the definitions for what is considered a successful project, including identifying metrics and necessary resources. Once approved, the charter serves as the communication link between the project team and the sponsor throughout the lifespan of the project.

Any updates or requests to the scope of the project after it’s been approved are referred to as “out-of-scope.” When an update or change is required, a “change request” document must be submitted to both the project manager and the sponsor. A change request will usually include:

In order to avoid any confusion, the project sponsor is required to formally approve all scope changes. The project manager will typically retain additional documentation that provides details regarding the status of the project, including a communications strategy, an issues log, a change management log, a work schedule, a budget and a risk log.

Tips for writing and using a project charter

Many organizations use the “best practices” template below to streamline the documentation process. This helps their project begin successfully. Here are a couple of tips on where to start when tasked with writing a project charter, and how to use it most effectively:

Look for templates

Many companies have a standard set of templates to use for projects and project charters. However, if your organization doesn’t possess any templates, there are a number of websites that will allow you to download them for free.

Involve the right parties

The project charter will help to get the primary stakeholder(s) and sponsor(s) involved in the project. Their involvement will aid in recognizing potential risks and providing insight for how to solve them. This will help to limit any significant delays or financial catastrophes throughout the duration of the project.

Identify risks

Take some extra time to troubleshoot any potential risks that may pose a possible threat to the success of the project. Consider possible alternatives or resolutions to the risks. A risk management statement helps in determining “next steps,” in case a problem does arise.

Always refer back to the project charter

The finalized project charter should be used to guide the project to completion and referred to frequently. It’s a good idea to set up periodic check-ins with the project team to make sure that the project is following the charter.

Also, once the project charter has been approved, make sure to verify any changes or updates that have been made to it. If changes are required, do so only after obtaining the proper approval from those involved.

FAQ

How do you write a project charter?

A project charter should only include three elements: your project objectives, scope, and responsibilities. Once your charter has been approved, you should then create a project plan.

What are the 5 elements of the project charter?

Steps to writing a Project Charter
  1. Choose a Project Name.
  2. Identity the Purpose, Objective (Goal), and Project Specification.
  3. Set a Budget.
  4. Define Deliverables.
  5. Assess Scope and Risks.
  6. Create a Timeframe or Milestones.
  7. List Key Stakeholders.
  8. Layout Team Roles and Responsibilities.

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