Project Charter

27 October 2010

A project charter is better known as the Terms of Reference when refereed to with a project. This is the document that clearly defines the scope and goals of a project that most other parts of a project plan are based from.

The documenting of a project charter is the most difficult part of the development in a project’s life cycle. This is because so much is dependent on this document for the project to be a success. The exact parameters of the deliverable have to be clearly defined in this document which will then be used as a guide for not only the manufacturing plans specifications to follow but the quality as well.

For many, the project charter is developed from scratch. This requires the user to decide on the formatting of this document that will be used for all other parts so a professional appearance will be seen by the reviewers. This step can be avoided if a template is used for the development of this important document.

When it has been decided to use a template for the creation of the project charter, most make use of a project management template program as the preferred tool to assist them. The use of this kind of template has many advantages over creating this document from scratch.

The advantages of using a project charter template include the easy identification of the projects vision and objectives. There is also a block for the scope of the project to be clearly defined. The listing of the stakeholders and the prospective customers is another piece of information that not only has to be listed, but in the correct place. This way it is easy to locate when using the document as a reference for these items.

The project charter is also the document where the key roles and responsibilities of the major employees are defined. This is where the list of the needed schedules that need to be created comes from. In essence this is the document that is similar to a rough outline of the project.

By being a rough outline, the project charter is a general listings of the organizational structure of the project. The details are in the follow up documents like the project plan. Once this document is approved, the creation of the reaming documents can commence.