Develop Project Charter – Overview

July 14, 2010

The project charter is the forma document that authorizes and initiates a
project or a particular phase. It includes the initial requirements as
stakeholders see it and the outcomes they expectations from it.
The Projects Charter and its Development
Besides being the initiation document of the project or a specific phase of it,
the charter also defines the relationship between the performing organization
and the requesting organization. If the requesting organization is an outside
agency such as a customer, there would be contracts guiding this relationship
and the highlights would be part of the charter. The charter also should
provide the project manager with the appropriate authority of marshalling the
resources necessary and applying the same according to the need of the
The project manager usually gets assigned to the project even before the
project is formally initiated. He/she needs to be involved in drawing up of the
charter as this is a crucial working document that authorizes the parameters of
his/her role. A signature on the charter by the project initiator formalizes
the document. Usually the initiator is someone outside the project. A sponsor,
even a steering committee or a formal PMO department n the organization
initiates the charter development, but it may actually get delegated to the
project manager to complete the details.
There may be any number of reasons calling for staring of a project. These
include internally perceived business needs or a response to external
developments. Either way the whole process will start typically with needs
analysis, a business case or simply a description of the situation that
necessitates the start of the specific project. Thus this project statement of
works and any business case developed from it are the essential inputs used to
develop the charter. The enterprise environmental factors, organizational
process assets would determine the way the charter is developed. Between these
two items all the formats, standards, methodology to be used and the collective
knowledge of the organization are included.
Expert judgment processes these details and comes up with the charter that
clearly states what exactly is to be delivered by way of the project who is
authorized to manage the same and the boundaries within which he/she must
operate. Once signed by the appropriate authority within the performing
organization, this becomes the formal authorization document for the project.
Project manager s appointment and his role is also authorized by the same.

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