Project Charter Template

Editors Note: This project charter template is one in a series of templates to help readers plan and manage communications and content management activities, resources and deliverables. We welcome ideas and suggestions for other TechWhirl Templates Library materials.

template-libraryDefinition:

The project charter provides the foundational information on why and how a project is to be conducted in the organization, and defines the expected benefits and known risks. It also outlines key players and their responsibilities.

Purpose:

The project charter serves as a key deliverable and provides crucial guidance on why a project is needed, what it will accomplish, and how it will be executed. It includes time and resource estimates and specific scope information to set controls that ensure proper execution. Typically the project sponsor(s) and project management sign the document to authorize initiation of the project.

Relevance:

Projects are initiated throughout the organization to ensure stable and productive operations by implementing or enhancing technology and processes. Projects without clear guidance on the basics are usually doomed to failure as budgets are overrun, time runs out, and/or scope creeps substantially from the original vision. A solid project charter lays out the 5Ws and 1H: What will be done; Why you will do it; When and Where will you do it; Who is responsible; and How it will be accomplished. It can provide a quick overview to new project team members and key stakeholders to help ensure buy-in and rapid onboarding.

Using the Template:

  1. Download the project charter template in MS Word.
  2. Schedule meetings with your project stakeholders to gather input on project needs, parameters, risks, and so forth,
  3. Draft a version of the project charter, revising sections as needed to accomodate your organization’s project management practices.
  4. Use track changes as the charter document goes through review to record requested revisions.
  5. Follow department guidelines for maintaining versions and version history.
  6. Obtain final sign-off from relevant stakeholders.
  7. Upload the document to the relevant project management systems and/or repositories.
  8. Reference the charter before revising milestones or changing scope.

Related Resources:

Do you have other templates that work well for the products or services you support?  Feel free to contact us and submit your templates. We’ll provide credit to you for assisting the TechWhirl community and contributing to the TechWhirl Templates Library.

Connie Giordano

Connie Giordano is a partner in INKtopia Limited and editor of TechWhirl's Tech Writer Today online magazine. She has been a list member and contributor since the days when 14,400 baud was high speed communications, and Windows 95 was state-of-the-art.

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