The Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter

7 Secrets of the Project Charter

The very first deliverable of a Project! A Project Charter is one of the most important documents and one that gives the Authority to the Project Manager. The primary purpose of a project charter is to Authorize the project manager to start the approved project and allow him to use organizational resources to accomplish the objectives of the project. Here we look at a Perfect example of a Project Charter with a Template

The Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter is a checklist of sections that you should expect and fill under a Project Charter Example Template. 

1. Stakeholders    

A Project Charter should have a detailed list of all stakeholders, Project Champions or Approvers, Sponsors, Project Manager and all other teams involved. This is # 1 on The Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter

This is # 1 on our list of 7 Secrets Of The Project Charter

Problem Statement 

The problem that the Project Manager intends to resolve by the end of Project Completion.  The Problem Statement is #2 Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter

We often get our Problem Statements incorrect. Sometimes they are more of Goal Statements and sometimes they are found mentioning the scope . Here is a brief overview of what needs to be included

A problem Statement should mention the following:

What is wrong or what outcome is not satisfactory?

  • A clear description of the problem or concern
  • The issue should be verifiable/ measurable fact; not a guess or assumptions
  • Examples: Procurement Cycle time is high; Billing Accuracy is low etc
Getting your Problem Statement right could be winning half the battle!!!

Success Criteria

The criteria that not only defines what criteria will be used to term the project as success but also provides a direction for the Project Manager to consider the project as completed and clears roadblocks for his exit from the project. 

The Success Criteria is # 3 on our list of 7 Secrets Of The Project Charter

Scope

Scope refers to a detailed set of deliverables for the project. It is with this section that the project manager defined boundaries for the Project team to comply with. The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions. This section of the Project Charter also defines deliverables that would be considered out of scope for the project. The Scope is # 4 on The Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter

Budgets

Outlines the high level Budget available for the Project or the Program. Budgets are #5 on The Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter

7 Secrets Of The Project Charter

Communication Plan

This is where the charter outlines Frequency of Project Meetings and Agenda to drive those meetings. Communication Plan is # 6 on The Secret 7 Sauce for a Perfect Project Charter

The communication Plan is # 6 on our list of 7 Secrets Of The Project Charter

Milestones 

Milestones are critical activities or High Level Activities represented in a tabular format. 

Risks

High Level Risks that could impact the project are to be mentioned in the Charter. 

Once the Project Manager has developed the High Level Plan he will have an understanding of the Critical Path for the Project. Critical Path Tasks like Hiring, IT Infra Set Up, Vendor Onboarding, Training will always be on the risk register and may be tracked as part of the charter.

Refer our article on Critical Path Method for understanding this aspect

Apart from this, the PM may want to consider appending standard risks like low volume of tasks, speed of execution, learning curve oriented risks in the Risks section of the Project Charter

Key Takeaways

  • It is created based on a business need, and the document must explain that need.
  • The sponsor or the initiator Approves the charter
  • It names and authorizes the PM
  • It should include a high-level milestone view of the project schedule
  • It is a high-level document that does not include the project details. The specifics of project activities will be developed later.
  • It includes the summary level preliminary project budget
  • Will you remember SPSSBCMR? This is very much the secret sauce of a Project Charter

A Template you could use…..

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