Empowering the Project Managers with Project Charter

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The first and foremost step to initiate a project is to prepare the project charter. It is one of the most important documents of the project, and it is being used throughout the life of the project. Once it is prepared and approved by the project initiator or the project sponsor, the project actually kicks off. It is the moment when the project manager is formally authorized to start the project by using the organisational resources.

A project charter is prepared by considering the SOW – the project statement of work, which is created by the customer or the sponsor, describing their needs and the scope of the product. The project charter is also created by keeping an eye on the cost benefits analysis reports, and other organisational documented practices and procedures.

How it Assists Project Managers?

Never underestimate the value of project charter, the project and the project manager’s success cannot be measured without the project charter.

The benefits of project charter are as follows –

  • The project charter formally announces the existence of the project, once it is approved, the project manager has the authority to use the allocated money and resources as per need.
  • The project charter provides the high-level objectives and success criteria of the projects; it shows the stakeholders at a high-level picture of the project at the initial stage.
  • As it defines the high-level constraints and risks for the project, which later is defined in details, helps the project manager to keep an eye on those from the beginning.
  • While creating the project charter, one of its process is to uncover the assumptions about the project, which the project manager later takes care while detailing the requirements gathering, defining the scope and also in managing the risk.

So, as we discussed the uses and benefits of the project charter, let’s see how it looks like.

The Project Charter Template

Project Title and Description

Name the project and high-level description of what the project is all about.

For Example

The name of the project is “Flyover in ABC Junction”. We have awarded to construct a flyover from the government agency. The flyover needs to be constructed on the ABC junction to ease the traffic commute. It is a time bound project, the flyover should be constructed in the given time frame as per government mandate and the required material and resources should be used as per prescribed quantities and qualities.

Project Manager Assigned and level of Authority

Name of the Project Manager and his level of authority to approve the project budget, resource allocation, Schedule etc…

For Example

Mr. X will be the project manager for this project. He can select the team members by coordinating with resource managers to secure the needed resources. He has the authority to approve and use the budget up to $15,000.

Business Case

Reasons for doing the project, Justify it based on the financial aspects.

For Example

we are highly confident that, after completion of the flyover, the company will earn 20% profit revenue from the awarded budget. Also, the company will add one more feather to its name and fame which may lead to winning many such flyover constructions from the government agencies in future.

Stakeholders and Known Requirements

List all the stakeholders, who will affect or affected by the projects, and if any high-level requirements are known then that should be mentioned here.

For Example

Please see the attached list of all the identified stakeholders with their name and other details.

Some of the known requirements are as follows:

  • Req-1: Strictly adhere the local labour age criteria while using the local labourer
  • Req-2: Follow the prescribed guidelines while purchasing the raw materials

Organizations Involved in the Project

Define which other groups or members are going to work in the project and their role.

For Example

The DFH Architecture team will assist our internal architecture team to design the layout of the flyover. The Engineering department will work closely with them. The XYZ resource company will supply the required labourer to work on the project.

High-Level Milestones

High-level project schedule should be listed here, which may be changed or modified at the planning stage of the project.

For Example

  • Project start and end date
  • Start and end date of Architecture designing
  • Phase wise start and end dates
  • Phase wise Delivery Dates


What are the assumptions, for which we do not have any data to proof?

For Example

We are assuming that there are plenty of laborers in the local area to be used in the project, which save cost to import them from nearby states.


Mention the factors which may hinder the project deliverable. What are the limitations for the project to function within?

For Example

In case of inadequate supply of laborer, it will impact the timely delivery of the project.

High-Level Risks

Describe the potential threats as well as opportunities for the project.

For Example

  • As per the local weather department, the coming months have heavy rains in these areas, hence appropriate measures should be planned before, to face any such situation. (Threat-high impact)
  • As it is one of the prominent place in the city, the timely delivery of the project may increase our chances to get more such flyovers in near future.(opportunity-high impact)

Project Sponsors 

Mention the name of the sponsor/s of the project to take his/her signature as approval.

There are other sections which can be included in the project charter based on the industries type and size of organizations. Some organizations which work with multiple operations units may include a section in the template which describes the approval authority of different departments, such as:

  • Supply and purchase of raw materials will be approved by Head of Purchase department
  • All design diagrams will be approved by Director, Architecture Department

As we discussed, the shape of the project charter template, you may have noticed that, one of its sections called “Stakeholders and known requirements”. That is one of the most important part of any project charter because stakeholders may influence a project up to such an extent that the success or failures of the project can be decided upon his/her wish at certain times.

We will discuss more into it, and also the value of identifying them in the early stages of the project in our next article.

Published on 16-Jan-2020 09:29:18