Written by Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM
The project charter is one of the must deliverables for any project regardless of its type or size. Nevertheless, when it comes to capital project investments, the project charter is a very critical document due to the size of the project investment, extensive assumptions and constraints, stakeholders representing multiple entities, extensive review and approval process among others. A project charter is a statement of the scope, objectives, budget, critical milestone dates and participants in a project. It aligns the project with the organization’s strategic objectives, identifies the main stakeholders and identifies the main constraints, assumptions and risks that could impact the project. A project charter acts as a contract between the project sponsor, key stakeholders and the project team.
Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb can be used to capture the information needed to produce the project charter in the desired format. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to capture the information needed to produce the project charter in the final desired output format. The form could include sections for a project brief, project technical information, project schedule information, project cost information, the project’s major stakeholders and the project’s major risks. The project schedule would mainly include the start and finish dates of the schedule summary activities.
The project charter will also include details of the project cost information, which will be aligned with the project schedule summary activities. The project cost information will usually include a five-year projection on how those cost items will be spent. In addition, the project charter will include details on the project’s major stakeholders and key project major risks. The project charter will include a list of documents that need confirmation that they are attached to the submitted project charter.
All supportive documents used in preparing the project charter or those that are needed to support the project charter submission will be uploaded into the PMWeb document management repository and then attached to the project charter. In addition, all relevant records including imported emails will be linked to the project charter.
A workflow can be assigned to the project charter to formalize the submission, review and approval process. The workflow will identify the different individuals involved in the review and approval process, the duration allotted for each and the sequence to be followed in the review process.