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Project Charter Template

Stay on track, prioritize deliverables, and ensure everyone is aligned with project goals.

About the Project Charter Template

Having the right documentation is crucial for the success of any project. Among the most important documents you need is a project charter.

Continue reading to gain a deeper understanding of the purpose of a project charter, the appropriate circumstances to use it, and how to utilize our Project Charter Template to create one.

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What is a project charter in project management

The project charter is a comprehensive document that serves as the definitive source of information about a project. It outlines the core goals, scope, and responsibilities of the project and its team, as well as other key details that the project manager or leader can refer to if necessary, regardless of the project's breadth.

Having a charter from the outset of a project can assist in aligning all stakeholders around a shared understanding of the project's objectives, strategies, and deliverables.

While it is preferable for the project sponsor, who is responsible for the project's successful completion, to draft the project charter, the project manager is frequently tasked with creating the document before it is approved by senior stakeholders or the project board.

When should you use a project charter

Think of a project charter as the foundation of your project, the ultimate source of truth that trumps all others. When conflicts or disagreements arise between team members or between the budget and timeline, the project leader can use the charter to make decisions and resolve issues.

As projects become more complex and involve more stakeholders and variables, it becomes increasingly challenging for the project manager to keep everyone aligned and focused without a project charter.

Moreover, a project charter is critical when presenting the project to key stakeholders, particularly those without technical knowledge. It serves as an elevator pitch that provides a clear and concise overview of the project's objectives, strategies, and key details.

How to create a project charter

Looking for an efficient way to create a project charter that works without fail? Utilize a template. To get started, add the Project Charter Template to your FigJam board and follow these instructions:

  • Invite all project team members. Collaboration and input from everyone involved will ensure the project runs smoothly. Invite all team members to work together in your FigJam workspace.
  • Brainstorm the key categories. Review the list of essential sections provided in the template and brainstorm with your team on what information should be included in each category.
  • Complete the template. Once the team has agreed on what to include in each section, fill out the template with the necessary details.
  • Use the charter to gain approval. Share the finished template with all stakeholders and incorporate their feedback. Make any necessary changes along the way.

To ensure a comprehensive charter, it’s crucial for project leaders to include detailed information. The Project Charter Template provides 10 sections that should be addressed at a minimum.

  • The Purpose section should identify the ultimate goal of the project and why it’s being launched. For example, it could be to fill a niche, increase customer loyalty, or boost revenues.
  • The Scope section should clearly define what is and isn’t included in the project to prevent scope creep, which can lead to continual bloat and delays.
  • Success Criteria should be a SMART goal that can measure the project’s success. It should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • The Team section should list the people who will work directly on the project.
  • Stakeholders are individuals who aren’t on the project team but have a vested interest in the project’s outcome.
  • Users are the people or groups who will benefit from the project and generate dividends for the company.
  • Resources refer to the organizational assets that can be allocated to the project, such as money, time, people, and equipment.
  • Constraints are known factors that could hinder the project’s success.
  • Risks refer to potential events that could threaten the project’s success.
  • The Timeline section should provide a rough outline of the project’s completion timeframe, including action items for each phase and projected dates for critical milestones.

Project Charter FAQs

What is the main purpose of a project charter?

Whenever there is any confusion, conflict, or doubt regarding objectives, people, or teams during project execution, referring to the charter can provide the ultimate source of truth. This is why the project manager or sponsor can rely on the charter to clear up any ambiguities.

How do you build a project charter?

Begin by gathering your team in a collaborative workspace, such as FigJam, to foster cooperation. One straightforward approach to achieving consensus on critical aspects of the project is to use sticky notes on the template. Each of the ten sections of the template corresponds to an essential aspect of a charter, including purpose, scope, success criteria, team, stakeholders, users, resources, constraints, risks, and timeline.

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