What is a Project Charter?
What is a project charter about and how can it help you succeed in your business goals? Find out best practices on structuring and writing a project charter
A project charter is a vital document that defines the business objectives of a project and outlines the steps needed to accomplish your goals. It also identifies the stakeholders in the project and their roles and responsibilities. At inCode Systems we always prepare a project charter before starting any web design or development tasks. This helps us avoid misunderstanding or miscommunication with our clients. In this article we gathered some of our best practices out of our project charters usage experience.
Having a project charter is fundamental for successful project planning and management, as it serves as a guide for the team and helps assure that the project stays on track and within budget. It also helps to align all stakeholders around a common set of goals and objectives, lessen the risk of misunderstandings and conflicts. Be sure to create a detailed and accurate project charter if you're starting a business to raise the chances of the project gaining a success.
Project Charter’s Benefits
The project charter outlines the key details of the project, including the goals and objectives, tasks, responsible parties, timeline, and budget. This document provides a clear understanding of what needs to be attained and how it may be done. Having a project charter can provide numerous benefits to a project and its stakeholders. Some of which are:
- One of the key benefits of a project charter is its ability to define the project and ensure that all team members are aiming to achieve the same goals. By clearly outlining the objectives and scope of the project, everyone involved can understand their role and what is expected of them. This helps to reduce time which is needed for communications between experts and clients participating in the project.
- Additionally, a project charter aligns all stakeholders around a common set of objectives. By involving all relevant parties in the creation of the charter, you can ensure that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities and that there is buy-in from all parties. This can help prevent delays and setbacks due to misunderstandings or conflicting priorities.
- It also serves as a baseline against which you can measure a progres. By regularly reviewing and updating the charter, you can identify any deviations from the original plan and take actions to fix problems if needed. This helps keep the project on track and on budget.
- A project charter helps to get a picture of potential risks that may appear during the project. By listing and assessing these risks, you can come up with strategies for reducing or managing them, lessening the likelihood of unexpected issues or delays.
A project charter is a vital tool for successful business project planning and management. It helps define the project, align stakeholders, establish a baseline, manage resources, and reduce risk. We create a detailed and accurate project charter for our web development projects to raise the chances of success.
Project Charter’s Elements
Now that you have a good understanding of project charters and their purpose, let's delve into the specific components that make up a charter.
There are four main parts of a project charter: the project overview, the business case, the project approach, and the project risks.
- The project overview: This portion of the charter gives a brief summary of the project, including its goals, scope, timeline, expected outcomes, and budget.
- The business case: This document provides the justification for the project and outlines the costs, benefits, and potential risks connected with it.
- The project approach: This part of the charter outlines the strategy and plan for executing the project, including the roles and responsibilities of team members and the methodologies that will be used.
- The project risks: This section lists and assesses the possible risks that could influence the project's success, along with strategies for mitigating or managing them.
These are primary elements of a Project Charter. Feel free to widen it with parts essential to your specific project, but don’t get carried away — simplicity is a key for success.
How to Write a Project Charter
Keep it straightforward and to the point.
Here's a quick overview of what you need to include:
- Project name: Choose a descriptive and memorable name that accurately reflects the scope of your project.
- Goal: Clearly state the overall objective of the project. Be specific. Write which properties you aim to create during this project, for web development these could be a website or an application.
- Objectives: Identify the specific goals that need to be achieved in order to reach the overall goal.
- Scope: Set the limits of the project, what will be included and what will be excluded.
- Constraints: Consider any limitations, such as budget or time frame, that may affect the project.
- Risks: Clear which risks may occur impacting the project and come up with strategies to mitigate or manage them.
- Best practices: Include links to your knowledge base or cases containing best practices to minimize problems and mistakes which can take place.
- Assumptions: Be aware of any assumptions made about the project and consider whether they are valid. Challenge them if necessary.
Remember to keep the project charter concise and focused. It should provide a broad overview of the project, rather than going into extensive detail.
Tips for Creating a Well-planned Project Charter
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while working on your project charter:
- Keep it plain: The project charter should be a high-level summary of the project, rather than going into extensive detail.
- Follow the structure: Make sure your document includes all elements of the charter
- Make it accessible: Store the project charter in a central location where all team members can access it.
- Involve stakeholders: Engage all relevant stakeholders in the creation of the project charter. This will help assure that everybody is aimed at the project's goals and objectives, and that there is buy-in from all parties.
- Use clear language: The project charter should be easy to understand and free of jargon.
- Include a timeline: Include a timeline for the project in the charter to grant it stays on track.
- Set achievable goals: Set realistic and achievable goals for the project.
- Update: change any specific information as due dates, budget etc. if necessary to keep the charter up-to-date.
When the draft of the document is finished, share it with the colleagues in charge of different types of works to be done, for web development these could be an Art Director and a Tech Director. This will give you various points of view, helping create a document clearly understandable by all parties.
A project charter is a recessive tool that helps ensure the smooth and efficient launch and management of a business startup. It also helps to bring to life any complex projects such as web design and development of a website or an app. By creating and following the charter, you can meet all milestones and deadlines and keep your business running smoothly.
Hope this article was helpful for you. If you’d like to delegate web development and web design — we are here to help. Contact us to receive a Project Charter for your project for free.
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