What is a Project Charter?
A Project Charter is a document which outlines the purpose of the project, the way the project will be structured and how it will be successfully implemented. It describes the project:
• Vision, objectives, scope and deliverables (i.e. what we have to achieve)
• Stakeholders, roles and responsibilities (i.e. who will take part in it)
• Resource, financial and quality plans (i.e. how it will be undertaken). ©
The Project Charter may also be referred to as a “Terms of Reference (TOR)” or “Project Definition Report (PDR)”.
When do I use a Project Charter?
The Project Charter is usually presented by Senior Management within the business to an identified Business Sponsor. It is completed after the Business Case and Feasibility Study have been approved but before the Project Team is formally appointed.
• The Project Charter defines the boundaries for the project. It describes in detail the scope of the project, within which all deliverables must be produced. Activities should be undertaken outside the defined scope of the project only if a valid ‘change request form’ has been approved by the Project Sponsor
• The next stage following approval of the Project Charter is the formal appointment of the project team. ©
How to use this template
This document provides a guide on the topics usually included in a Project Charter. Sections may be added, removed or redefined at your leisure to meet your particular business circumstance. Example tables, diagrams and charts have been added (where suitable) to provide further guidance on how to complete each relevant section.