What Is a Project Charter Template?
The Project Charter is a project initiation document that’s developed before a project ever begins. It serves two primary purposes: 1) it provides a high-level definition of the project requirements and 2) it formally authorizes the existence of the project. The free project charter template below provides for these two purposes.
Because the project charter is produced before the project begins, often only high-level projects requirements are listed. Where more detailed information is known, it’s set forth in the charter. Among other items, the project charter will describe the project scope, deliverables, schedule, budget, resource requirements, risks, constraints and completion criteria.
Besides providing authorization to apply organizational resources to the project, the project charter names the project manager. In addition, it sets forth known stakeholders.
Most importantly; however, the project charter sets forth the business objectives and the reasons for undertaking the project. It then links the project to strategic objectives of the organization. In smaller organizations, a project charter may be an informal instruction to begin a project.
Who Creates the Project Charter?
Typically, the Project Charter is issued by the project sponsor; however, it’s often created by the project manager.
What Are the Inputs?
Like most project management documents, the inputs to a project charter will vary depending on the organization. Most often, the inputs include the project statement of work, the business case and perhaps a contract.
How Is It Used?
Since the Project Charter is what initiates the project, it’s the first document that a project manager reviews for identifying stakeholders, gathering project requirements, defining scope, identifying risk and planning budget. If a Project Charter is not used, there still must be some way of obtaining the same information that a project charter would provide. If there is not, it’s the project manager’s responsibility to gather the missing information.