Project charter

The clear purpose of project management is to deliver a project which meets the client’s objectives and requirements.

In order to achieve this, project documentation is a vital part of the project management process. Project documentation has two key purposes: to make sure that the project requirements are met and to ensure a path through to successful completion by identifying what has to be done, by whom, and when.

A key document is the project charter (which can also be known as the project definition or project statement).

A project charter is the statement of scope, objectives and people who are participating in a project.

The project charter outlines the objectives and goals of the project and defines the roles and responsibilities of project participants. The charter should also identify the key stakeholders and would explain the authority of the project manager.

An example of a project charter, available as a pdf in the ‘downloads’ section, shows it is reasonably straightforward to complete.

Let’s have a look at key parts of the charter:

a) Project objectives

These predominantly revolve around establishing the project budget, likely programme, and quality requirements. Other objectives can also be included – often this can be related to team members and team synergy (important to achieve if you see the potential numbers involved, as indicated earlier). On construction projects, zero defects, no health and safety issues, and performance bonuses could also be detailed within the objectives.

b) Project scope

What did your project ask for?

image of a normal family car
What did your project deliver on completion?
Image of a high power sports car

Project scope defines and identifies all the work to be completed on a project to deliver the end results with its specified features and functions.

On construction projects, ‘scope’ would be stated in the inception stages as a client brief, defined in the feasibility stage, broken down into its elements and responsibilities in the strategy stage, and executed in the design and construction stage.

It is essential that ‘scope’ is known at all stages of the construction project, and the impact of any changes is assessed and agreed as these will potentially change the project charter and, dependent on when other changes occur, could also change the agreed contract details.

c) Project participants

This could be displayed by a project ‘organogram’ or organisational chart, identifying project team members and the roles they will be carrying out, associated responsibilities and managerial accountability.

Your task

Read about and reflect upon the project that will realise the stadium for the opening match in the 2022 FIFA world Cup to be held in Qatar.

What do you think would have been the five key inclusions in this project’s charter?


References

Snyder, C. S. (2013) A Project Manager’s Book of Forms: A Companion to the PMBOK Guide. Hoboken: Wiley

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This article is from the free online course:

Construction Project Management: An Introduction

Coventry University