Project Charter Guidance

Project Charter Guidance.

The principal purpose of the Project Charter is to define the project to be executed, describe the basis for its management, and assure all team members are in agreement with the terms defined in the charter. The following questions should be able to be answered be reading the Project Charter:

What is the project aiming to achieve and why is the project important?
What will the project produce?
How will you know you are done?
This should be a measurable statement. It should not, “We have written a report and made a presentation.” It should be something that your final product can be measured against to determine its success to the customer.
What are your key assumptions?
What are you assuming to be true so you can make key conclusions; e.g. To determine the rate of speed by which something falls from the sky, it is assumed that gravity exist. Gravity cannot be measure.
Who will be involved with the project and what are their roles and responsibilities?
Think of everyone that will have an influence on your project; e.g. team members, customer, key stakeholders,
What will the project require from others
Resources, information, data, etc.
What is the planned schedule?
The more detail you put into this schedule the better you will be in meeting you end objectives.
What are the project risks?
Describe each risk and its causes
Prioritize ordering of each risk
Identify risk threshold for each risk
Specify measures used to evaluate risk status
List risks chronologically along with their likelihood and consequences
Reference to any other risk-related information/reports

What is due:

A written document which represents the team’s collective response to the Project Charter as specified in the below template and verified using the questions listed above. This document should be signed by all team members indicating their collective agreement to what is specified in the document.

Project Charter Template

The undersigned acknowledge they have reviewed the Project Charter and agree with the approach it presents. Changes to this Project Charter will be coordinated with and approved by the undersigned.

Signature: Date:
Print Name:

Signature: Date:
Print Name:

Signature: Date:
Print Name:

Executive Summary
[Provide an executive summary of the project, its objectives, and outcomes.]

Project Background and Description
[Describe the project in enough detail to establish the context and scope of the effort.]

Project Objectives
[List and describe the objectives of the project. These should be items that can be measured and achieved. Each objective should contain these four parts: CONDITION, AUDIENCE, BEHAVIOR, and DEGREE
Condition: State specifically as possible what will be utilized and/or provided. Example: paper; presentation; quadratic equation; map
Audience: Who is the population that will be responsible for executing the objective to achieve the condition.
Behavior: Describes capability that are observable and measurable (you will define the measurement elsewhere in the goal). Example: should be able to write a report; should be able to describe the steps.
Degree: States the standard for acceptable performance (time, accuracy, proportion, quality, etc). Example: without error; 9 out of 10 times; within 60 seconds.]
Below are some example objectives which include Audience (A), Behavior (B), Condition (C), and Degree of Mastery (D). Note that many objectives actually put the condition first.
Students will explain the social responsibility to ensure that adequate legal services are provided to those who cannot afford to pay for them in three paragraphs.
Students will describe the steps in planning factual investigation in legal research, including identifying and formulating relevant legal theories, generating alternative solutions and strategies, applied to a hypothetical case.
Students will describe the steps in planning factual investigation in legal research, including identifying and formulating relevant legal theories, generating alternative solutions and strategies, applied to a hypothetical case.
Project Deliverables
[List the project deliverables with descriptions so it is clearly understood by all team members what will be delivered to the customer.]
Validation Criteria
[How will you know you have delivered an acceptable product? This is not that the product is done, but some way of assessing that the project deliverables are of an acceptable quality. This builds off of your objectives. The Validation Criteria is how you will know you have measured it and achieved it.]
Assumptions and Constraints
[State any assumptions and/or constraints that will be made by the project to achieve the objectives. The Assumptions and Constraints provides your team with a common set of values and assumptions which can be used as a baseline in your project. This in turn, provides a common point of origin from which your team can make common comparisons and provide reasonable values to assume for areas outside your control.]
Project Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

Initial Schedule and Milestones
[Establish a schedule baseline within the first two weeks of the project and monitor progress against the baseline on a weekly basis. Ensuring the project schedule is updated with the latest information and never more than three business days out of date. Flag variances in the milestones that are greater than 10% and implement a plan to adjust for the variance.]
Milestones Estimated Completion Timeframe Dependencies
[Insert milestone information] [Insert completion timeframe (e.g., Two weeks after project concept is approved)] [Identify any dependencies this Milestone has on other Milestones or task]
[Add additional rows as necessary]

Project Schedule
[Gantt Chart of top-level milestones]

Risk Identification and mitigation
[Complete the risk table below by identifying potential risks, root cause, mitigation strategy, probability of occurrence, severity of impact, score (probability x impact), and risk owner. Some potential risks could be:
Computer Resources
Proprietary Data/Designs
Data Rights
Developmental Approach
Management Approach]

Risk Description Potential Root Cause Mitigation Strategy Probability Impact Score Risk Owner

Communication Plan
[The communications plan provides structure to identify all types of communications: Project Team, Stakeholder, Recurring and Triggered. It is recommended that the plan begin with the Project Team communication items followed by Stakeholder communication items. As unanticipated or anticipated trigger events occur, the communication response should be added to the table.]

Vehicle Target
Audience Description/Purpose Frequency Owner Distribution
Weekly status report Project Team Communicate updated project status Weekly John Doe email

Project Charter Guidance


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