The blueprint for project success: a project charter

In any corporate engagement, having a clearly defined Project Charter is invaluable. This card helps provide focus and direction. He is the team’s model for success!

The Project Charter has 5 main objectives:

  1. Provide an overview of the project, including high-level background.
  2. Summarize the team’s approach to executing this project.
  3. Help in the selection of participants.
  4. Identify team members, clarify roles and their responsibilities.
  5. List specific deliverables and milestones.

To achieve these goals, your typical Charter consists of 8 areas:

  • Objectives – Define definitively the central objectives of the project that the team must achieve. These goals must be INTELLIGENT (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) when possible.
  • On reach – Indicate what is in scope.
  • out of scope – Equally important, indicate what is outside the project’s scope of work.
  • key activities – Summarize the main steps the team will need to take.
  • Deliverables – Outline the tangible work products that the team will deliver to achieve its objectives.
  • Sponsor – Specify the executive sponsor member who will be responsible for resolving major issues and providing guidance where needed. Escalation procedures must involve the sponsor.
  • Means – List the members of the organization that will support the project. Include outside resources, such as contract consultants, if necessary.
  • CSF (Critical Success Factors) – Define the elements that must be fulfilled to carry out the deliverables. These should be quantifiable where possible.

A project letter can be built very well in PowerPoint. It is created by putting tables together in PowerPoint in a 4-column format, where the first column includes Objectives, In Scope, and Out of Scope; the second column includes key activities; the third, Deliverables; and the fourth includes Sponsor, Resources and CSF. Remember, to resize the table borders to pixel size, hold down the ALT key while dragging the border.

Along with the Charter, there is usually a detailed Gantt chart that breaks down the Key Activities section of the Charter. The Gantt chart adds a time component to each activity and provides a visual representation that illustrates the dependencies between activities and workflows.

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