How to build an effective project charter for your project

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Project Charter

Project Charter is a major part of the project which sets out the projective objectives, detailed activities included in the project, involved stakeholders, roles and responsibilities, deliverables and the main authority for the project. Project charter is used as a guideline for the project and acts as an important material in terms of organizational knowledge management system. The project charter documents the reason for undertaking the project, describes the constraints of the project, provides solutions and enlist the main stakeholders for the project. The major elements included in Project charter are: MOV (Measurable Organizational Value), Scope Management Plan, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Risks Analysis Plan, Quality Management Plan, and project closure and evaluation.

MOV- Measurable Organizational Value

Measurable Organizational Value (MOV) is a matrix used for determining the success or failure of the project in terms of desired impact of the project. MOV represents the goal of the project and the value it will bring to the organization. As per MOV, in order to provide real value to the customer, the project must align with organization’s vision, mission, and strategy. The steps that need to be carried out for defining MOV includes:

  1. Identifying area of impact based on Strategical, Financial, Consumer, Operational and Social.
  2. Identifying desired value that project can bring to the organization.
  3. Developing a metric which includes target, stakeholder’s expectation and measure for project evaluation.
  4. Setting a timeframe for achieving the MOV.
  5. Summarizing the MOV in a single statement or table to get final verification of the project.

Scope and Scope Management Plan

Scope Management Plan is a process in which the scope of the project is defined, along with its execution and control measures. Through Scope Management Plan, the project manager has proper information on how to complete the project as per given scope. The Scope Management Plan also provides details on how the scope for the project can be managed. Furthermore, it contains list of resources required for the project in terms of varied resource elements of the project. These elements include Human resources, Technology: hardware or software, Facilities required for project and other elements such as training, travel, etc.

Work Breakdown Structure

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is used to manage the project activities and tasks by organizing them into sections. According to PMBOK, Work Breakdown Structure is a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of work to be executed by the project team. Work Breakdown Structure divides and defines the project scope into chunks so that the team can understand it and the project can be completed following the structure. A Work Breakdown Structure contains milestones for each phase, activities to be completed for each deliverable, people and resources assigned for each activity, time and schedule for each activity, and the cost estimates for each task.

Risk Analysis Plan

Risk Analysis Plan is another fundamental element of project charter which can help the project determine potential risks for project, measure their impact on project and outline appropriate mitigation plan for identified risks. In the risks analysis plan, knowledge of all the people associated with team is gathered and all the potential pitfalls that project may face are collected and analyzed. Further, the risks are associated with phases where they may occur and a risk register is created. After that, the risks are analyzed for impact they may possess on project and the causes for the same is enlisted to create the final risk management plan.

Quality Management Plan

Quality Management Plan is another element for project charter which helps project manager to carry out the quality assurance for a project. The main purpose of a quality management plan is to outline the activities to be carried out to maintenance and managing the project quality. A quality management plan consists of a quality assurance statement which reflects the team’s objective for ensuring the project quality. Apart from this, the plan consists of a set of verification and validation activities in which the verification activities consist of activities which are carried out to check whether the project adheres to the specified requirements and specifications. Whereas, the validation activities ensure that the building project satisfies the business needs and is fit for purpose. 

Project Closure and Evaluation

Project closure and evaluation are carried out at the end of the project completion which reports all the activities required to close the project and get verification that the project has been completed smoothly.

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