PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Importance of Project Charter
The project charter is a fantastic instrument for overcoming personal hardship, cultural barriers, and misconceptions in projects, as I learnt when studying for the project management certification. Many firms have realised that project management is a critical skill for achieving business objectives. They, on the other hand, rarely recognise the need of a project charter as part of a project management endeavour. Let’s look at an example of how the project charter wasn’t properly utilised.
Project Selection and Chartering
Let’s take a look at a business. This firm developed a project charter template that should include the project’s objective, background, business case, scope, SDLC deliverables, milestones schedule, initial cost estimate, high-level risks, project management plan, and cost-benefit analysis. Because there is no input from the company people who are seeking the project, the project manager will have to write all of this material on his own; he will have to guess part of the facts needed to fulfil the charter. This is a difficult and frustrating task.
First, the business case should have been produced by the project sponsor and included in the project selection and approval process. The project manager will have to compose this on his own in this situation. Another issue I perceive is the scheduling of milestones. I believe this is one piece of information that should not be included in the charter, especially if your project team has yet to be formed and the scope of work is unknown. Unfortunately, you will be pressured to include a milestone schedule on a regular basis.
The review and approval cycle for this charter, based on the content, takes around a month, depending on the availability of the reviewers and approvers. The aggravating issue here is that the time you spent writing the charter is also being built-in to the time you have for the project duration, as I learned while studying for the project management certification. You may already know that your project will be difficult just by looking at it at a high level.
How A Good Charter Could Improve Projects
The charter’s main purpose is to authorise a project manager to begin an approved project and use resources to achieve the project’s objectives. A project charter, according to Alex Brown, CEO of Real-Life Project, Inc., can be as basic as an email from the CEO to the PM. Isn’t it intriguing?
After a project has begun, a project charter can be extremely useful. A project charter should also act as an executive summary of the project, which any incoming executive can use to assess it. A solid project charter can save you time and money by avoiding unneeded inspection or having your project shut down because some executives didn’t see the business value in it.
I’ve dealt with a number of project managers who have run into funding challenges when a director or executive who promised to support a project from their own budget failed to do so. Who is accountable for funding should be explicitly stated in the project charter, and they must also sign it!
A good charter should be simple and straightforward. It should include information on the project’s goal, benefits, and objectives, as well as a measurable set of success criteria, the project sponsor’s name, a list of stakeholders, and a description of the product and deliverables. The chartering process will be significantly shorter as a result, and the project manager and team will be able to focus on the most critical aspects of the project.
Implementing a good chartering process may face opposition, particularly from employees who use their position to manipulate leadership or from people who believe the chartering process they designed for the firm is the best. Everything, however, is constantly susceptible to improvement and change. Opponents of change may try to derail your plans for betterment, but stick to your guns and follow through.
Want to learn more about Project Charter? Enrol in a project manager or business analyst course today!