Project Charter Instructions
A. General Information – Basic information that identifies the project.
Project Title – The proper name used to identify this project.
Project Working Title – The working name or acronym used to identify the project. If an acronym is used, define the specific meaning of each letter.
Proponent Secretary – The Secretary to whom the proponent agency is assigned or the Secretary that is sponsoring a particular enterprise project.
Proponent Agency – The agency that will be responsible for the management of the project.
Prepared by – The person(s) preparing this document.
Points of Contact – List those individuals who may be contacted for information regarding the project. Provide the title, name, organization, phone number, and email address of the following individuals:
Project Sponsor - An individual, usually part of the organization management team,
who makes the business case for the project. This individual usually has the authority
to define project goals, secure resources, and resolve organizational and priority
Program Manager – The individual responsible for the management and coordination
of a group of related projects that will include the project being chartered.
Project Manager - The individual appointed and given responsibility for management
of the project.
Proponent Cabinet Secretary - The appointed secretary to whom the agency
responsible for the project is assigned.
Proponent Agency Head – The appointed head of the agency responsible for the
Customer (User) Representative(s) – Someone designated to represent the ultimate
users of a product or service.
Other – Any person, not listed above, who may be contacted about this project.
B. Executive Summary - In two or three paragraphs, provide a brief overview of this project and the contents of this document. An Executive Summary is necessary if Charter Sections C thru G are excessively long.
C. Project Purpose - The purpose of the project is to solve a business problem. Explain the business reason(s) for doing this project. The Project Purpose (the Business Problem and Project Business Objectives) is in the Project Proposal, Section B.
1. Business Problem - A question, issue, or situation, pertaining to the business, which
needs to be answered or resolved. State in specific terms what problem or issue this
project addresses. The business problem is often reflected as a critical business issue
or initiative in the Agency’s Strategic Plan or Information Technology Strategic Plan.
2. Project Business Objectives - A desired result produced by a project that answers or
resolves a business problem. Define the specific business objectives of the project
that correlate to the strategic initiatives or issues identified. Every business objective
must relate to at least one strategic initiative or issue and every initiative or issue cited
Project Charter Instructions
must relate to one project business objective. The project charter communicates this
information to ensure that all stakeholders understand the relationship of the project
to the Strategic Plans of the organization. During the planning phase, the objectives
serve as a foundation for development of project performance measures known as
measures of success.
D. Assumptions - Assumptions are statements taken for granted or accepted as true without proof. Assumptions are made in the absence of fact. List and describe the assumptions made in the decision to charter this project.
E. Project Description, Scope, and Management Milestones – This section defines the
project and sets management expectations through a description of the project solution, a defined scope for the project, and definition of the project management milestones and deliverables.
1. Project Description - Describe the project approach, specific solution, customer(s),
and benefits. The Project Description is located in the Project Proposal, Section C. 2. Scope - The Project Charter documents the project scope. Project Scope defines all
of the products and services delivered by a project, and identifies the limits of the
project. In other words, the scope establishes the boundaries of a project. The Project
Scope addresses the who, what, where, when, and why of a project. Describe the sum
of the products and services provided and identify the limits of the project. 3. Summary of Major Management Milestones and Deliverables - Provide a list of
project management milestones and deliverables (see Project Proposal, Section E).
This list of deliverables is not the same as the products and services provided, but is
specific to management of the project. An example of a project management
milestone is the Project Plan Completed.
F. Project Authority - Describe the authority of the individual or organization initiating the project, management constraints, management oversight of the project, and the authority granted to the Project Manager.
1. Authorization – Name the project approval authority that is committing organization
resources to the project. Identify the source of this authority. The source of the
approval authority often resides in code or policy and is related to the authority of the
individual’s position or title.
2. Project Manager – Provide the name the project manager and define his or her role
and responsibilities in the project. The Project Charter explicitly identifies the project
manager and gives him the authority to plan, execute, and control the project. 3. Oversight - The Project Charter establishes a relationship between the project
manager and senior management to ensure support mechanisms exist to resolve issues
outside the authority of the project manager. Describe the Commonwealth or agency
oversight controls over the project.
G. Project Organization – This section provides a graphic and text description of the project team and other stakeholders. Provide an organizational diagram, a brief description of the type of project organization that is being implemented, and a description of the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders. Some stakeholders may exist who do not have a formal organizational relationship with the project team but who
Project Charter Instructions
have roles and responsibilities related to the project. The roles and responsibilities of these stakeholders should also be addressed in the roles and responsibilities paragraph. 1. Project Organization Chart - Provide a graphic depiction of the project team. The
graphical representation is a hierarchal organizational diagram of the project team
that begins with the project sponsor and includes the project team and other
2. Organization Description - Provide a text description of the type of project
organization used for the project team, its makeup, and the lines of authority. 3. Roles and Responsibilities – Describe, at a minimum, the roles and responsibilities of
all the stakeholders identified in the organizational diagram in Section G.2
(Organization Description). List any stakeholder not in the organizational diagram
that has a significant role or responsibility related to the project. Include these
stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities also.
H. Resources – The Project Charter will indicate the resources that the project sponsor and management will commit to the project. This includes people, facilities, equipment, and funding. The full scope of resources required to execute a project is usually unknown when the Project Charter is developed but becomes clear during project planning. Additional resources may be allocated, if available, when the project plan is approved.
The Project Charter must be approved and signed by the approving I. Signatures –
authority, agency director, project sponsor, and project manager. Cabinet Secretaries and other key stakeholders as appropriate will sign the Project Charter. The signatures formally empower the project manager to expend resources on the project and conclude the initiation phase of the project. In addition to the signatures, provide the printed name and title of the signatory, and date.