Developing the Project Charter Pmbok Section

All projects officially start with a project charter—a formal document that authorizes the project. So what's so great about the charter? It's the document that gives you, the project manager, the authority to use resources to do the project work. It's a powerful document. The project manager is assigned to the project as early as possible, and ideally while the charter is still being developed. The project manager needs to be assigned, without a doubt, before the project moves into the project planning process group.

In many organizations, the project manager is the person writing the charter, and that's fine—really!—but the charter cannot be signed by the project manager. The charter is backed by a project initiator, typically called the project sponsor, at a level within the organization where this person can allocate funding and resources for the project. In other words, the project manager can't sign the charter because he's not "powerful" enough within the organization to assign resources and funds to his own project.

EXAM TIP The project charter authorizes the project, but not necessarily the project manager, and also defines the project manager's level of authority.

Charters are typically created by an enterprise, government agency, a program manager, or a project steering committee (sometimes called the portfolio organization). Charters are written so that a project can answer or satisfy one of the following reasons:

• Market demand

• Business need

• Customer request

• Technological advance

• Legal requirement

Your organization might call these opportunities, problems, or business requirements. Once you're a project manager, you'll just call 'em your favorite project. (Your favorite project is always the one you're managing right now.) Why some projects get selected and others do not within an organization can be due to finances, the project owner, sponsor influence, legal requirements, or any number of reasons. The message to take away is that regardless of why a project gets selected you, the project manager, must have a charter for the project to be officially authorized. Charters should always include the following project information:

• Requirements for satisfaction, project stakeholder needs, wants, and expectations

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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