When a good reason is identified for proceeding with the software project, the goal and scope of the project can be defined to distinguish it from ongoing operations. Called a project charter, this is usually a simple outline statement of what the project will accomplish, including major deliverables, a rough high-level schedule, an initial estimate of resources needed, and the expected return to the organization for the effort invested. The charter has two purposes:

1. To formally document the existence of a software development project and to separate the work of the project from ongoing operations such as maintenance and support; and

2. To obtain management approval for the work to be done and to get commitment for the resources to do it.

The charter may take the form of a legal contract and statement of work (SOW) for external work to be executed by a third party outside the project manager's direct control. In this case, the details of the "how" may be left up to the contractor.

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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