What Is the Purpose of a Project Charter?


According to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. The first industry standard step in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the project, is to create a project charter.


  • A project charter is a control document that provides a problem statement, along with an overview of the scope, goals, participants and requirements of a project.


  • The project charter should be used to guide the general direction of a project, and once approved serves as a contract between all participants.


  • The project charter provides authorization for the start of a new project. Additionally, the project charter grants the project manager authority to complete the project and identifies the roles and responsibilities of all other involved parties.


  • The project manager can create the project charter with the assistance of the project team members. However, the charter must be issued by a project sponsor with sufficient authority to support and sign-off on the project.


  • Upon approval, project charters should remain relatively unchanged. Minor modifications can occur at a later date, but only with the approval of all involved parties. The project manager is then responsible for ensuring all project participants receive a copy of the new charter, with a documented date of the modification.

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