Launch your project with a charter

Learn how to create a project charter with this free project charter template – completely customizable to fit your project’s needs

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What is a project charter?

A project charter is a document to encapsulate the entire vision for a project.

It identifies the reason for the project, its objectives, and the team responsible for contributing to the project’s success. The charter also provides supplemental information surrounding the context of the project, including the project’s risks, benefits, constraints, budget, and projected ROI. Finally, it should list out the available resources and project timeline.

The charter is a uniting document and important reference point for project stakeholders. The details on a project charter usually need to be agreed upon before work can begin, and those responsible for contributing to the project might look back on the document for direction and resources.

Who is this project charter template for and how do you use it?

This project charter template is ideal for the project manager hoping to swiftly secure team alignment, approve an initiative, and begin work. The charter template can be used for cross-functional projects either internally or with external teams. For example, you might use the project charter to align your entire company on a product release campaign, but you might also use it with a consulting firm that you hired to improve your operations.

To use this template, click here to access it in Google Drive. From there, click “File,” then “Make a copy,” where you’ll be prompted to create your own editable version of the template. Once that’s done, start collaborating with project stakeholders to fill out the template for your task. You might find that there are sections not relevant to your project, or that there are sections that need to be added for additional context. For those reasons, you’re encouraged to edit this copy in any way you see fit.

What is included in a project charter?

A project charter should be structured as follows:

  1. Project introduction with the project’s overview and the project manager’s information.
  2. Projected impact on the organization and key metrics to measure success.
  3. Scope of work and tasks required to complete the project.
  4. List of deliverables expected from the project.
  5. Project timeline and major milestones to meet.
  6. Team and project stakeholders.
  7. ​​
  8. Project risks and constraints (and, if known, how to work around them).
  9. Resources for support and success.
  10. Approval signature from project sponsor.

How long should a project charter be?

A project charter should simply be as long as it needs to be. No information that is imperative to the project’s success should be left off the project charter. A project charter template, which prompts project managers to input necessary information, is multiple pages itself. When filled out with the context needed to approve, manage, and complete a project, a project charter can be as long as 3-5 pages on average, or more for bigger tasks.

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