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Why Do I Need A Project Charter?

March 30, 2011

A Project Charter is the major deliverable of project initiation.  The Project Charter outlines the business case, objectives and constraints of the project as well as the major deliverables and identities of the main stakeholders.  The Project Charter gives the Project Manager authorization to start working on the project and an overview document to share with project stakeholders to provide vital project information.  I have provided links to some project charter templates below:

Project Charter Template – One Page

Project Charter Template – Longer Version

The length of the project charter should be proportional to the size and complexity of the project.  Our goal with the project charter is to gather and agree on enough information about the project to start planning the project.  Some organizations have other names for this document.  It should not be confused with a statement of work (SOW) or Project Plan – it precedes both of those documents.

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