Sunday, July 4, 2010

Importance of Project Charter in Project Success

Just imagine following situation.

Two senior management persons talked about the project and its scope. Both agreed and then one ordered to start the project. The project manager was finalized by senior management after talking to CTO/Functional manager verbally. The designated project manager was called and the project scope was explained to him. The project manager was not having guts to say "NO" or ask some question to baffling senior manager. The project team was finalized by Project manager and CTO. The project started without proper documentation. And believe me the end results we as follows.

1. The project was much behind the schedule and cost overrun.

2. Finally the project was dumped.

3. The Project manager was blamed for the same and fired.

4. Company incurred losses.

To avoid such situations, we must always obey the rule that "Respect Quality Process to derive the Quality in Product". But in above situation the first step of the project was not followed. The first step of the project is to prepare the project charter. But unfortunately, it was not followed. Second problem was that PM was not having enough courage to discuss the issues with the Sr Management. The Project charter is very important document. I would call Project charter as the ignition to the project. You can understand that without ignition is it possible to start the vehicle. I would like to mention some of the major points which must be jotted down in Project Charter clearly.

1. Project name.

2. Project Details (Project Owner, Project coordinator).

3. Identification of the Project manager.

4. Project Statement (Business Objective).

5. Project mission and Goal.

6. Project Scope.

7. Deliverables.

8. Estimated Phase wise schedule.

9. Estimated phasewise budget.

10. Assumptions.

11. Dependencies.

13. Constraints.

14. Risks.

15. Communication Plan.

16. Review Process.

17. Scope Management Plan.

18. Change request management Plan.

19. Expected Quality of the Project.

20. Tentative Team Members.

21. Special conditions with respect to local procedures.

Please note that all these points should be mentioned nicely and clearly in the project charter to make it a good document which will be driving force for the project manager to drive the Project. Since everything is clearly written in the project charter therefore, even if PM does not have the courage to ask Sr manager, he has all required information in written. The Project charter is very important document and it must be written before starting the project. I hope this will help to understand the importance of Project charter. If any question, please write to me directly.

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