6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.1 Develop Project Charter


I am starting a project of going through the 6th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide and blogging about its contents.    The 6th Edition was released on September 22nd by the Project Management Institute, and now that I am done reviewing the first three chapters on projects, the environment in which they are done, and the role of the project manager, I am excited to start the fourth chapter on the first of the 10 knowledge areas, that of Project Integration Management.   This post starts a series of posts on the first project management process, process 4.1 Develop Project Charter.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs of this process, let’s have a post on a general description of the project charter and what it does.  Here are five questions answered with regards to the project charter…

What is the purpose of a project charter?

A project charter authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Who writes the project charter?

The project charter is signed by the project sponsor, and is usually created by the sponsor as well.   In some cases, the project manager is brought on board after the project charter is created; however, PMI prefers that a project sponsor bring the project manager on board while the project charter is being developed.

What are the benefits of the project charter process for the organization?

  • It links the project with the strategic objectives of the organization
  • It creates a formal record of the project
  • It shows the organizational commitment of resources to the project

What is the relationship of a project charter to a contract?

The project charter itself is not a contract.   In the case of an external customer, a formal contract is typically the preferred way to establish an agreement.   This agreement is in fact one of the inputs to the process 4.1 Develop Project Charter.   What the project charter is an internal agreement within an organization to ensure proper delivery under the contract.

Why is it important for the project manager to study the project charter carefully?

It contains high-level information on practically all the knowledge areas that the project manager will encounter on the project.   Also, the business documents will demonstrate the larger context in which the project takes place and understanding them will allow the project manager to understand not just what the project will create, but why it is being done in the first place.

 

 

 

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