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


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.    Let’s assume that, as a project manager, you have been tasked by the sponsor to create the project charter.  How would you go about doing it?

In the last posts, I discussed the inputs you need to develop the project charter, namely:

  • Business documents
  • Agreements
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets

The key document here is the business case document, one of the two business document inputs listed above.   It may contain the following key pieces of information that will help you put together the project charter.

  • Project purpose (business need)
  • Measurable project objectives and related success criteria
  • Identification of scope
  • Identification of known risks
  • Recommended milestones
  • Identification of key stakeholders

With the information on this business case document, you already are getting some of the information you need for the project charter, PLUS you are getting a list of key stakeholders whom will contact to get the rest of the information you need.

How do you approach the stakeholders to get that information?   That is where the tools & techniques come into play.   Here they are:

Expert judgment

Talk to stakeholders and/or subject matter experts who know about

  • organizational strategy so the project is aligned with it
  • technical knowledge of the industry
  • benefits management (departments that will receive the results of the project)
  • duration and budget estimation
  • risk identification

Data gathering

  • Brainstorming–two-part process consisting of a) idea generation and b) analysis.
  • Focus groups–bring in groups of stakeholders and subject matter experts to learn about project risk and success criteria
  • Interviews–rather than talking to groups of stakeholders, talking to them individually to find out about assumptions and/or constraints, high-level requirements, and approval criteria.

Interpersonal and team skills

  • Conflict management–bringing stakeholders into alignment regarding objectives, success criteria, high-level requirements, project description, summary milestones.
  • Facilitation–Effectively guiding a group event (such as a focus group) to a successful decision or conclusion.
  • Meeting management–ensuring key stakeholders are invited to meetings, preparing an agenda, and then sending follow-up meeting minutes and action items.

Meetings

Held with key stakeholders to identify the project objectives, success criteria, key deliverables, high-level requirements, summary milestones.

These are used in conjunction with each other, so at the early stage, you would use data gathering tools & techniques and expert judgment, then follow up with meetings using interpersonal and team skills.

The result will be the project charter, the elements of which will be discussed in the next post on outputs.

 

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