Project Overview Section
1. Identification (Project Formal Name): Give the formal name of the project as well as any other terms that might be used to identify the project and the primary groups that will be involved with it. With this consistent terminology, it will be easier for all parties involved—such as the project team, stakeholders, and end users—to discuss and work on the project.
Note: If this project is a new incarnation of a previously cancelled or abandoned project, it's a good idea to reference the name of that old project as well.
2. Project Background and History: Give any background information that will help explain how the project came to be.
3. Project Purpose and/or Business Need: Explain why the project is needed. If applicable, include details of why existing tools or products are inadequate. If you have supporting documents for any of these reasons, you can list them here and include them as appendices to the charter.
4. Project Scope and Limitations: Define the project scope, being careful to note boundaries and limitations. The project scope should be clearly detailed so that all parties involved are very aware of exactly what the project includes as well as what it doesn't.
5. Project Goals and Objectives: Using appropriate business terminology, state all objectives for the project. Be sure to include the project's intended purpose in language that is both concise and explanatory.
6. Project Sponsorship and Major Stakeholders: Provide a list of names identifying the major parties involved in the project, such as project sponsors, stakeholders, and eventual project owners. In addition, be sure to identify the role of each individual listed so that there is no confusion concerning responsibilities later down the line. These names should also be included in the Project Approval section—see the next page of this guide for more details on that section of the project charter.
7. Pertinent Documents and References: List any related documents or other resources that could be helpful in understanding various aspects of the project, such as the scope and business need. If these documents are particularly crucial, they can also be included as appendices to the charter.
8. Overview of Project Terminology: Provide a basic, but complete, glossary that defines special terms related to the project. If there are any key terms, phrases, or acronyms that might prove to be confusing or new to anyone related to the project, be sure to include them in this section.