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Project Charter Checklist

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 8/31/2010

If you've ever wondered "Is that everything?" when putting your project charter together, then you've stumbled upon the article for you. Find out if you have everything that you need with this helpful project charter checklist.

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    Putting the Project Charter Together

    Your project charter serves as one of the backbone documents for running a successful project. When creating the project charter, you want to ensure that you have accounted for every possible thing that should be in there - here's where the project charter checklist comes in handy. By going through this project charter checklist, you can be sure that you haven't forgotten any part of this important project management deliverable before you submit it to the stakeholders of your project for approval. Make sure you have all the necessary components by going through the list below.

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    1. Explanation of the Project's Importance

    Any time you put together a charter for a new project, you will want to be sure that you take the time to explain the importance of the project in the charter. Make sure you've taken your stakeholders through the background and the context of the project's initiation. If they don't understand why you think the project is important, they might not understand why the project is necessary.

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    2. An Analysis of the Financial Impact of the Project

    By performing an analysis of the financial impact of the project, and putting together a preliminary budget, you are saying to your stakeholders "I have considered how this project will impact the company's budget overall." It will also support your reasonings for why the project is important - especially if you expect to bring income in or save money with the completion of the project.

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    3. A Risk Assessment

    You should make sure to perform a risk assessment for any project that you would consider undertaking in your company. By taking the time to study what impacts the project will have on other facets of the company and environment, you can help to ensure that you don't end up spending more money or time on a project that will ultimately fail or cause harm.

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    4. Defined Objectives, Deliverables and Timeline

    Be sure that you have defined your project's objectives clearly. The importance of having clearly defined objectives cannot be stressed enough. You also want to be sure that all deliverables are defined and outlined as to what their project significance will be before you get started on the project. Finally, ensure that your timeline has been properly defined and is realistic. Even if you don't have particulars nailed down at this point, at least having a rough idea as to when important milestones will be met is helpful.

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    5. You Know What Will Constitute Project Success or Failure and You've Posed Alternatives

    If you haven't already defined what project success or failure will look like, you should. This is an important aspect of the project planning process and will help your stakeholders understand what they are getting into. Also, you will need to make sure that your project has clearly defined alternatives, just in case something goes wrong along the way. By ensuring that your project has alternatives to ensure its completion, you can stave off problems associated with wasting time.

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    6. The Roles and Responsibilities of All Team Members and Stakeholders Have Been Defined

    Make sure you define all the relevant roles and responsibilities of team members and stakeholders involved in your project. Nothing's worse than not knowing how many resources you need, who those resources are, or how stakeholders will play a role in your project. Be sure to take the time to allocate resources appropriately. This will save you trouble later.

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    7. Proper Authorizations Have Been Made

    Finally, make sure that your project receives signoffs from your stakeholders, from the project manager, and from the company manager. A proper project charter has received approval from all these venues. Your project charter is not complete without company approval!