What is a Project Charter ?
A Project charter is a 5 to 6 page document which collects all the information that has been developed in the previous steps and puts it in a central location. The Project charter serves as the constitution which governs the working of the project and disputes if any that may arise during the execution of the project.
Importance of the Project Charter
The project charter is the final deliverable document that is required at the end of the first step of the Define Phase. This document serves as a proof of the activities that have been performed up to this stage and the agreement that has been reached amongst the members of the team, the stakeholders as well as the management.
This charter is constantly used to see whether the project is doing what it was expected to do, within the time frame it was expected to do, so on and so forth. At the end of the project the actual benefits are compared with the forecasted benefits to declare the project a success or a failure. The Project Charter plays a vital role in the control of the project.
Elements of the Project Charter
A Project charter usually has 5 - 6 elements. They can be more or less depending upon the nature of the project and its requirements. However the usual elements of most Six Sigma project charters are as follows:
Purpose: To be assembled from Problem and Goal Statements
Value: To be assembled from the Business Case
Scope: To be assembled from the high level business flow
Team: To be decided as per the roles before beginning the project.
Schedule: To be prepared as per the time frame provided at the beginning of the project
CTQ Measures: To be assembled from the information collected during the problem and goal definition
Accessibility and Modification
The Project Charter must be stored in a shared location and must be accessible to all at any time. This is because this document and its interpretation is critical to ensuring that the project progresses in the right direction.
However, the Project Charter is like the Bible of the Project. Modifications must not be allowed under normal circumstances. However. If material information needs to be included or corrected in the project charter, then it must be done after due diligence and everyone must be informed about the change. This will ensure that all the people working on the project have the exact same information all the time.