The Ultimate Guide to Project Charter Template with Samples & Examples

Jawad Ahmad


Jawad Ahmad

The Ultimate Guide to Project Charter Template with Samples & Examples

Table of Contents

In the project lifecycle, the charter is created during the startup phase. Do you know the incredible value of creating a project charter? If not, here’s everything you need to know to get the perfect project charter.

A project charter is a fundamental project authorization that documents and describes the shared view of project scope, development, and objectives while defining the management team’s roles and responsibilities.

It is a crucial element in planning out the project. The project charter template helps in documenting the complete project. So before heading, let us see what the project charter template is?

“A project charter template helps to document the brief details of a project. Such as purpose scope, deliverables and the staff who are working in this project”.

You can use this project charter template to record all the essential details about your project, including its scope, stakeholders, deliverables, goals, and objectives. In addition, you can create task lists and resource, financial, and quality plans to specify the scope of work to be done when you have identified those. Because it gives a clear picture of your project, everyone involved is on the same page, and your project charter is a crucial document.

Related article Introduction to Project Management Templates

The Ultimate Guide to Project Charter Template

About Free Project Charter Template

This Free project charter template identifies project objectives, scope, and
deliverables. Then it creates task lists and resources.

Besides, it makes the financial and quality plans as well to plan the work forward. This template shows the importance of the project and how to address these reasons.


What Is a Project Charter?

According to the Project Management Institute’s definition in the book Project Management Body of Knowledge (P.M.B.O.K. ), a project charter “writes the high-level information on the whole project” to make sure that all stakeholders are aware of the project’s deliverables, milestones, and roles of the project management team.

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Why You Need a Project Charter

The project charter is the documentation in which you describe the reasons for starting the project. You also describe how the project team and strategy will be organized to achieve the project’s objectives and make it successful.

The project’s vision, objectives, scope, and deliverables are just a few elements of a project charter. Then, from the stakeholders on down, you’ll need to address everyone’s roles within the project. Finally, it would help if you described how you plan to approach the project, including its scope, resources, and stakeholder requirements.

You’ll use this free project charter template for Excel to produce the document you’ll give to a senior management member of the company, also known as the project sponsor. You must first complete a few more project management forms. These are the feasibility study and business case. You are prepared to start the project planning phase once the project charter and all of these documents have been accepted.

Therefore, the project charter acts as a boundary for the project plan. You are providing specifics about the project’s scope, which will consider every deliverable the project is meant to produce. Assemble your project team and start the planning, implementation, and monitoring phases once you have a project charter.

Once you’ve assembled your project team, teach them how to use project management software so they can collaborate on assignments. Finally, the project manager converts the project charter into a trackable project plan.

The Gantt chart links task dependencies, organizes the project schedule, and determines the critical route. Once you’ve established the baseline for the project timeline, you can monitor your team’s work in real-time to compare actual progress to the plan and maintain the project on track and within budget.

Importance and Roles of Project Charter Template

When starting a project, it would be beneficial to develop a project charter first. So, to make a project successful, you can create a project charter to the first step in the project’s whole life cycle.

Here are some significant benefits of the project charter template.

  • The project charter gives a clear understanding of the whole project. It also reflects the results of the project. Our project charter template uses clear and focused business terms, which makes it easy to understand. Moreover, this free project charter template states when the project s going to start, which makes the mind of the project leader and the participants. 
  • To clearly understand the project, the whole project needs to be precise. Also, if it is vague, the project leader and the participants would not understand the process and procedures outside the project’s scope. Our project charter template excel clearly defines the project scope.
  • Our free project charter template also gives you budget clarity. It ensures that the funding is available, and it will release on time. Additionally, it settles your spending authority and budget before starting the project. 
  • This free project charter template gives you measuring criteria and milestones. So, it provides invaluable guidance to your team as you start to brief out the project. Also, the project charter template helps determine project value for managers and teams. Additionally, it gives budget clarity. 
  • A team working under a flawed charter will find themselves confused again and again. So, a well-written charter boosts up the team’s morale by giving proper direction for success. 
  • A well-written project charter creates a shared understanding between stakeholders and the team. Also, the stakeholders can clearly understand what the outcomes of investing in the project will be. It helps them know what they are approving.

Components, Objectives, and Benefits of the Project Charter

There are several components and objectives of a project charter templet excel. 

Overview: Gives a precise statement of the project.

Purpose of the Project Charter template: This Project Charter template defines the purpose, objectives, and scope of the project. The main is:

  • To deliver an understanding of the project, the reason, and its justification
    for starting it
  • To establish the project administrator and his authority level

Project Objective: The project charter clearly states the project’s objective, how to access and measure it. It should be:

  • Measurable
  • Acceptable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based scope

Components of a Project Charter

The components of a project charter might change from one project to another, as they do with most project management papers. However, the following are the project charter’s most crucial components:

Executive Summary

The sections of this paper that will be covered in more detail after this one are summarized in the executive summary. Be succinct; you are merely laying up the information, much like a table of contents. The definition, organization, plan, risks, problems, presumptions, and constraints will all be covered in this paper section.

Project Definition

You must clearly understand what the project is intended to accomplish; state it here, along with a high-level summary. In addition, a project charter template must include the following components for your project definition.

Project Vision: Be succinct when describing the project’s vision. The project’s goal should be stated in only one Word. Reduce it to its bare minimum while keeping it realistic.

Project Goals and Objectives: You should identify those essential to the project in the project objectives. Each aim should be a specific declaration of what the initiative will accomplish. These must be smart goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

Sub-objectives can be created from the project’s main goals. These could include industry-specific corporate objectives. Project goals may also be technology-specific.

Project Scope: All of your project’s actions, checkpoints, and deliverables are listed in the project scope. Your project’s scope should restrict the amount of work that can be done. When defining the project’s scope, it is important to consider the processes that will change, the organizational areas that will be impacted, the locations that will be impacted, the possibility of data alteration, the applications that will need to be installed or modified, and the technologies that will be used and decommissioned. Remember to specify what will not be covered in your project scope and consider the risks and limitations involved.

Project Deliverables: The project deliverables can be organized in a diagram, for example, one that displays the item in one column and its components in another, followed by the description, success criteria, and quality requirements.

Project Plan

Start by stating your strategy. Which project milestones are there? How will you carry out each project phase? Make a table where each phase is noted, and the strategy is briefly described next to it.

A Gantt chart can be used to schedule the overall strategy. The project schedule can be outlined, describing the order of each step that you have gathered in the table.

Throughout the project life cycle, you want to know your milestones. Project milestones are significant events that signal the end of a phase. Create a table with the milestone, the deadline for completion, and a brief description of it.

Following that, you should list the job dependencies. How will they affect other tasks, and how will non-delivery affect them, i.e., are they task-dependent?

Make a plan for resource management next. You’ll be summarising the time and effort put in by each project team member in this section. The start and end dates, the proportion of effort, and their job should come first.

Now we get to the money phase. Here, you divide the category into its price and its worth. A more comprehensive financial plan might be created during the project’s planning phase.

Next, you need a strong strategy. This ensures that numerous procedures are followed to make the project successful. The process should therefore be listed, whether it be change management, risk management, issue management, etc., before being described.

Project Considerations

Here is where you address the project’s risks. First, describe any potential risks to the project, including their likelihood (high, medium, or low), potential consequences (again, high, medium, or low), and the steps you’ll take to mitigate them if they do exist.

Address the issues in order of priority next. For example, a problem is now affecting the project instead of danger. Describe it, indicate its priority, and specify the steps you’ll take to fix it.

What are the project’s identified assumptions right now? Then a list of restrictions follows.

Project Organization

You can outline the responsibilities of each person involved in your project, including clients, stakeholders, and team members, in the section on project organization. Opportunities, risks, constraints, and scope are also included.

Scope: The project scope includes details, the desired outcome, and why
stakeholders should choose it. 

Milestones: An estimated budget of the project: An experienced project manager defines the Timeline and expected expenses of the project.

Project schedule and milestones: The project charter should include the
milestones that are needed.

Major Deliverables: A list of the major deliverables that will come from the
project should be listed.

Project constraints: It is essential to define all limitations on the project or those working on the project.

Potential risks and mitigation strategies: There is always a risk factor in every project. It is vital to define all constraints on the project or those working on the project. 

Project managers and staff: List every staff member and their role in the project.

Assumptions: List the assumptions in creating the project.

Business Need or Opportunity: Provide a brief statement of the business need or opportunity that led to the project’s beginning.

Stakeholders: Define stakeholder roles in the project. For example, explain
whether they’re actively involved or beneficiaries. List anyone who can approve or request changes to the project charter.

Related Article: Free Project Schedule Template | Plans, Gantt Chart and Timeline Templates

Advantages of creating a project charter

A project charter improvement:

  • Clarity 
  • Communication
  • Understanding of individual roles

Without a project charter, the project cant defines its direction. Further, you can avoid miscommunications and wrong expectations of customers, managers, and stakeholders, by having everyone examine and contribute to the project charter.

A project charter can work as a contract. Since it defines staff’s responsibilities and other terms and conditions, there’s less room for argument about whether parties fulfill their obligations.


What Is the Difference Between a Project Charter, a Statement of Work and a Project Proposal?

Let’s clarify the difference between a project management charter and other similar project documents before getting ahead. Here we will discuss, statement of work and a project proposal.

Statement of Work Vs Project Charter (S.O.W.)

The project’s purpose is described in the statement of work (S.O.W.), along with an outline of the deliverables. On the other side, a project charter is based on the S.O.W. and gives the project manager the power to launch the project. The S.O.W. typically serves as an internal document utilized only by the organization to solve business needs and give an overview of the deliverables, which is another distinction. However, a project charter follows the S.O.W. and gives the project manager the power to start the project and use funds.

A statement of work (SOW) is a formal document between the client and the agency. Also, it explains the reason for the project and how it will be the outcome.

The SOW is a detailed, legally-binding contract, whereas a project charter is comparatively shorter, high level, and a non-legal overview of the project.

There is no difference between a statement of work and the scope of work. However, a project charter contains the scope of work.  As for a project proposal, its purpose is to convince stakeholders of the viability of the project.

Making it clear, we can say the project charter doesn’t start until a project proposal has been approved. Moreover, the ownership of the above documents differs too.

The project director is generally the project proposal owner, and the project manager owns the project charter.

Project Charter vs. Project Proposal

A project proposal is created to convince stakeholders of the project’s viability. Once more, the project charter cannot begin unless the project proposal is approved. These papers also have different owners, with the project proposal typically belonging to a project director and the project charter typically belonging to the project manager.

The project proposal is made at the commencement phase, whereas the project charter is made during the planning phase. The tasks and responsibilities of the project team are described in the project charter, which serves as a guide. In addition, the project proposal identifies a problem and suggests solutions or ways to take advantage of an opportunity.

Steps to Make/Write A Project Charter

You can take action to deliver a better end product before diving into the sections of your project charter template. However, like any endeavour, your pre-project research and long-term success will come from being diligent.

First, it takes more than one person to create the components of a project charter. Although the project manager is frequently given this responsibility, it is a good idea to enlist the aid of the other project team members. Conduct a meeting with all project stakeholders, clients, and other team members before you write the first Word.

It’s crucial to hold an open dialogue during which everyone’s opinions are heard and, ideally, recorded on paper. This gathers suggestions and many points of view for your project charter, but it also helps everyone involved stay informed and prevent misunderstandings.

You can study a variety of information from this meeting. Go over your meeting notes, and present them to the attendees once a project charter draught is underway. They could provide you with further suggestions or edits that you can utilize to improve

There are no hard and fast rules to make an OK project charter in project
management. It differs based on project nature. So, here are some general guidelines to write an effective project charter.

  • Do primary research and collect information about the project. Then,
    introduce the stakeholders to the project. 
  • Discuss the purpose, objective and deliverables of the project with the
    stakeholder and team. And take notes.
  • For taking notes, use pre-formatted free project charter templates to
    mitigates the efforts.
    Include information about the communication channels
  • Review the drafted project charter with the team managers
  • Authorize the project from stakeholders and other participants to either
    start or continue.

Related Article Top Project Plan Templates in Excel

Format of Free Project Charter Template

There is our free project charter template in Word and PDF. This template is fully editable and can be mold according to your project’s requirements. Our project management charter template includes:

  • Reasons for the project
  • Project Name
  • Project managers and staff
  • Goals and purpose
  • Scope of Project
  • Project Requirements
  • Risk identified
  • Milestones
  • Expected outcomes of the project
  • A general overview of the budget
  • Who the main stallholders are

The Benefits of Having a Project Charter

An efficient project charter is essential in the completion of the project. Without it, a project loses its direction. Below are some benefits of having a good project charter:

  • It ultimately reflects all reasons for initiating a project.
  • It gives ways to solve any issues or concerns about the project. Also, identifies the major stakeholders and contributors to the project.
  • It clearly defines the relationships between all the members involved in the project.
  • It shows all objectives of the project. 
  • Improves the communication between the project manager, the
    stakeholders, and all the members. Further, it gives identification to the roles and authority of all the members involved in the project.
  • It allows the project to be concise and progress well.
  • Approves the project and announces its beginning.
  • It justifies the support of the management to the whole project. Also, defines the schedule, scope, budget, restraints, and deliverables of the
  • It can act as a basis for gaining project sponsorship.

Related Article: Best Project Tracking Template Excel

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Top 6 Frequently Asked Questions about Project Charter

There are many questions in the FAQ list of The Ultimate Guide to Project Charter Template with Samples & Examples. However, the top 6 and the basic ones are:

What is the Project Charter template?

A project charter template contains a detailed summary of the project.

Who Signs Project Charter?

The sponsor or stakeholder signs the project charter. 

Is a project charter a legal document?

Yes, a project charter legally authorizes the launch of the project.

How to write a project charter?

Write Project name, Purpose, objective, Budget, Scope, Deliverables, Stakeholders, milestones, Team roles and responsibilities.

What is the Project Charter example?

An example of the project charter is when an institute is founded and a document made to define the college’s policies.

What is a charter template?

A charter template contains a complete summary of the essence of the project. It acts as a document of agreement between the stakeholders, the sponsor, and the project team.

Finally, it was all about the “The Ultimate Guide to Project Charter Template with Samples & Examples”. Please do share your feedback in the comments section and keep visiting us to learn more about Project Management.

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