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How to write a Project Charter – Business Plan for Projects 【Excel Template 】

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How to write a Project Charter - Bus...

Creating a project charter is essential for the success of your project. This article explains what a project charter is, why it is needed, and how to write it. How to write this project charter is explained concretely in an easy-to-understand manner on the Excel template.

(Duration: 5:07)

DOWNLOAD  ← Click this to download the “Project Charter” template file.

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What’s a Project Charter?

Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma Black Belt.

In this episode, I would like to talk in detail about how to write a Project Charter in the Define Phase of a Lean Sigma project.

Why do you have to do this project?  What will you do in the project?  What are its purpose and goal?  By when will you complete it?  Who will manage the project?  Writing all of these clarifies your project, doesn’t it?  You should write all those down on paper.

When do you use the Project Charter?

You will review this paper when you make a plan, when you get stuck, or when you want to check whether you’ve achieved all the objectives before the end of the project.  It is not exaggeration to say that this one piece of paper is the most important document among all the project documents.

If you proceed with your project without the completion of this paper, you may lose the original purpose, take it beyond its budget or extend the completion date.  In the worst case, your project will fail.  You may not need to make it if a project will end in a week, but the longer the project term is, the better it is to write a Project Charter.

Here, I am launching a fictitious project.  I’ll use this project to explain how to use each Lean Sigma tool from now on.  What kind of project is it?  You can find that out just by reading the Project Charter.

How to use this Project Charter template

DOWNLOAD  ← Click this to download the “Project Charter” template file.

By the way, this project charter template is considerably more simplified than the usual ones.  It is good for small-to-mid-scale projects.  Since it has explanations in each section, it’s very easy to write.

First, there is the ‘Project Name’ section.  Because everyone will use this name, use an easy name that reflects the contents of the project.

In the ‘Problem Statement’ section, write why this project has become necessary, which processes have what kind of problems and who has encountered those problems.

By the way, you may want a new line in one cell of the spreadsheet.  If so, put your cursor on the location, and while holding down the ‘Alt’ key, press the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard.  It will make a new line in the cell.

The next section is the ‘Business Case’.  Write what the project does and how the project aligns to the company strategy and direction.

The next section is the ‘Project Scope’.  Content changes, specification changes and adding minor functions are very common occurrences in projects.  These are the biggest cause of going over budget or completion delays.  In order to prevent this problem, define ‘In Scope’ and ‘Out of Scope’ at the beginning.

The next section is the ‘Project Goal Statement’.  Write what its purpose and goal are, who is the biggest customer of the target process and who will evaluate the success or failure of this project.

Next is the ‘Goal Metrics’ section.  Specify the definition of achieving the goal mentioned in the previous section.  Which numeric factor defines the project success and what are its success and failure measurements.  Specify when the project has to be finished by and what is its budget, as well.

The last section is the ‘Project Team’.  The leader and team members basically have an obligation to attend project meetings.  Subject matter experts are people who have wisdom and knowledge in respect to this project.  That is a supportive role and you can request that they attend meetings when needed.

Effects to use a Project Charter

The project begins when you’ve completed this charter and the person who has authority has approved it.

Just give this paper to stakeholders who don’t know about this project at all.  It would then be self-explanatory to them.  It also has the effect of making the project public.  Making a charter is very effective in many areas.

You could probably write a Project Charter within 30 minutes.  After you get used to doing it, you can do it much faster.  Please make it a habit to start your project by making a project charter.

DOWNLOAD  ← Click this to download the “Project Charter” template file.

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