After a project has been budgeted, we ask the business champion to develop a charter. There are a lot of elements in a good charter and the larger the project the more complex the charter requirements.
All project charters must address a few key elements in order to be approved for launch:
- A detailed project plan (each task must have a duration, successors, predecessors and a description of the deliverable)
- An eloquent description of the expected benefits
- Success metrics with actual baselines and targets
This first bullet is important. Luckily Ministry Health Care as a world class project management office that are experts at creating business plans. But most organizations aren’t good at developing plans. They just right down a series of phases with a start date and a stop date. Whenever I see one of those plans (they usually come in an Excel file) I send the user back to develop a real project plan, with a little help. The real plan is always 50% longer (in duration) than the original attempt.