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What are the benefits of a project charter?

This may be one of those "duh" questions, but I seriously can't see the point for developing a project charter? What are its benefits?
asked 9 years ago by anonymous

2 Answers

With all respect to the previous answerer, he failed to address some of the major benefits of a project charter (and why it's a necessary, and why there IS a point to it):

1. A signed project charter authorizes the project. A project cannot and should not be undertaken without an approved project charter.

2. A project charter is an excellent answer to this question "Hey, what was the main reason behind this project?". Stakeholders may forget with time, and the project charter is the only (formal) reminder.

3. It's an excellent high level brief about the project that rarely changes during the course of the project. Since executed projects experience a lot of changes, many of the project documents (substantially) change during the course of the project. Since the project charter is (usually) consistent throughout the project, it always is a great reference about the project.

4. How can you sell your project to the stakeholders (including the client) if you're not telling them what the project does, how much it costs, who will do it, what are the risks and constraints, and, last but not least, what will be the potential return? All these things are mentioned in the project charter.

The project charter is not optional, it is necessary.
answered 9 years ago by TheManager (6,220 points)
The project charter has following benefits:

- Defining the vision, the goal, and the objectives of the project: Imagine a project with no clear vision? Who would be able to work on it without getting frustrated?
- Getting stakeholder buy in: The project charter is instrumental in getting stakeholder buy in. In fact, stakeholders approve the project based on it charter.
- Defining key (high level) roles and responsibilities: who are the clients, who are the stakeholders, what will the stakeholders do? Disambiguation of roles is key to having a smooth a successful project.
- Assuring stakeholders about the project: When stakeholders see that you have developed a preliminary project plan (who are the resources, who much time it will take, what are the potential risks, etc..), they will be assured as they will think that the project is well thought through.

For all the above reasons, any project SHOULD have a project charter.
answered 9 years ago by humblepm (17,390 points)

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