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PMP Rapid Review: Initiating the Project

Task 1.5: Develop the project charter by further gathering and analyzing stakeholder requirements, in order to document project scope, milestones, and deliverables.

A fully developed project charter that reflects the information known about the project during the initiating phases, and enables senior stakeholders to make informed decisions about whether the project should proceed is central to every project no matter the size, complexity, or duration.

Exam need to know...

  • Project charter

    For example: What are the key elements of the project charter?

  • Stakeholder requirements

    For example: What are stakeholder requirements?

  • Milestone

    For example: What is the definition of a milestone?

Project charter

The project charter is the foundational document for the project that proves that it has political and financial support, and authorizes project work to formally begin. Each and every project undertaken must have an approved project charter. The project charter contains information such as the known statement of work, stakeholder requirements, milestones, and deliverables. Once approved, it also includes the signatures of significant stakeholders such as the project sponsor, project manager, and customer.

The tasks involved in further gathering and analyzing stakeholder requirements build on the work performed in the previous initiating tasks that gathered and defined preliminary information. This task takes the preliminary information and refines it in order to analyze stakeholder requirements about project scope, milestones, and deliverables more fully. This might involve an iterative process of presenting drafts of the project charter to stakeholders to get their feedback and to gauge support for developing the final project charter and presenting it for approval.

True or false? All projects, no matter how big or complex, must have a project charter.

Answer: True. One of the foundational concepts of project management is that each and every project has a project charter.

The size and complexity of the project charter reflects the size and complexity of the project being undertaken. A short and simple project might have a short and simple project charter; a complex project with a long duration might have an extensive project charter that is prepared as part of the initiating phase. In this case, the milestone between phases is the approval of the project charter.

Stakeholder requirements

Stakeholder requirements define the expectations of the project and product for the stakeholders. The customer is one of your stakeholders, and the requirements will focus on the project deliverables. Other stakeholders might have requirements about other aspects of the project such as quality, communications, health and safety, and environmental management. It is the responsibility of the project manager to capture and document these requirements in the project charter.

True or false? Stakeholder requirements refer only to the technical specifications of the product of the project.

Answer: False. The requirements of the customer might focus on the technical specifications of the product of the project, but other stakeholders have other requirements for the project.

Milestone

The project charter is developed during the initiating phase of a project lifecycle, and at this point detailed information about the project schedule is not known. However, there should be enough information to define the major milestones that must be met. A milestone can be a normal part of the project schedule or it can be used as a point between phases that might require specific approval before proceeding to the next phase.

True or false? The project charter should contain detailed information about the project schedule.

Answer: False. The project charter generally does not contain detailed information about the project schedule, but does contain information about known milestones. Detailed information on the project schedule is completed as part of the planning activities carried out after the approval of the project charter.

Can you answer these questions?

You can find the answers to these questions at the end of this chapter.

  1. At what point in a project should the project charter be developed?
  2. What is the purpose of the project charter?
  3. What sort of project should always have a project charter?
  4. If you are working on a project and discover the project charter was never formally signed off on, what should you do?
  5. What sort of information is captured as part of documenting stakeholder requirements?

This chapter is from the book

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