The Project Charter

Do you ever feel your project work is taking over your “real” job? Do you feel you spend more time and energy on projects than you intended? If so, a good idea is to start by mapping out a Project Charter before you begin.

This idea might be traced back to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should go and the Cheshire Cat asks where she is going. “I don’t know” replies Alice and the Cheshire Cat tells her “Then it doesn’t really matter”

A Project Charter is a list of rules and boundaries you intend to stick to and it works, for projects big and small if you work it! A typical Project Charter might include things like

  • The purpose and aim you are trying to achieve
  • A list of all the “stakeholders” – anyone involved or has an interest in the project
  • A sponsor – someone (maybe you?) who has the final say
  • A communication plan – how do you intend to keep everyone, including you informed of progress?
  • A budget – how much time and money will you spend?
  • Milestones – how will you know how you are doing during the project?
  • A toolkit – what techniques, methods and documents will you use to keep track of it all
  • A list of pro’s and con’s – Project Managers call this a risk register and it helps them deal with the things that inevitably don’t go to plan

So if you feel you are losing control of your projects, be like the Cheshire Cat and think about where you are going and write yourself a Project Charter!


Jamie Abbott

Ambition People Development

Tel: 07852 971675