What is a project charter in agency project management?

Project charter definition

In agency project management, a project charter is a formal, concise document that provides a clear overview of a project's objectives, stakeholders, scope, deliverables, and major milestones. Serving as a foundational reference and agreement between stakeholders, the charter ensures clarity of purpose, aligns expectations, and provides a roadmap for successful project execution. By delineating roles, responsibilities, and goals, it facilitates efficient project management, promotes stakeholder alignment, and mitigates potential misunderstandings.

How to create a project charter

The process of crafting a project charter sets the stage for focused and informed project management. Here's a systematic approach to creating one:

  1. Identify project purpose: Begin with a clear statement detailing the reason behind the project and its overarching goal.

  2. Delineate scope: Clearly define the project's boundaries, specifying what is included and what falls outside its purview.

  3. Detail deliverables: List tangible outputs, results, and any other deliverables the project aims to produce.

  4. Identify stakeholders and roles: Name all involved parties, specifying their roles and responsibilities.

  5. Set major milestones: Pinpoint key phases or significant moments in the project lifecycle.

  6. Establish budget and resources: Indicate the financial parameters and any resources (personnel, tools, materials) necessary for the project.

  7. State risks and constraints: Identify potential challenges, barriers, or constraints that could affect project execution.

  8. Finalize approval mechanism: Specify who holds the authority to approve changes or make key decisions throughout the project.

Project charter example

For a clearer understanding, consider this straightforward example of a project charter for a website redesign for XYZ Brand:

Project Name: Website Redesign for XYZ Brand

Purpose: To revamp the client's outdated website, ensuring it's mobile-responsive, user-friendly, and aligns with their updated brand identity.

Scope: Design, development, and testing of a new website. Excludes content creation and SEO optimization.

Deliverables: A fully functional website, design documentation, and user manual.

Stakeholders and roles:

  • Agency Project Manager: Oversee project execution.

  • Client Representative: Provide feedback and approvals.

  • Web Designer: Create design layouts.

  • Web Developer: Implement and test website functionality.


  • Design approval by [Date].

  • Development completion by [Date].

  • Final client review by [Date].

Budget: $XX,XXX, including design, development, and testing phases.

Risks: Potential delays in client feedback could affect timelines. Limited access to original website assets may require design modifications.

Approval: Any significant project changes require joint approval from the Agency Project Manager and Client Representative.

Platforms like platforms streamline the creation, sharing, and collaborative fine-tuning of project charters, ensuring all stakeholders stay aligned, informed, and committed to the project's success from inception to completion.

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