Sunday, 8 September 2013

4.1 Develop Project Charter - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition

The Develop Project Charter process is part of Initiating Process group and it is probably the process most of the PMP aspirants will be thorough with since it is the first process in the PMBOK.

One of the most common misconceptions I have seen with regard to this process is -

Project Charter is created by the Project Manager.
No, Project Manager might participate in creation of the Project Charter but, it is only the Sponsor who creates the Project Charter. Creation here means authorization (signing on the project charter). Note that the documentation might be done by a document writer but, that doesn't mean he owns the project charter. The question here is who signs it off and it is the project sponsor.

In case of internal projects, if there is no sponsor, the senior management might take the role of the sponsor and a variant of senior management might be the PMO, the project management governance body in the organization.

4.1 Develop Project Charter

One step backward:
According to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), projects need to be dealt with 5 process groups -
1. Initiating
2. Planning
3. Executing
4. Monitoring and Controlling
5. Closing

The process groups are nothing but how the project manager needs to look at the project or the project phase.
Note that project phases are different from process groups. While phase is dependent on the domain in which the project is undertaken, process groups relate to project management aspects.

Whenever a project is started afresh,
1. The Project Charter is created as the first step (so, according to PMBOK this is part of Initiating Process group). In other words, the project manager is authorized to utilize organizational resources for the concerned project.

2. The senior management gives the PM the power and authority to marshal resources for the sake of the project.

While the above 2 points are relevant to a fresh project, during start of subsequent phases within the same project, the initiating process group or the project charter might be revisited to ensure that the project is proceeding as per the stated objectives. It is something like a review or reinstating of principles both for the project manager as well as for all the stakeholders (like, sponsors, team members, client, senior management).

Since this is the first project document and others get developed from this, the Project Charter has most of the details but mostly at the high-level. There will be details about all the knowledge areas like risk, stakeholder list, communication requirements, scope, time, budget, order of magnitude, contracting opinion but everything mostly in high-level. The Project Manager will use the one-liners or high-level details to come up with detailed plans, processes, tools and techniques and then  the actual deliverables.

Note, that we are talking here about an iterative and an incremental approach. The project manager's role is to provide direction and do it in a measured way. He needs to give the team what they can handle at one time but plan it well so that it can be executed , monitor the execution and then, control if needed. So, this is what process groups are, in a nutshell. Every phase will have this project management approach. All project phases will have IPECC iterations.
I - Initiating
P - Planning
E- Executing
C- Monitoring and Controlling
C- Closing


To create the project charter, a proof of project need must come up and that happens through the existence of a Statement of Work : What needs to be developed , what are its characteristics and what are the boundaries (inclusions and exclusions). While contract is more concentrated about legal implications, statement of work is more inclined towards product features highlighting the boundaries.
Inputs - SoW

The Business Case talks about why this project is needed. How will it benefit the organization? What revenue benefits / productivity increase? What will I get from doing this project? How does it align with my strategy?
Inputs - Business Case

Agreements and Contracts are both important and they are a second arm of the statement of work while the former talks about legal implications, the latter is concerned about functional aspects.
Inputs - Agreement

Initiating processes will have expert judgment as a tool because there will be senior management intervention in terms of process alignment, template reuse.
Tools and Techniques - Facilitation Techniques

Outputs - Project Charter

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1 comment:

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