This paper is an update of a paper prepared for the June 2002 IPMA Conference in Berlin. It contains content from various training materials developed for the World Bank. The current paper is copyright to Robert Youker, © 2007.
Published here January 2008.

Introduction | Document #1: On-the-Job Tasks for the Project Manager 
Modules 1-3 | Modules 4-6 | Module 7 | Modules 8-9 | Modules 10-12
Document #2: The Project Manager's Duties | Document #3: Typical Elements in a Project Charter

Document #3: Typical Elements in a Project Charter

The Project Charter is an essential document necessary for successfully managing a project. Professor David Wilemon of Syracuse University has spelled out the vital nature of a Project Charter:

"Unless the project manager's charter is delineated very clearly, not only to him but to others in the organization, he is neither fish nor fowl. He is not master of his destiny. The charter is the environment that is created for the project manager. It is 50% of the battle of whether he is successful or not."

The issue is, does the Project Charter makes it clear whether or not the project manager has management's support to run his or her project as they see fit - or does someone else!


The project manager shall have the delegated authority from top management to direct all project activities.


The project manager's responsibilities are to the chief executive, senior manager, or sponsoring director, for overall project direction according to established business objectives and contractual requirements regarding technical specifications, schedules, and budgets. More Specifically, the Project Manager Is Responsible for:

  1. Establishing the project organization
  2. Establishing and maintaining the project plan
  3. Managing and controlling the project
  4. Communicating the project status, and
  5. Escalating decisions or unresolved problems in a timely manner

The Project Charter should address a number of key areas as shown below.

A) Establishing the project organization

  1. The project manager's position directing all project activities
  2. The need for a defined authority responsibility relationship among The project manager, Functional managers, Task managers, and Top management
  3. The need for influence to cut across functional and organizational lines
  4. Collaborating (with the personnel office and the functional supervisors) in staffing the project
  5. Establishing a project organization (a matrix organization) for the duration of the project
  6. Having a voice in maintaining the integrity of the project team during the complete life of the project
  7. Participation in the merit evaluation of key project personnel assigned to the project
  8. The need to state clearly who the project sponsor is and what access the project manager has to him/her/them

B) Establishing and maintaining the project plan

  1. Establishing project plans through the coordinated efforts of the organizations involved in the project
  2. Providing leadership in the preparation of operational requirements, specifications, and bid packages and change control
  3. Active participation in major management and technical decisions
  4. Allocating and controlling the use of funds on the project

C) Managing and controlling the project

  1. Control over the allocation and expenditure of funds, and active participation in major budgeting and scheduling deliberations
  2. Selection of subcontractors to support the project and the negotiation of contracts
  3. Rights in resolving conflicts that jeopardize the project goals
  4. Promoting technological and managerial improvements throughout the life of the project
  5. Managing the cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters of the project

D) Communicating project status

  1. Providing an information system for the project with sufficient data for the control of the project within allowable cost, schedule and technical parameters
  2. Maintaining prime customer liaison and contact on project matters
  3. Reporting on project progress
Document #2: The Project Manager's Duties  Document #2: The Project Manager's Duties

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