PROJECT CHARTER TEMPLATE – INSTRUCTIONS
This document describes the content of IT project charters. In accordance with IT
Project Governance policies, any significant project added to the IT Project Registry
requires a project charter. A significant IT project involves one of the following:
• A project requiring a minimum of 20 person-days of effort
• A project that an IT director deems important on a broader level (for example, a
project, though small, involves significant change management on campus)
• Impact on another IT unit as an outcome of the project, or for project resourcing
The project charter is intended to serve as a communication tool to reinforce the
project’s mission and is used to guide project development. Once the charter is
completed and approved by the sponsor, one of the following decisions should be made
by the sponsor and/or CIO:
• Approval to spend the resources necessary to develop a detailed project
plan (large, complex projects)
• Approval to proceed with project execution (small, inexpensive, shorter
ii. Provisional Approval
• Approval in principle, but certain conditions must be met prior to
proceeding with the project.
• Project is deferred or declined.
Sections in this template displayed in black text indicate the key sections needed for all
project charters. Orange text indicates optional sections (if completed, please change
to black text for the final version, otherwise delete the section).
Text in italics contains instructions, and should be removed from the final version.
Page 1 of 6
Contact Names: Project Role Email Phone
Version Control #: Date Comments
In one or two sentences, describe the goal of this project.
Describe the reason(s) for the project. What problem will the project solve? Does this
project provide an opportunity to improve services? Be concise – if necessary include
any background information as an appendix or provide a link to supporting documents.
This charter is a request to the sponsor and CIO to proceed to the next project phase:
1. Approval to plan – for large projects
2. Approval to plan and execute – for short projects
Strategic Business Alignment
Describe how this project aligns with the University’s mission and its organizational
effectiveness. See “Success Criteria” below for information related to strategic
Provide a list of those directly involved in the project (if known). At this point the Project
Sponsor is required. The sponsor supports the Project Manager by securing resources,
assisting with major issues, approving scope changes, and signing off on major
Project Sponsor: name, position (required)
Project Manager: name, position
Core Project Team: name, position
Page 2 of 6
Executive Committee: name, position
(or Advisory Group) name, position
What are the departments/units in the university that are most affected by the project?
Identify the key clients (users) of the system or service. (Depending on the size or
complexity of the project a communications plan may be necessary to make sure that
stakeholders are kept informed.)
Use this section to give a rough estimate of costs that will be incurred for this project. If
known, include any estimated costs for the development/execution of the project
(Project funding) and any post-implementation costs needed to maintain the project
Category Description of Items Project Base
How can the success of the project be measured? It is important that the criteria be
quantifiable and measurable, and if possible, expressed in terms of strategic alignment
and organizational effectiveness for the University.
Success for the project can be based on the criteria for selecting an IT project as
outlined in the IT Project Governance document under the following categories:
Page 3 of 6
• Strategic alignment and organizational effectiveness
• Project success factors
• Technology drivers
• Financial considerations
Some examples of success criteria are shown in the table below.
Business Value Criteria for Project Success Measurement
Optimizes business 1) Provide IT units with the tools to - acceptance by project managers
processes manage and monitor project plans using tool for new projects (survey)
Addresses emerging 2) Provide CIO with uniform project - timely reports
technologies status reports and dashboard - ability to see status of all significant IT
In Scope (Project Deliverables): What does the project deliver? List the major
deliverables, including the final outcome of the project.
Out of Scope: Identify what is not part of this project.
In Scope (Project Deliverables) Out of Scope
Provide a list of assumptions that the project will depend on. In particular: resources,
schedules of other projects, policies, technology, etc. Here are a few examples:
• 2 developers proficient in Oracle are available in March and April
• Trainers are available in the fall
• Version x is installed on new server
Provide a list of limitations or restrictions to project execution. For example
• it is imperative that a certain deliverable is on time before March registration
• Only $$ is allowed for conversion
Page 4 of 6
What are the target dates for milestones or deliverables during the project?
Milestone/Deliverable Target Finish Date
Roles and Responsibilities
Estimate the staffing needs for the project. This list should include the project manager,
functional analysts, and developers and any subject matter experts who will need to be
included on a part-time basis. Based on the deliverables, record approximately how
many person days will be needed to complete the project.
Position Project Responsibilities Existing % Person
or new Tim Days
What risks can affect the project? For each risk, identify the probability of occurrence
and the expected severity of impact if it does. A mitigation strategy for the risks listed
below should be documented in the Project Plan as part of the Risk Management Plan.
Risk Name Description Impact on Project Severity Probabilit Risk
(In Cost, PD, Schedule, (H,M,L) y Rating
*HxH = H HxM = H HxL = M MxL = M MxM = M LxL = L
Page 5 of 6
Describe if other approaches were considered? List the alternative strategies available
such as outsourcing, purchasing off-the-shelf software, customized code development,
manual processing, status quo, etc.
Page 6 of 6