The executive summary should be a high-level summary of what issues or problems the project was created to correct. Typically, the executive summary also provides the background information and general statements regarding the project's purpose or justification which will be covered in more detail in the appropriate section(s) of the charter.
For the past several years our company intranet has been subject to numerous external breaches because of poor information technology (IT) security measures. These incidents have resulted in approximately $10 million in damages to the company. The Intranet Security Assurance ( ISA ) project has been created to address and correct these security issues and prevent further loss due to external IT security breaches. The project will integrate improved technology solutions with our current platform in order to establish a more robust security infrastructure.
This section of the project charter describes the purpose and justification of the project in the form of business case and objectives. The business case should provide the reasoning behind the need for this project as it relates to a function of the business.
Discuss the logic for the Business Need/Case (market demand, organizational need, customer request, technological advance, legal requirement, ecological impacts, social need, etc). This section should also include the intended effects of the business case (i.e. cost savings, process improvement, new product development, etc).
The ISA project has been created to increase organizational IT security in order to prevent further financial damages resulting from external security breaches. The costs associated with the successful design and implementation of these security measures will be recovered as a result of the anticipated reduction in financial damages.
Here the project charter should list the Business Objectives for the project which should support the organizational strategic plan.
The business objectives for this project are in direct support of our corporate strategic plan to improve IT security and reduce costs associated with loss and waste.
This section of the project charter provides a high-level description of the project. This description should not contain too much detail but should provide general information about what the project is, how it will be done, and what it is intended to accomplish. As the project moves forward the details will be developed, but for the project charter, high-level information is what should be provided.
The ISA project will provide increased security to the company's IT infrastructure and, more specifically, to the company intranet. The ISA project will utilize improved technology in the form of security hardware and software in order to prevent external breaches of the company intranet. All hardware and software will be integrated into the company's current IT platforms in order to establish increased security while allowing all systems and processes to continue without interruption.
Project Objectives and Success Criteria
Objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. The project manager must be able to track these objectives in order to determine if the project is on the path to success. Vague, confusing, and unrealistic objectives make it difficult to measure progress and success.
The objectives which mutually support the milestones and deliverables for this project have been identified. In order to achieve success on the ISA project, the following objectives must be met within the designated time and budget allocations:
The project team should develop a list of all high-level project requirements. These requirements are clear guidelines within which the project must conform and may be a result of input from the project sponsor, customer, stakeholders, or the project team.
This project must meet the following list of requirements in order to achieve success.
Additional requirements may be added as necessary, with project sponsor approval, as the project moves forward.
Constraints are restrictions or limitations that the project manager must deal with pertaining to people, money, time, or equipment. It is the project manager's role to balance these constraints with available resources in order to ensure project success.
The following constraints pertain to the ISA project:
The project team must identify the assumptions they will be working under as the project goes forward and document them in the project charter. These assumptions are what the project manager/team expect to have or be made available without anyone specifically stating so.
The following are a list of assumptions. Upon agreement and signature of this document, all parties acknowledge that these assumptions are true and correct:
All projects have some form of risk attached. This section of the project charter should provide a list of high-level risks that the project team has determined apply to this project.
The following risks for the ISA project have been identified. The project manager will determine and employ the necessary risk mitigation/avoidance strategies as appropriate to minimize the likelihood of these risks:
This section should list all of the deliverables that the customer, project sponsor, or stakeholders require upon the successful completion of the project. Every effort must be made to ensure this list includes all deliverables and project sponsor approval must be required for adding additional deliverables in order to avoid scope creep.
The following deliverables must be met upon the successful completion of the ISA project. Any changes to these deliverables must be approved by the project sponsor.
Summary Milestone Schedule
This section of the project charter provides an estimated schedule of all high-level project milestones. It is understood that this is an estimate and will surely change as the project moves forward and the tasks and milestones and their associated requirements are more clearly defined.
The project Summary Milestone Schedule is presented below. As requirements are more clearly defined this schedule may be modified. Any changes will be communicated through project status meetings by the project manager.
The summary budget should contain general cost components and their planned costs. As the project moves forward these costs may change as all tasks and requirements become clearer. Any changes must be communicated by the project manager.
The following table contains a summary budget based on the planned cost components and estimated costs required for successful completion of the project.
Project Approval Requirements
The organization must understand when the project has reached a successful completion. These criteria must be clear and should be accepted by whoever will sign-off on the project's closeout. Once the project charter is signed-off by the authorized person, the project is deemed approved and is successful as long as it has met all of the agreed upon requirements.
Success for the ISA project will be achieved when a fully tested intranet security solution, and all technical documentation, is fully deployed throughout the company within the time and cost constraints indicated in this charter. Additionally, this measure of success must include a recommendation list for future security considerations as we fully anticipate the necessity of this solution to evolve in order to prevent future threats. Success will be determined by the Project Sponsor, Mr. Jim Thomas, who will also authorize completion of the project.
This section of the project charter explicitly states who is assigned as the PM, their responsibility, and authority level. Depending on the organization and scope of the project, the project manager may have varying levels of responsibility and authority for personnel, project expenditures, and scheduling.
John Doe is named Project Manager for the duration of the ISA Project. Mr. Doe's responsibility is to manage all project tasks, scheduling, and communication regarding the ISA project. His team, consisting of two IT specialists and one security specialist will be matrix support from the IT department. Mr. Doe will coordinate all resource requirements through the IT department manager, Jane Snow. Mr. Doe is authorized to approve all budget expenditures up to, and including, the allocated budget amounts. Any additional funding must be requested through the Project Sponsor, Jim Thomas. Mr. Doe will provide weekly updates to the Project Sponsor.
Approved by the Project Sponsor: