Make sure you state what the business benefits are going to be. While the charter needs to state what the new project is going to provide and make some general statements of what improvements might occur. You really need to state benefits in terms of the stakeholders and the organization. In real life your projects are going to be competing with other projects for approval and resources so you need to do your best to provide good clear benefits. You want management to read the charter and understand why it is important to the organization to do the project. You don't want them to read the charter and say, "So what?" "I don't see the benefit." "I see what you are trying to accomplish but I don't see how that benefits the organization." "Why is your project more beneficial than building a new warehouse, or upgrading our manufacturing line, or buying 100 new police cars (I used to work for the Illinois State Police)?"
Preliminary Scope – This is your first opportunity to start defining the boundaries of your project. The scope statement is critical because it states what you are (are not) going to accomplish by doing the project. At this point you are early in the project but, it is still important to begin developing the scope statement as completely as possible with the information you have at the time. At this point the preliminary scope will help you develop your Project Charter. The preliminary scope will provide input to the Project Objectives and Success Criteria portions of the charter. As you get more information later, the scope will most likely change, which is okay early on in the project. You will, later on, halt changes to the scope. Once that occurs, it does not necessarily mean changes will not occur, but if they are going to occur they are going to have to go through a change management process.
Your scope is like the boundary around a sports playing field. Anything inside the boundary is in play (part of the project). Anything outside the boundary is out of play (not in the project). So just are boundaries on a playing field are easy to see and obvious, you need to develop your scope so what is part of the project is easy to see. You can accomplish this by being detailed and specific.
Project Management Plan – The Project Management plan will evolve as you go through the planning process. When you create your first version you are creating the foundation for your complete plan. As you go through the various knowledge areas, you will update the information in the plan and actually refer to documentation you will create later such as the scope statement, risk management plan, work breakdown structure, etc. This document also gives you a chance to lay out the ground rules for some of the administrative processes that will occur in the project (see managerial and technical processes section).
A key component of the Management and Technical Processes is the incorporation of the Deliverable Acceptance Form. This form is used to document whether or not each deliverable produced has been accepted or not and why or why not it was accepted. Having this key piece of documentation is essential for the team so they know whether or not they have completed a deliverable or if they need to continue to work on it to make it acceptable.
Scope Management Plan – This plan discusses scope creation, verification and maintenance. Once very key concept is the scope is not created by the project team alone. It must be a cooperative effort between the project team and stakeholders of the project. One key element related to project failure is the lack of involving stakeholders in the creation of the scope. After all, they will be the ones using the end product so it is critical that they are heavily involved in determining what the project is going to do. While this may sound obvious, it is a common mistake made by project teams.
Scope Statement - Your scope statement is one of the most...
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