Project Management

The Million Dollar Question Revisited: Mission, Vision & Charter

Frank Winters has more than 30 years of consulting and Information Technology experience serving as a project/program manager, consultant and IT service industry executive.

A while back I wrote an article entitled Setting Up a PMO: A Million Dollar Question?. It was a well-received article, and I think there is more to be said about setting up a PMO. So I thought a further discussion would be of interest to some gantthead readers. This is an expanded discussion of step one in the million-dollar question article – Establish a Charter for PMO.

What is a charter? Strictly speaking, a charter is the constitution of an organization. The charter should define how the organization operates, including the operating principles, functions and organizational structure. Personally when I refer to "charter," I usually also am thinking of the Mission and Vision of the organization. In addition I want to know the Scope of it as well as its relationship to the culture that surrounds it. So lets define each of these terms:

Mission = What we are in business to do now? What are our goals and objectives?
Vision = What we want to become?
Charter = How we operate? (...the principles, functions and organization… our constitution)
Scope = What is our sphere of influence and authority? What particular organization are we? This is needed to put boundaries around us.
Culture = The beliefs, behaviors and value system of the organization we function within. Ideally culture should be aligned with Vision&…

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