Project Management

An Agile Project Charter

Terry Bunio

Frustrated by project charter meetings that feature overly textual, often generic descriptions of what the team can expect and how to accomplish it, a project manager applied the agile concept of User Stories to better describe project interactions and inject more real-world meaning into a kickoff document.

On a recent project, my team discussed how we could make the Project Charter or Project Kickoff activities more Agile. We were proposing to use new Agile methods and we wanted to enhance our communication and enable team members to easily understand what they would be doing on the project.

On other projects I have worked on, these Project Kickoff activities involve a meeting that often lacks a sense of energy and enthusiasm. Typically, the Project Charter document is reviewed, detailing the roles and responsibilities of the clients and team members. In many cases, the document is overly textual and generic, and team members come away from the review meeting still not understanding what a typical day or week will be like on the project.

I think we have all heard these comments many times about User Requirement sessions that feature a large textual document and the excruciating meetings to review the documents in detail. Then, at the end of those sessions, the clients still don’t have a clear understanding of what those requirements mean to them individually,…

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