Kill the Word Doc: Build a Visual Project Charter Instead

Braden Kelley is an innovation and change specialist, the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, an InnovationExcellence.com co-Founder, and is the creator of the Change Planning Toolkit™ and a book on the best practices and next practices of organizational change (January 2016 release).

The first three of 10 free downloads from my Change Planning Toolkit™ were focused on innovation and change. The goal of these three frameworks was to get people visualizing more holistically about how to build a strong foundation for a successful continuous change capability for the organization and a strong, vibrant innovation ecosystem. The next download tackles one of many project managers’ least favorite project planning activities--the creation of a project charter.

The truth is that for most of us project managers, whether we want to admit it or not, the process of creating a project charter is one that we often dread. We sit there in front of a Microsoft Word template (like the one below) blinking at us on the screen and realize just how much missing or incomplete information we have when we begin typing into the one of the very first--and potentially most important--project artifacts for any project. We know we face the sending of a series of emails, follow-up emails, follow up to the follow-up emails and maybe even some escalation emails and phone calls just to get the information we need to create the first draft of a project charter. (And that’s before we even begin trying to get alignment, buy in and signoff on the document.)

Figure 1

It doesn’t have to be this way!  Because every project ultimately changes something, as …

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