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Topics: Change Management, PMO, Requirements Management
Changing Project Charter, Government project
Government Client changes Program Manager after 8 months of a 11 month long project. Program Manager instructs Project Manager to review the approved Project Charter, make updates to Team Members names due to role changes, personnel leaving the project, replacement resources, and additional resources added. Some Milestones were NOT included in the approved version of the Project Charter. Does Updating the Milestones impact the documents validity?
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Usually, when project charter changes, the whole project changes. It is like a new start. Because the project charter is "the contract" between all needed stakeholders stating the commitment between all them. But most of the times, no matter all the changes in the project, the project charter do not need to be change except the vision and objectives of the project has been change. You can make changes in the project instead the project charter.
The fact that team members or milestones are missing or incorrect in the project charter is not important. As Sergio points out, the question you have to ask yourself is whether this is a different project.

Is changing people or even roles, a change in the project? Does adding a deliverable increase the project scope (i.e., is it outside the scope boundary?)

I usually try to avoid putting too much in the project charter because it is not meant to be a living document. I use project management plans to capture some of the less statics project elements.
Hilario -

I agree with both Sergio and Stéphane.

The charter's main values are to authorize the project's existence and to provide a good understanding of why the project needs to be delivered. Assuming neither of those have materially changed, any changes which have occurred after the charter was signed off can be captured in subsequent planning artifacts such as the PM plan, or the relevant subsidiary documents of the PM plan (e.g. project organization chart, schedule).

Kiron
I agree with Kiron, Sergio and Stephane.
I find that confusion between the Charter and the Plan is wide spread. The Charter should be a formal recognition by the stakeholders as to "what needs to be done, why it needs to be done and the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders". Whereas the Plan addresses the "how it is to be done"

There is also concern as how one deals with changing constraints within the Charter. My response to that is that constraints should be addressed in general terms in the Charter rather than specific dates or costs and that these dates or costs should be stated as a range recognizing that at some point a project deliverable may become redundant or ineffective for one, some or all stakeholders. It is reasonable that a stakeholder may wish to reconsider their support for a project if cost and time exceed a given range. For example, a 20% cost increase or a one year delay may scuttle the "why".

Bottom line; the Charter needs to have a process to allow for reconsideration and re-commitment with a guideline as to when this reconsideration can take place. But the Charger should not be affected by any change in the "how".
Hilario,

agree with what has been said.

It also depends on how the organisation (e.g. the PMO) defines the role of the charter within the governance of projects.

I often compare a charter with a birth certificate, and I have not seen a charter change in 40 years.

Sometimes milestones, key stakeholders or other constraints are put into the charter. They are and should be taken over into the project plans, which are owned by the project and under change control. These milestones, names etc represent the status at birth, at the time when the project was chartered. Chartering is a governance act that results in creating a project and approving time/money to be spent on it.

The charter is owned by the performing organisation represented by the sponsor, also this means it is not up to project manager to change it. If the program manager is the sponsor, then they might change the charter, but they better change program plans under change control.

Thomas
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1 reply by KWIYUH MICHAEL WEPNGONG
Apr 14, 2022 8:23 AM
KWIYUH MICHAEL WEPNGONG
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That change is major one and obviously alters the entire project and will surely draw into questioning the validity of the charter.
Apr 13, 2022 10:40 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
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Hilario,

agree with what has been said.

It also depends on how the organisation (e.g. the PMO) defines the role of the charter within the governance of projects.

I often compare a charter with a birth certificate, and I have not seen a charter change in 40 years.

Sometimes milestones, key stakeholders or other constraints are put into the charter. They are and should be taken over into the project plans, which are owned by the project and under change control. These milestones, names etc represent the status at birth, at the time when the project was chartered. Chartering is a governance act that results in creating a project and approving time/money to be spent on it.

The charter is owned by the performing organisation represented by the sponsor, also this means it is not up to project manager to change it. If the program manager is the sponsor, then they might change the charter, but they better change program plans under change control.

Thomas
That change is major one and obviously alters the entire project and will surely draw into questioning the validity of the charter.
Kwiyuh,

why do you think the entire project is altered?

Besides name changes only some milestones are added ('Does Updating the Milestones impact the documents validity?'). I would not challenge the validity or update the charter for this, as these changes are reflected in up-to-date plans. The charter is owned and issued by the organisation, and it is still there, even if sponsors change.

If indeed the project is questioned, one way would be to stop the project smoothly (making sure all results are captured, even if not complete) and reconsider the business case… and then maybe charter a new project.

Thomas

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