Project Management

Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Project charter - time required
What is the typical time duration for creating a project charter? Essentially the time between the business case approval up until a project charter is submitted for approval.

I am aware that there is no "correct" answer to this since there are a lot of variables in place. Just looking to get a sense of typical times based on people's experiences.
Sort By:
It depends on the type, size, nature, complexity and... of the project as well as all environmental factors like the company's policies, etc.
1 week to 3 months is the average that I have seen.
A lot depends on what is meant by a charter within your company.

If it is primarily to authorizing the existence of the project and cover some high-level questions (e.g. why? how?), then it could be done in as little as a day or two if the project is small and uncomplicated and as the number of key influencing stakeholders or the degree of complexity increases, the duration will correspondingly increase.

A project charter can be done in a little space of time of a single day, in a week, a month, or various months. It depends on the nature and complexity of the project.
The project charters I have completed over the last thirty years have ranged from a single page to tens of pages. If you are not constrained by an organizational template, make it short and sweet: scope, price, who will do the work, and who will pay for the work.
The Project Charter defines the project objectives (scope, deliverables), the major constraints (time, money), identifies the major stakeholders (sponsor), authorizes project start and details roles and responsibilities including PM authority. With the Business Case (BC) approved this activity/task should take days rather than weeks as most of the information is in the BC.

However many organizations include some, or most, of the Project Plan in the Charter. I would argue against that approach as the Plan should be created by the Project Team and the Team should not be engaged until the Charter has been signed off.
There is a lot of work to be done before the Project Charter should be signed, call it a business case, feasibility study, proposal negotiation, front-loading, project design or else. Basically, once you know what has to be done, you can summarise it and formally start the project.

Which means a sponsor representing the organisation authorises a project manager to spend organisational resources on the project.

The charter can and should reference other documents and represents more a governance act to decide on project start than a description of the project content.

This can be done on 1-3 pages and takes a day.
In my experience, from Idea formulation to project charter creation the time is 2-4 weeks. As my "debate mates" stated above it will depends on environmental factors, to call it in a "academic" way.
That depends, maybe 2-3 months or just one day.
Thank you everyone.

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:

"An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger."

- Dan Rather