3 Steps to Win and Have a Successful Project

When beginning a project, having a plan helps ensure you get off on the right foot. And one of the most efficient and effective ways to plan is to make a project charter.
A project charter is a document that can help you set goals, estimate costs, figure out deadlines, and assign responsibilities. It can even lay out potential problems before they come up, so missteps don’t totally derail you. Once you’ve decided that a project charter is right for you, though, how do you go about making one? It starts with defining your project’s purpose.

1. First, identify the need or problem your project will solve. Then, combine the problem you are solving and the goal of your project into a project scope: 2 or 3 sentences that go at the top of the charter and explain why you’re creating this project at all.

2. Now that your charter’s identified its reason for existence, you can drill down into the specifics of what you want to achieve and how you’ll get there. Define how you’ll measure success and how long you have to reach your goal. Be as clear as possible – it can help managers and clients understand the expected results and help your team stay focused on the goal as they work.

3. By creating goals for each part of your bigger project, you can help make sure each project element is measurable and valuable. Project charters are designed to help work go smoothly. But since things can go awry, it’s helpful to state risks you might face.

There might also be unique challenges related to your team, workplace, or timing. Someone taking a leave of absence, weather issues for projects happening outside, major holidays – these are all worth including and planning for ahead of time. Carve out space on your charter to clearly state budgets and deadlines. You can even break down the tasks needed for every step in the project and give them their own deadlines for check-ins and feedback.

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