In the context of National Project Management System (NPMS), a project charter is a high level agreement between the client department and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) that is intended to establish a framework for the implementation of a real property project. It primarily concerns PSPC space projects and projects carried out and funded by other government departments (OGD), but is not limited to these and may be used in other projects as deemed necessary by the project team.
For space projects, the intent of the charter is to obtain client agreement on all of the key parameters of the project (scope, time, and cost) prior to Project Approval (PA) and to confirm client commitment to expend client funds and resources in developing and/or delivering the defined project. In addition, it is to be utilized in conjunction with the Investment Analysis Report to articulate and confirm understanding and agreement related to project goals and objectives, guiding principles, roles and responsibilities, and issue resolution processes.
For OGD projects, the intent of the charter is to document client key parameters of the projects (scope, time and cost) prior to preparation of the Project Management Plan (PMP) and, in conjunction with the Specific Service Agreement (SSA), confirm client commitment to expend client funds and resources in developing and/or delivering the defined project. In addition, it is to be utilized in conjunction with the PMP to articulate and confirm understanding and agreement related to project goals and objectives, guiding principles, roles and responsibilities, and issue resolution processes.
These generic project charter templates have been developed for use by the project team. Italicized comments reflect suggested guidelines, while comments in regular font are considered generic and can be used "as-is" such as the guiding principles, and roles responsibilities sections. The signatories to the charter are specific to the project and should reflect appropriate authorities in both the client and PSPC communities. For OGD projects, PSPC signatory should be the person who is responsible for delivering the project (for example, the project manager).
- According to Treasury Board, project charters are project-specific and do not replace Service Level Agreements (SLA) or the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which are concerned with overall program delivery and/or when there is joint funding of a project
- The project charter should be congruous with these two documents, as well as with the Statement of Requirements and the Preliminary Project Plan
- Roles and responsibilities identified are typical for a space-based project and reflect only those positions that the client community would be familiar with. Additional PSPC team members involved in the delivery of the project will be delineated in the Human Resources (HR) section of the project plan
- Timing: As a best practice, the project charter should be initiated during the Initiation Phase and finalized in the Analysis Phase, in support of the investment decision
- An MoU template is being developed for Major Crown Projects (MCPs)
Project charter templates
- Project charter template—space project with fit-up
- Project charter template—projects funded by other government departments
- Program of work template
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