project charter - « Lite » Version Template

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Project Name


National Project Management System
Business Projects-IT-Enabled
Analysis Phase


This document is your template to producing a Project charter, a mandatory NPMS deliverable.

Document Purpose

A project charter is a document, "that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides the Project Manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities." In Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC/PSPC), a project charter is written by the organization responsible for delivering the project and is issued by the business side.

The purpose of the project charter is to obtain formal approval on the general parameters and structure of the proposed project, including:

  • The project objectives and outcomes, benefits, scope and risks;
  • The project deliverables, schedule, milestones, and estimated costs; and
  • The project organization, governance structure and stakeholders.

Using this Template

To create a project charter from this « Lite » version template, simply:

  1. Replace the title on the cover page with the name of your project and the organization information.

  2. Replace the <italicized text> in the document header with your project name and information.
  3. Save your document with a file name that is in accordance with current branch document naming standards.
  4. Update the filename in the document footer by right-clicking and selecting "edit footer".
  5. Complete the entire template. Each section contains abbreviated instructions, shown in italics, that can be removed once your document is finalized. Tables are also provided as a suggested layout for some of the information required.
  6. Update the table of contents by right-clicking and selecting Update Field, then update entire table.
  7. Delete this page when the project charter is complete

NOTE: Consult the Treasury Board project charter Guide if you would like more information about a particular section of the project charter or information about a project charter in general.

Revision History

Table Summary

The table describes the revision history of the project charter with version number, description, date modified and author.

Version Number Description Date Modified Author


This section contains the signature of key stakeholders, signifying agreement of roles and the description of the project as it appears in the project charter.

Edit the signature blocks to reflect the organizations involved. For approval authorities, refer to Annex A of the NPMS Procedures for Business Projects-IT-Enabled.

This project charter formally authorizes the existence of the project, <Project Name>, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities described herein. If there is a change in the project scope, the Charter will be updated and submitted for re-approval.

Full name:
Title: Business Owner Organization

Full name:
Title: Delivery Organization

Full name:
Title: Project Manager - Delivery Organization

Full name:
Title: Other Supporting Organization

Table of Contents

1. Project Overview

1.1 Background

Insert the project background text from the Statement of Requirement or Identification Stage project management plan.

1.2 Project Goals and Business Outcomes

This section describes project goals and links each of them to related measurable business outcomes that are to be derived from the project. Measurement criteria must be provided. Keep in mind that goals are high-level statements. Business outcomes are results expected at the end of the project.

Table Summary

This table describes the project goals, business outcomes and objectives.

No. Goals Business Outcomes

1.3 Project Scope Definition and Boundaries

This is a high-level description of the features and functions that characterize the product, service, or result to be delivered by the project. "Out of scope" activities are identified to reduce ambiguity.

Table Summary

This table describes activities in and out of scope.

Activities In Scope Activities Out of Scope
1. 1.
2. 2.

1.4 Milestones & Deliverables

Identify and define the key deliverables the project must deliver in order to achieve the stated goals. Also include internal project deliverables required by the Project Management process for review and approval (e.g., Project Transition Plan, Communication Plan, Lessons Learned Report etc.). Determine the criteria that will be used to assess the quality and completion of each deliverable.

Identify significant milestones (e.g., phases, stages, decision gates, approval of a deliverable, etc.). This can also represent a high-level project schedule.

Table Summary

This table describes the expected project milestones, project deliverables, and acceptance criteria.

Project Deliverables Forecast Date Acceptance Criteria
Project Deliverable 1: [Deliverable Name]
Approval Authority:            
Project Deliverable 2: [Deliverable Name]
Approval Authority:            
Table Summary

This table describes the expected project milestones, project deliverables, and acceptance criteria.

Project Milestone 1: Forecast Date Gate/Approval

1.5 Project Cost Estimate and Source of Funding

1.5.1 Project Cost Estimate

Record cost estimates for all resources (human, material and financial) required to produce deliverables and meet objectives established for the project. The business case for the project should contain cost estimates that can be used as the basis for this summary.

Edit the following table as required.

Table Summary

This table describes the project cost estimates for each resource category.

Category Estimated Cost
Professional Services  
Ongoing Cost  
1.5.2 Source of Funding

State the various sources of funding that will be used to support the project. It should be clear to the project sponsor and the project manager where the funds come from and that human resources are committed to this project. Specify the type of recovery agreement to be used.

1.6 Dependencies

List dependencies for the project such as if a predecessor/successor relationship exists, whether a related project expects a deliverable from your project, or whether your project expects a deliverable from a related project.

Table Summary

This table describes the dependencies, critical dates and contacts.

Dependency Description Critical Date Contact

1.7 Project Risks, Assumptions, and Constraints

1.7.1 Risks

This initial risk assessment does not replace the full risk assessment conducted during the Planning Phase. The following table records strategic risks that have been identified at the start of a project. For each risk, list both the level of impact and the degree of probability (high, medium, low). Identify the possible responses needed during the project to lessen the impact or lower the probability of the risk, and assign an OPI responsible for resolution. Enter the top five risks. In accordance with PSPC Risk Management Procedures, acceptable risk treatments include accepting, transferring, mitigating, or eliminating the risk.

Table Summary

This table describes the risks, probabilities, impact, risk management plan, and OPI.

No. Risk Description Probability
Risk Management Plan OPI
1.7.2 Assumptions & Constraints

State assumptions that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain. These assumptions will be validated during the planning process. Inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete assumptions result in project risks. In the second section, identify specific constraints or restrictions that limit or place conditions on the project, especially those associated with the project scope (e.g., a hard deadline, a predetermined budget, a set milestone, contract provisions, privacy or security considerations, etc.). Categorize the constraints if there are several.

The top section of the following table lists the items that cannot be proven or demonstrated when this project charter was prepared, but they are taken into account to stabilize the project approach or planning. The second section lists the conditional factors within which the project must operate or fit.

Table Summary

This table describes the project assumptions and contraints.

No. Assumptions Constraints

2. Project Organization

2.1 Project Governance and Team Structure

Describe how the project is governed and identify the corporate governance bodies that may be involved in the approval process. In other words, this section shows how decisions are made, and who makes which decisions. A diagram should be used. If committees are shown, describe them in the Roles and Responsibilities section of this document.

Use an organizational chart to show the project team structure and the relationships between team members. For small projects, roles of team members can be included; for larger projects, the organizational chart should name the groups or entities that form the project teams.

In small projects it may be possible to have a single diagram for both Project Governance and Project Team Structure.

2.2 Roles and Responsibilities

Define the roles and responsibilities assigned to each member of the project team as well as any stakeholders and working groups that have a significant influence on the project.

Table Summary

This table describes the project roles and responsibilities and assigned names.

Project Role Responsibilities Assigned to
Project Manager    
Business Analyst    
Project Review Committee    

Appendix A - Project References

In this section, identify and describe the location of key documents that define and establish the project, such as the business case, the departmental Investment Plan, departmental long-term strategy, etc.

Table Summary

This table describes the project document references.

Document Title Version # Date Author & Organization Location
(link or path)
Project charter Guide 1D 20-Mar-2008 Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) Y:\CIOB\Template

Appendix B - Glossary and Acronyms

Define all terms and acronyms required to interpret the project charter properly.

Table Summary

This table describes the project glossary and definitions.

Term or Acronym Definition
Strategic Risk Strategic Risks are risks that negatively impact the business owner's ability to deliver the organization's mandated programs, products or services due to adverse business decisions, improper implementation of decisions, or lack of responsiveness to changes in the business environment.
Table Summary

This table describes the project glossary and definitions.

Acronym Full Name