The Project Brief or Charter should include:

  • A short description of the project
  • Background information that may explain why the project is considered necessary
  • The Objectives or Deliverables of the project
  • A clear definition of the scope
  • This is done by using specific boundaries:
    • i.e. what the Project includes,
    • what the Project excludes,
    • defining the project scope in this way goes a long way in getting everyone (Stakeholders, Project Team) on the same page. (Protection against scope creep).
  • A list of the Project Team members. If cross-functional and not specifically assigned to the project, it is often helpful to add the % of time expected to be spent on the project
  • The Budgetary constraints, if applicable
  • Milestones, as agreed with the Project Sponsors
  • Key Performance Indicators:
    • What measures will be used by the Project Team to ensure that Time, Cost, & Performance are being delivered as the project progresses

The Project Brief should have the input of the Project Sponsors and be agreed between the Project Leader/Manager and the Project Sponsors as one of the first steps.

1. DELIVERABLE

Deliverable usually refers to the “Specific” and “Measurable” aspects of the
Objective. Any measurable, tangible, verifiable item that must be produced to complete the project or part of the project.

Used several key places in the Project Brief:

  • OBJECTIVE includes Project Deliverables
  • MILESTONES include interim Deliverables

SMART objectives

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic &  Relevant
  • Time

Total of all of these elements is often is spread throughout the brief.

2. OBJECTIVE

Answers the following questions: What is the desired outcome of the PROJECT? How will you know when you achieve it? A statement of results to be achieved, in terms of quality, quantity and / or time . May includes both concrete deliverables and behavioural outcomes.

3. SCOPE

The bounded set of verifiable end products, or outputs, which the project team undertakes to provide to the project sponsor. Contains : Boundaries What is in the project? What is not? Key outputs

4. MILESTONE

A significant event during the course of the project, representing a major deliverable A marker or signpost in the project Is NOT a task or activity It IS the outcome of a task/activity or series of tasks/activities Often represents “release” point to enable another phase of the project

5. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (“KPI”)

Measures connected directly with the key Project objectives Determined at the beginning of the project. During the project, KPI’s are tracked and used to: Report progress against the objectives. Provide the basis for project management trade-off decisions At project completion, these KPIs are used to: Confirm the acceptability of the project and its product by the project’s stakeholders as being “successful”.

Project Charter template can be downloaded here

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