Article #033 Creating the Project Charter for Capital Project Investments


The project charter is one of the must deliverables for any project regardless of its type or size. Nevertheless, when it comes to capital project investments, the project charter is a very critical document due to the size of the project investment, extensive assumptions, and constraints, stakeholders representing multiple entities, and extensive review and approval process among others. A project charter is a statement of the scope, objectives, budget, critical milestone dates, and participants in a project. It aligns the project with the organization’s strategic objectives, identifies the main stakeholders, and identifies the main constraints, assumptions, and risks that could impact the project. A project charter acts as a contract between the project sponsor, key stakeholders, and the project team.

Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb can be used to capture the information needed to produce the project charter in the desired format. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to capture the information needed to produce the project charter in the final desired output format. The form could include sections for project brief, project technical information, project schedule information, project cost information, project major stakeholders, and project major risks. The project schedule would mainly include the start and finish dates of the schedule summary activities.

The project charter will also include details of the project cost information which will be aligned with the project schedule summary activities. The project cost information will usually include a five-year projection on how those cost items will be spent. In addition, the project charter will include details on the project’s major stakeholders and key project major risks. The project charter will include a list of documents that needs confirmation that they are attached to the submitted project charter.

All supportive documents used in preparing the project charter or are needed to support the project charter submission will be uploaded into the PMWeb document management repository and then attached to the project charter. In addition, all relevant records including imported emails will be linked to the project charter.

A workflow can be assigned to the project charter to formalize the submission, review, and approval process. The workflow will identify the different individuals involved in the review and approval process, the duration allotted for each and the sequence to be followed in the review process.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and control services to over 100 projects with a total value of over the US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, and Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.


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