Project Charter (Project Brief) Audit Smart List

Project Charter (Project Brief) Audit Smart ListProject Charter (Project Brief) Audit Smart List

During the kickoff phase or stage of a project, one of your first tasks is to produce an idea and then go on to make a recommendation.

At that point in time your perspective is a business one although as this project charter is refined you will need project as well as business experience. The outline charter lays the foundation for the project and is the first point when you are likely to be called in as a project or that are to make sure everything is okay.

The outline charter is important because it lays the foundations for the project and is usually the last major point where it is easy to stop the project.

Once you have committed to continue to the planning stage, although you could still cancel the project, considerably more resource will have been expended – so making that key decision now in the kickoff stage or phase is important.

Ultimately, you are checking that the project really is justified by the benefits by looking carefully at the projections to ensure that they are realistic and that the project has not had its benefits exaggerated.

So here is your charter ordered smart list:

Outline Charter Audit Smart List

Clear boundary
You must ensure that the boundary of the project has been clarified. Here, you should check that the negative scope (what the project will not include) information is clear so that people will be in no doubt as to what the project will not, as well as what it will.

Sensible scope
Check that the scope is sensible and makes for good project. Check for anything that does not seem to align with the rest, then checked for any gaps where it appears that an area has been left out despite it being either an essential or desirable.

Clear deliverables
Make sure that the outline defines clearly what the project will deliver, whether that is a product, some service or other outcome.

Time estimate
Using your knowledge of the organization and the capability of project staff, is the project timescale realistic? Pay attention to any lead times that may have been overlooked such as getting approval for something as part of the project.

Getting legal approval even internally from a large organizations legal department or aspects such as technical specification, can be a long process and it is often underestimated.

Remember that the outline charter although a much more detailed document than the recommendation that preceded it, it is still A sketchy document. So, do not go into too much detail too early by making audit points saying that the information is insufficient.

Cost estimate
Check that the cost estimate is realistic based on your knowledge and on records of any previous projects which were similar in whole or part to this project.

Resource
Check that the resource estimates are realistic and that the people to be involved, or if you are not sure what about individuals yet, the skills and knowledge areas needed, are available.

Justification
Check that the project justification in the business case is accurate and sound. Check for justification and benefits.

Benefits
Where the business case does list benefits, are the levels realistic and other benefits correctly categorized.

Roles
Checked to ensure that proposals have been made for filling or of the project roles and that the people suggested are both suitable and sufficiently available.

Business impact
Ensure that the impact on the business and all stakeholders outside the immediate area of the project has been evaluated and considered. It is easy to underestimate the business impact both in extent and degree.

Ancillary work
If significant work will be needed elsewhere in the organization to accommodate what the project is delivering, has this been short through? Have sufficient checks been made that the necessary work can at CB resource and done, and include time?

Project Charter Audit Smart List

Once the three key documents, the project charter, project management plan, and the planned for the first delivery stage have all been produced during the planning stage, it is a good time to ask for an audit.

This next smart list is for the project charter, which as I have explained above, is developed from the outline charter during the kickoff stage or phase.

Here, you should be looking out for the same things as in the outline charter, but now there are few additional things to look for and some areas where you will want to dig a little deeper.

Basic checks
Using the smart list mentioned earlier, make sure that in the full charter that those areas have not been compromised.

Scope
Check that the scope statement is clear on what the project is and what it is not. Then check a game that the scope aligns with the project-level work flow diagram.

Requirements
Check that any requirements for the project are listed together with the source, such as legal requirements, and that they have been covered in the scope and documents such as the quality plan.

Business case
The full business case in the charter is an essentially item for the project board. You must therefore ensure that it is complete, were considered and that the calculations behind the figures, particularly cost, time, resource and benefit levels, are correct.
Also, check that any non-quantifiable benefits have not been exaggerated.

Organization
Check that the organization chart is correct and shows the people taking part in the project. It is possible that some role appointments may have changed.

Constraints
Look at the constraints to make sure that they are really constraints. Challenge any that are not, for example and other terry delivery date imposed by a senior manager who thinks that every project should be put under time pressure to meet a chosen date.

Unnecessary constraints can damage a good project, for example when quality ends up being cut to meet a fixed deadline when really another week on the project would not have mattered very much.

Acceptance arrangements
Make sure that the acceptance arrangements for the Handover of project products are clear and as simple as possible. Check also to ensure that the people responsible for acceptance have been named, or at least that their position, such as development manager, has been stated.

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