Program Charter

The program charter formally expresses the organization’s vision, mission and benefits expected to be produced by the program.

It also defines program-specific goals and objectives in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan and in support of the business case.

Key elements of a program charter are

  • scope
  • assumptions
  • constraints
  • high-level risks
  • high-level benefits
  • goals and objectives
  • success factors
  • timing
  • key stakeholders

Program authorization

The steering committee approves first the business case, so the economic justification is clear; then the program charter is reviewed and authorized. This program charter approval gives the program manager the authority to start the program, other subsidiary programs, projects or related activities.

Measuring the program success

The program charter will be used to measure the program success. It should include:

  • Metrics for success,
  • a method of measurement,
  • and a clear definition of success.

The approval of the business case authorized “why”, the approval of the program charter authorizes the “how”. But, let’s say “how” at high level or at initial stage, as it is the program management plan the document that defines the “detailed-how”.

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