The Project Charter is used to define the project at a high-level. It contains information such as the objectives, scope, risk, assumptions, organization chart, etc. Did you know that there’s a connection between the project objectives and the project deliverables? There is, and knowing the connection will help you ensure that the information in your charter is articulated correctly. First, some definitions.
- Project objectives: These objectives describe the purpose of the project and what the project will achieve from a business perspective. Generally, the project is considered to be successful if the project objectives are met successfully.
- Project deliverables. Deliverables describe the tangible products that are being built by the project. All projects produce deliverables.
When you have completed creating your objectives and deliverables, go back and make sure that they’re all in alignment.
- You shouldn’t have any objectives that aren’t aligned to one or more deliverables. The question to ask you is which deliverables will help to satisfy this objective. If you’re not building something to satisfy each objective, you might wonder how you’re going to successfully achieve the objective.
- Likewise, you don’t want to include deliverables in your project scope that do not help to achieve the project objectives. Since the objectives describe the purpose of the project, why would you want to build deliverables that do not help you achieve your objectives?
If the objectives and the deliverables are not aligned, you need to determine how to bring them into alignment.
If you have an objective without a deliverable, you need to validate whether the objective is really important. If it is, then you will need to add or modify the deliverables to satisfy the objective. If it turns out that you have defined all of the deliverables that you intend to build, then you should remove the objective. If you’re not building a deliverable to support it, the objective is most likely invalid for the Charter.
If you have a deliverable without an objective, then you need to ask whether the deliverable is really important to your project. If it isn’t, then remove it from the project. If the deliverable really is important, you need to work with the sponsor to determine the business objective for creating it. It’s likely there’s a project objective that would justify building the deliverable, but it is not yet identified for the Charter.
This cross-check of objectives and deliverables will help ensure your Charter identifies all of the valid objectives and deliverables that are expected of this project.