Project Charter

Since starting my awesome new gig here at the University of North Carolina, the one thing I have been asked to pass around is this template for project charters we used to use when I was at Emory. So, I’m just going to stick it here in case other folks want to check it out.

We created this for the old Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC) and Brian Croxall, Miriam Posner and Roger Whitson each had a hand in drafting it. Basically, it is a deceptively simple set of questions that serves a few purposes.

First, it guides you through an important series of conversations about what, exactly, you are doing and when you are doing it.

Second, it asks you to think about maintenance and preservation. These issues are totally obvious but are not addressed at the beginning of a project often enough. Having a process that requires you to write a statement about these things forces reminds you to at least have the conversations.

Third, having a charter in place gives you something to refer to when partners inevitably remember things differently. This does not mean that the charter should be considered sacred scripture but it will help to remind people when something is a change of plan and provide the opportunity to consider what that will cost in terms of time and effort.

So here is the outline. Feel free to take it, modify it for your own uses and share as widely as you want:



Project Owner:

Project team:
Please indicate roles for individuals.

Describe the scholarly goal of the project.

Bulleted list of deliverables:
Please list each discrete part of the project that needs to be complete in order for the project to be called complete.

Timeline for completion:
In what order do the parts need to be completed and when will all work be completed?

Launch/production plan:
How and when will your project launch and what will be needed to make that happen? Also, who will be responsible for the care and maintenance of the project over the course of its life?

End of life issues:
Please describe what should happen to the project when it is no longer in production which could happen when the project owner(s) move to a different institution or retire.

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