Project Charter | Word Template FREE Download

Download a Project Charter. This is a FREE template in Word and PDF.
The Project Charter formally authorises the project and gives the project manager the authority they need to start project activities and gather the resources needed.
In the project lifecyle the Charter is developed during the start up/initation phase and it informs the more detailed Project Management Plan. It is created by the project sponsor or the 'sponsoring authority' however it may be delegated by the sponsor to the project manager.

To get a head start on your project download this FREE Project Charter Template. With this template you can make sure you capture everything you need for a successful project!
This is a FREE Project Charter Template in Word and PDF. The template is fully editable with Word and can be converted or changed to suit your project requirements.

See what is in the Template! Check out the a Contents complete with Hints and Tips on how to use.
Project Charter Template

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The contents of the Project Charter Template


Field Description and guidance completion

Proposed Project Name
Enter the name of your Project.
Version no.
Enter the version number of the Project Charter, for example 0.1, 0.2 etc for drafts and 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 etc for each version that is released
Enter the date of the creation of the current version.
Revision History
This section tracks the changes to the Charter, recording the date, description and author of each amendment.
Distribution List
List the names and roles of each person who will receive the project charter. Add the date when a copy is delivered to each person.
Document the names and project roles of each person who had the authority to sign off/approve the charter.

Project justification

Purpose and project justification
Describe the purpose of the project and the requirements the project should address. Describe the justification for conducting this project.
Objectives and success Criteria
Briefly discuss the intended goals and expected outcomes of the project. If possible, relate these objectives strategic business plans, the table below may help.

Describe each objective using measureable success criteria, such as anticipated productivity improvements, cost reduction, improvements in business processes, revenue enhancements, technical efficiencies, etc. The stated objectives will become the basis for the acceptance criteria.

Business Strategy objective Project objective
Reference the goal or objective from the Strategic Business Plan. See Strategic Business Planning. Describe the project objective using measureable success criteria if possible.

Project Delivery

Briefly describe the high level requirements. This might be a summary with the detail in an appendix.
Project Assumptions and/or constraints
Describe any constraints and assumptions that are currently known about the proposed project. These constraints and assumptions may include regulatory or legislative requirements, funding limitations, sunset dates, etc. Assumptions are statements taken for granted or accepted as true without proof. Assumptions are made in the absence of fact.
Preliminary risk statement
List and describe any risks that can be identified. Consider the project constraints and assumptions to help identify potential risks. Include known risk mitigation strategies. Risks and mitigations strategies may be in bulleted lists.
  • [Risk description and any known mitigation strategy]
  • [Risk description and any known mitigation strategy]
Get a Risk Register template.
Summary Milestone Schedule
List projected project milestones and their forecasted completion dates. This schedule is of preliminary nature only. Once the project has been approved to move forward a comprehensive Microsoft Project Plan will be developed.

The table below can be used or a high level Gantt Chart. Get an Excel Gantt Chart template.

Project Milestone Forecast Date Milestone owner
[Concept Development]
[Requirements Analysis
Summary Estimated Budget
Detail the current estimated costs to conduct the project, and identify the source of funding. Add any additional categories to the table below as needed.

Rough Order of Magnitude Item ROM Estimate
[Internal Resources]
[Contractor Resources]
[Total ROM Budget Estimate]
Project Governance Requirements
Describe how the project will be managed and overseen, who decides the project is successful, and who signs off on project progress, changes, and completion. It is not necessary to provide named resources at this point. Sample project governance requirements are provided in the paragraph below.
Project Manager Responsibilities
Describe project management responsibilities and the authority granted to the Project Manager. Sample project management responsibilities are provided in the paragraph below.

Project organization

Project organization Chart
Provide an Organization chart of the project team. It will typically begin with the project sponsor and includes the project team and other stakeholders.
Example project organisation chart
Roles and Responsibilities
Describe the Roles and Responsibilities of the project team and include key stakeholders. This section may include people and groups not in the project organization chart, but who are responsible for or involved in a project deliverable.
Example RACI or responsbility assignment matrix

It can be useful to include a RACI chart in this section. RACI Chart - a how to guide to using RACI.
Use the appendices to include detailed documentation that has been summarized in the main body of the charter. For example, project schedules, estimates, project team job description etc.

Notes to help you use the Project Charter Template

This document is a template of a Project Charter for initiating a project. The template includes instructions to the author, boilerplate text, and fields that should be replaced with the values specific to the project.
  • Blue italicized text enclosed in square brackets ([text]) provides instructions to the document author, or describes the intent, assumptions and context for content included in this document.
  • Blue italicized text enclosed in angle brackets (<text>) indicates a field that should be replaced with information specific to a particular project.
  • Text and tables in black are provided as boilerplate examples of wording and formats that may be used or modified as appropriate to a specific project. These are offered only as suggestions to assist in developing project documents; they are not mandatory formats.

Follow these Steps to complete the Template

When using this template, the following steps are recommended:
  1. Replace all text enclosed in angle brackets (e.g., ) with the value for your project. These angle brackets appear in both the body of the document and in headers and footers.
  2. Change the boilerplate text as appropriate for your project.
  3. To update the Table of Contents, right-click on it and select "Update field" and choose the option - "Update entire table".
  4. Before sharing the first draft of this document, delete the section titled "Notes to the Author" and all the guidance to the author elsewhere in the template document.

Project Charter Template

Word download - Project Charter Template (Word .docx)

Word download - Project Charter Template (Word .doc)

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Sample Project Charter from a software project

Related project templates to download

  • Project Brief Template - This is a FREE Template in Word and PDF. The Project Brief is a key document in the Project Lifecycle. It provides a description of what the project will do and it forms the basis of the project start-up phase.
  • Project Initiation Document Template - Free download in Word and PDF, with tips and example text.
  • Project Management Templates - View our collection of FREE templates for Project Managers
  • Project Proposal Template - Ideal for project managers and teams looking to create a clear, organized, and effective proposal for any type of project.
  • Project Startup Report Template - this is a briefer version of the Project Brief or Project Charter and communicates 'at a glance' the project description, objectives, key dates and risks.