The project charter is the official document that formally announces the existence of a project and provides a summary of the project’s core elements. The project charter contains information such as project objectives, key stakeholders, project scope, project risks and constraints, project schedule and budget, key deliverables and milestones, and the name of the project manager.

A project charter serves multiple vital functions including:

  • Providing a direct link between the project and the strategic objectives of the organization
  • Benchmarking for the project manager
  • Guiding the project team and stakeholders during the project lifecycle

Good practices in project chartering involve creating a well-detailed document that is clear and concise. In developing the project charter, the program manager should collaborate with stakeholders and the project manager to ensure inclusivity and buy-in. Once a project charter has been developed and approved, it becomes the basis for assigning the project manager.

Table of Contents

The Role of the Project Manager

The project manager is the individual who is responsible for leading the project team and managing the project’s execution to achieve its objectives. They play a vital role in leading the planning, execution, monitoring, control, and closure of a project.

Effective project manager assignment involves looking at the individual’s abilities and specific skills in line with the task at hand. Factors such as their previous results, technical knowledge, industry experience, and leadership qualities could be considered when assigning project managers to projects.

Resource Allocation

Right after chartering the project and appointing the project manager, the next critical step is resource allocation. This step involves identifying, assigning, and scheduling necessary resources to achieve all project objectives.

Resources to be allocated could involve human resources, equipment, physical locations, or financial resources. Appropriate allocation of these resources is critical to the project’s success as it ensures that the right resources are available at the right times and in the right quantities.

The project manager and the program management team should strategically align resource allocation with the needs and constraints of the projects. They should consider the project timelines, budget constraints, resource availability, and risk profiles.

Bringing it together

In charting constituent projects within a program, the program manager should adopt a systematic and strategic approach. Start by developing a clear, detailed charter that is aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.

Next, the program manager should assign a competent project manager to lead the project. This individual should possess the required team leadership and management skills, and ideally have related experience and a proven track record.

Finally, the program manager should coordinate the allocation of resources, ensuring that each project has what it requires to succeed while maintaining alignment with the program’s overall resource constraints and objectives.

By effectively chartering and initiating constituent projects, assigning experienced project managers, and appropriately allocating resources, a program manager can significantly enhance the chances of achieving the program objectives. This fundamental principle of program management is hence a key curriculum area within the Program Management Professional (PgMP) exam.

Practice Test

True or False: Chartering a project involves assigning project managers and allocating resources.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Chartering a project indeed involves assigning project managers and allocating necessary resources. This step ensures the project has the required management and resources to successfully execute the plan.

Multiple Select: Which of the following are characteristics of a project charter?

  • a) Project purpose
  • b) High-level project requirements
  • c) Assigned project manager
  • d) Detailed resource allocation

Answer: a) Project purpose, b) High-level project requirements, c) Assigned project manager

Explanation: A project charter includes the purpose of the project, high-level requirements, and the assigned project manager. Detailed resource allocation is a part of the project plan, not the charter.

True or False: The allocation of resources for constituent projects is a one-time task during the project initiation.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Resources may need to be reallocated as a project progresses and its needs change. Therefore, resource allocation is not a one-time task but requires ongoing management.

Single Select: Who is primarily responsible for chartering and initiating constituent projects?

  • a) Project Team Member
  • b) Stakeholder
  • c) Program Manager
  • d) Customer

Answer: c) Program Manager

Explanation: The Program Manager is primarily responsible for chartering and initiating constituent projects.

True or False: A project charter is developed after a project plan?

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: A project charter is developed prior to the project plan. It helps to formalize the project and authorizes the project manager to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Multiple Select: In a project charter, which of the following are typically included?

  • a) The high-level project description
  • b) The list of all stakeholders
  • c) The detailed task list
  • d) The assigned project manager

Answer: a) The high-level project description, b) The list of all stakeholders, d) The assigned project manager

Explanation: A project charter includes the high-level project description, a list of all stakeholders, and the assigned project manager. Detailed tasks are usually not included in the project charter.

Single Select: Which document is primarily used to formally authorize a project within an organization?

  • a) Project plan
  • b) Business case
  • c) Project charter
  • d) Resource plan

Answer: c) Project charter

Explanation: The project charter is primarily used as a formal document to authorize a project within the organization.

True or False: The primary purpose of project initiation is to define the project scope and align it with business strategies.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: The initiation phase is an essential part of the project where the scope of the project is defined, and the project is aligned with business strategies.

Single Select: When are project resources usually allocated?

  • a) During project initiation
  • b) During project planning
  • c) During project execution
  • d) During project closure

Answer: b) During project planning

Explanation: While some resources might be allocated during project initiation, more detailed resource allocation usually occurs during the planning phase.

True or False: The program manager assigns the project manager in the planning phase of the project.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: The program manager assigns the project manager during the initiation phase of the project, not the planning phase.

Interview Questions

What is the role of a program manager in chartering and initiating constituent projects?

A program manager plays a critical role in the initiation of a program by assigning project managers, determining and allocating the necessary resources, developing the charter, and setting the program objectives.

What is the purpose of a project charter?

A project charter formally recognizes a project’s existence. It gives the project manager the authority to proceed with the project and utilize organization’s resources to accomplish project objectives.

How does resource allocation aid in achieving program objectives?

Resource allocation is a vital aspect of program management as it ensures that the right resources are available in the right places at the right times. This process facilitates the smooth execution of tasks, mitigates the risk of resource shortages, and directly contributes to the achievement of program objectives.

Why is it important for a program manager to be involved in assigning project managers to constituent projects?

Program managers are better equipped to assign project managers as they have a holistic view of the program and understand the skills and experience required for each project. This can aid in ensuring that each project is managed by individuals with the requisite knowledge and skills, which can increase the likelihood of program success.

What items are typically included in a project charter?

A project charter typically includes the project goal, objectives, scope, deliverables, stakeholders, assigned project manager, resource requirements, high-level risks, success criteria, and approval signatures.

What is the impact of not effectively allocating resources on the achievement of program objectives?

Inefficient resource allocation can lead to resource shortage, delays, higher costs, and lower quality of deliverables, which can in turn affect the overall program performance and its objectives.

How does assigning project managers to constituent projects contribute to program success?

Assigning competent project managers to constituent projects can enhance project success. These individuals will oversee their respective projects, align efforts with program goals, manage resources efficiently, and ensure that deliverables are completed on time and within budget.

What strategies can be used to manage shared resources across several projects in a program?

Strategies can include using project management software to track resource utilization, regular team meetings to coordinate schedules, and assigning a resource manager to oversee shared resources and resolve conflicts.

How does a program manager ensure that the program objectives are in alignment with the organization’s objectives?

This can be achieved through strategic planning and regular communication with key stakeholders. The program manager should constantly check the alignment of program and organizational objectives, and adjust the program objectives as necessary.

Why is proactive resource management important in program management?

Proactive resource management allows a program manager to anticipate resource requirements and potential challenges. This can improve efficiency and productivity, reduce delays related to resource issues, and contribute to program success.

What kind of authority does the project charter give to a project manager?

The project charter grants the project manager the authority to apply organizational resources (like human resources, materials, budget etc) to project activities. It authorizes the project manager to lead the project within the boundaries and constraints defined in the charter.

How should program managers manage any conflicts that arise from resource allocation?

Program managers should have a conflict resolution plan in place, which may include negotiation, escalation to higher authority, or using a shared decision-making process. Active communication and transparency are key in managing such conflicts.

What’s the relationship between project scope and resources in achieving program objectives?

The project scope determines what needs to be accomplished in the project and in turn, directly influences the amount and type of resources required. Adequate resources are essential to complete project tasks which contribute to achieving program objectives.

Who are involved in the approval of the project charter?

Typically, the project sponsor or a higher authority in the organization are involved in approving the project charter.

What is the role of a Project Management Office (PMO) in allocating resources?

A PMO typically supports resource allocation by providing a centralized view of all resources, facilitating resource planning, resolving conflicts over resource allocation, and improving the overall efficiency of resource management across projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *