Key Components of a Project Charter I – Problem Statement

For having a Clear and Very good Project Charter, the following Components are very important. A clear understanding of the problem will help not only to build the business case to be presented, but also quickly arrive at solutions. A Problem well understood by all the stakeholders is half resolved.

The Key components of a charter are

· A Clear and un ambiguous Problem Statement.

· A Clearly defined and reachable goal to resolve or in the direction to resolve the problem

· A Business Case, stating the benefits which can be achieved by resolving the problem.

Let us first discuss the Problem Statement. It is a Known proverb that if understand the problem clearly, you are half way to the solution. A Good problem Statement shall address the following.

What?

· What is the process that is involved?

· What is wrong?

· What is the gap / opportunity?

Where/When?

· Where do we see the problem / gap?

· What is the period for which we looking at?

· When do we see the problem / gap?

How big?

· How big is the problem /gap/opportunity?

· What are the limits it is impacting and by how much

· How will we measure it?

Impact? (Importance)

· What is the impact of the problem /opportunity?

· What are the benefits of the action /consequences of inaction?

Problem Statement – Example

For the period from Jan 2013 to Jun 2013 (When), the Average Fuel Consumption (What) of all the Luxury service buses is at 4.3 KMPl against a target of 6 KMPL (size). This has resulted in a loss of 700000 INR (Impact).

Key Considerations / Potential Pitfalls

· Is the problem based on facts or assumptions?

· Is data available or can be collected to verify and analyze the problem?

Potential Pitfalls

· Is a solution included or implied in the statement?

· Would customers be happy if they knew we were working on this?

· Does the problem statement prejudge a root cause?

· Is the problem statement too narrowly or broadly defined?