Project Charter

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This section covers project charters and memorandum of understandings. Please contribute additional information or other examples to the DLF Project Managers Toolkit. If you have examples to share, please provide some context, such as the purpose or goal, institution, teams and team size, etc.

Project Charter

The goal of a Project Charter is to document agreement between all parties (sponsor, stakeholder, staff) about the goals, scope, and deliverables of the project. Ideally, the document defines time, scope and cost.

It is useful to use this time to answer questions about cost/benefit and the extent to which people can actually reasonably contribute to the project. The Project Management Group recommends discussing the following questions at this stage:

       What are the objectives of the project?
       What are the expected benefits of the project?
       What is the scope of the project? (specifically, what's not in scope...)
       How will we know the the project is done?
   Who are the stakeholders?
       Who is the end user audience?Who?
       Who is going to work on the project?
       Who is managing the project?
       Who is/are the sponsors of the project?
   How much time can participants reasonably spend on the project

File:Digital Project Charter Template.docx

After the answers to these questions have been decided upon, the Project Charter itself should be drafted. The following is the basic format of a Project Charter:

   Project name
   Description (high-level statement of your project goal)
   Success criteria (how will we know when the project is done?) – SMART goals
   Requirements (deliverables, options, & out of scope)
   Project team (including roles)
   Milestones/Schedule (high-level + proposed dates)

Drafting the charter is an iterative process:

   Write a draft
   Share it with project team
   Share it with stakeholders
   Repeat until consensus

Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding can be used to build out a project charter and be used to manage expectations, project planning and increase transparency, communication and understanding. The University of Texas Arlington hosts a Memorandum of Understanding Collection which was developed by a group of librarians for library specific projects and includes a workbook and templates.


  • Project Management Institute. 2018. A guide to the project management body of knowledge: (PMBOK® guide). Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA: Project Management Institute.

There are lots of great articles, presentations and grey lit out there on project management and digital libraries. We've created a Zotero Group library at and encourage you to add more when you read something good.