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Feb 14, 2024

Assignment Task

A project manager is typically hired after the Project Charter is completed. That said even a welldrafted charter requires additional work. When meeting a new client, I use the following worksheet to review and refine the Project Charter. There are a number of practical reasons why you should use a worksheet:

i) Evaluate a Project Charter. It’s a useful tool to review an existing Project Charter. It investigates how the project came about, determines the business case as well as its probability for success considering factors such as scope, budget, schedule, etc. The worksheet provides insights into how to improve and refine the charter. It’s also a good way for you to get to know the Project Sponsor; are they flexible, open to your suggestions, etc.?

ii) Collaborative Sponsorship. There is a currently a trend to invite project managers to help draft the Project Charter. The worksheet helps set up the project for success at the outset .

iii) The Business Entrepreneur. Most of you are interested in project management to support your own projects or business interests. The worksheet is an excellent opportunity to self-interrogate. It asks the hard questions that help you clarify business objectives and the steps you need to take to achieve them. More importantly, drafting a Project Charter is an opportunity for you to make a commitment to your future self.

The worksheet anticipates the Statement of Work (“SOW”) which is drafted after an approved Project Charter. If the Project Charter is theoretical, the SOW is contractual, and as such it specifies what you as a project manager are legally obligated to deliver.


What is the problem you are attempting to solve or the opportunity you want to leverage? Find the “pain point” or “block” that’s not allowing the organization to pursue its business objective. Or, alternatively make the case for pursuing an opportunity that will enrich, diversify or expand the business.

In the CA&C example, we may start with market research and identify that there are prospective undergraduates who are looking for a CA&C program that balances business with the creative arts. We have identified a need in the post-secondary school landscape. In the Project Charter we explore the if, why and how this may represent an opportunity for Corpus Christi College.

Project Purpose

Building on the background material, this is where you outline the business case and how it aligns with the goals of the business. Explain why you want to undertake this project and what you hope to accomplish. Be clear and be concise. Answer the questions: why now and why you? It’s also important to identify the competition. Is there room in the market for your business? Is there an opportunity to provide a better service?

So in the CA&C, we can write a description and state that we intend to launch a new Creative Arts & Commerce Stream that is unique to Canada, relevant to the marketplace and future employment (“future of work”) and is consistent with the tradition of Catholic education to innovate and deliver ground-breaking curricula. Consider the competition: UBC Film, Vancouver Film School and Capilano College, the latter being the only direct competition (having worked and/or set up these programs, I am convinced that the CA&C is positioned to capture the market ) 

The Big Idea (how to answer the “so what?”)

This is difficult and very few businesses figure it out. It involves developing the brand strategy, which, simply stated, creates the emotional bridge to what you are proposing. You may have the market research and metrics laid out in an exhaustive marketing plan, but why is anyone going to show up? 

Most people confuse branding with marketing. According to Seth Godin, a brand creates a set of expectations, a network of relationships, a familiar narrative that taken together establishes a following, specifically a defined community which frees your target audience to choose you and not someone else.

Marty Neumeier, brand strategist for Nike and Apple, puts a finer point on this, “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product. A brand is a person`s gut feeling about your organization, your product, your service.

At one level, we can promote the new CA&C program at Corpus as a unique and market relevant program that is taught by award-winning professionals that give students resume building opportunities to advance their academic and career prospects. The bigger idea, however, is to articulate how CA&C builds a supportive community of diverse students who are inspired to produce projects that change people’s lives and the life of the planet for the better. (Please review the CIRS Case Study below as an example).

Target audience

Who is this for and why? You can only have one target audience. If you try to capture more than one, you jeopardize the success of the project. Trust me on this. Recall the example of the international recruitment videos for UBC. I had to educate the UBC marketing team that the primary target audience were parents (who pay the tuition) and school administrators (who advise families on the best universities to attend).


  • Important to identify the Project Sponsor. The individual who has the authority to (i) greenlight the project, (ii) in the event of escalating issues during production, approves additional funds and/or resources, and (iii) signs off upon delivery of the project
  • Identify additional Internal and Exterior stakeholders. They may include project team members, strategic partners, distributors, even competitors.

For CA&C, the stakeholders are numerous. The president of the college, the dean, faculty members, donors, students, students’ parents, alumni, the archbishop. Always ask yourself, who has the power to say “yes” and who has the most to gain from the successful completion of the project?

Success Criteria

  • How will you measure the success of the project in an academic context?
  • What are the criteria for evaluating the project`s impact?

Project Deliverables (SOW)

What tangible outcomes or deliverables are expected from the project? If you have scoped the project correctly, your deliverables are simple.

How will the deliverables be delivered? How are they going to be implemented into the organization? (also known as “change management”) To implement the CA&C program, CCC may need to raise funds for production, hire more instructors, launch a new portal on the website, etc.

Timeline (SOW)

  • What is the expected timeline for the project?
  • Make sure you identify key milestones?

Budget and Resources (finalized in SOW)

  • What resources, including financial and HR resources are required for the project?
  • Contractors, equipment, rental space, etc.
  • How will you ensure efficient utilization of resources?

Risk Management (SOW)

  • Be upfront regarding the potential risks associated with the project, and how those risks will be mitigated. All projects have inherent risks.
  • How will you adapt the project plan if unforeseen challenges arise?
  • We will include a “Change Order” procedure in our SOW

Case study

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability As stated, establishing an emotional connection to your audience is very difficult. As an example, consider the launch of UBC’s new Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability. At the time, it was the “greenest” building in North America. UBC’s internal Communication Team produced a talking-head interview:

Not surprisingly, there was no media interest. The Director of CIRS subsequently retained me and I produced this:

the video resulted in immediate pickup by all major networks across Canada. David Suzuki then used it as part of a keynote presentation at the Chan Centre. The video was used in numerous grant applications and secured millions of dollars in research funding.

What’s the difference? The UBC version is a clinical point by point overview of the building. My version wanted the audience to experience CIRS as a living, breathing entity that gives back to nature rather than takes from it. It points to the bigger idea, what if everything we built made the environment better?” Cleaned the water, sequestered carbon, provided habitat for wildlife and improved quality of life for those who lived and worked there?

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