The difference between a Project Charter and a PMP
The charter is a short document, generally one page in length, that lays out the outline of the project for the corporation, board members, stakeholders, etc. Its goal isn’t to get to the details, but for the idea to be presented. It may include:
- Objectives and benefits of the project
- The projected outcome
- A list of stakeholders
- Team members and external customers
- The project manager
- A list of deliverables and milestones
- A list of risks, potential issues, constraints and assumptions
- A proposed budget.
- and a list of acceptance and approval criteria.
Project Management Plan (PMP):
On the other hand, the project management plan is a more thorough and complete document and focuses on the “how” of delivering a project. There are also many subsidiary plans that can be included within the Project Management Plan (e.g. risk management plan, stakeholder management plan, etc.). Once the project has been approved, this plan is created by the project manager, often with help from the project management team to lay out the specifics.
- Value of the project
- Organizational structure of the project team
- Responsibilities and key roles
- Resources required
- Necessary functions to meet the objectives
- Specific activities necessary for completion
- The work breakdown structure (WBS)
The plan details the specifics to begin the project and those required throughout the project’s life cycle. It is The Plan for how you’ll manage the project.
The project management plan creates the baseline for the project. It provides the starting point for the project manager to assemble the team and get the ball rolling.
Essentials of a PMP
Baselines are created for scope, schedule, and cost. The baselines are approved by the “owner” of the project and developed with the project charter as a guide. The baselines allow the project manager and project management team to compare progress with the original objectives throughout the project life cycle.
Specific Management Plans:
Within the PMP, individual and specific plans are created to provide insight on the scope, schedule, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, and procurement. Each of these specific management plans allows the project to be broken down even further. While the baselines come from the initiating phase of the project, these specific plans are part of the Develop Project Management Plan process. They are key to the beginning of the project and also utilize the project charter as a guide.
Additional Management Plans:
In addition to the plans listed above, a PMP may also include any or all of the following:
- Requirement management plan
- Change management plan
- Configuration management plan
- Process improvement plan,
By breaking down the project charter into more detailed tasks plans within the project management plan, the project becomes more efficient. Each of the items above allow the project manager and the team to execute, manage, and control the project, within the teams and as a whole.
All of this provides you with a knowledge base. The PMP may be the most important document in your arsenal, to get it all going and keep it all going.
PMP’s for PMPs
Each of the following plans is part of the project management plan. They focus on the goals of the PMP and create the roadmap for the project.
- Scope management plan,
- Schedule management plan,
- Cost management plan,
- Quality management plan,
- Human resources management plan,
- Communications management plan,
- Risk management plan,
- Procurement management plan,
- Stakeholder management plan.
The PMP, including these plans, creates the list of responsibilities for the project manager. By ascertaining the goals, estimating the project, and addressing the possible risks at the beginning, the project manager can adapt the project as necessary to complete the tasks and come to the final process group closure.
It all begins with Project Integration Management. For a Project Management Professional, planning, rather than reacting, is key.