Why Project Charters Are Important For Your Next Mobile App Project

August 13, 2020

By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
Scottsdale Bizz, a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Data Titan, Sofvue LLC, and the author

Using the same example manufacturing company as referenced above, and assuming they want to build a mobile app, and assuming that a formal Statement of Work (SOW) is already complete, their charter might appear as follows.

EXAMPLE Project Charter

The project shall be underwritten by the IT division of QUAL Device Corp and is, therefore, being developed according to the Statement of Work (SOW) now finalized with Scottsdale Bizz. When complete, the project will generate a new company mobile app platform allowing sales and field representatives to track the sales cycle remotely, better control the company’s CRM, execute sales contracts remotely in the field, eliminating the need to drive to the office to complete contracts, and lower YOY operating overhead by 9%.

Joannah Thomas, acting as QUAL Device Corporation’s designated Project Owner, is hereby authorized and shall act on behalf of the company to execute the development of a mobile application (app) and to operate said app on three platforms including Apple, Android and Microsoft. Each will be downloadable from Google Play, the Apple Store, and the Microsoft Store. The Project Owner will limit her authority to an approved budget of $250,000, with project development scheduled to begin October 1, 2020, and completed not later than March 30, 2021.

Stakeholders to this project include the President of QUAL Device Corp, the COO and CFO, Roger Jones, Interim IT Director, and Joannah Thomas, Project Owner. Scottsdale Bizz shall operate, under a separate development agreement, as a mobile app developer, and said the company has already completed Master Scope Document (MSD), the project’s Statement of Work (SOW). The project’s commencement shall include approximately 24-25 sprints over a six-month term. Each sprint cycle has already been defined.

There are two project risks. The first is Q4 2020 sales projections. Given the current state of the global economy because of a global pandemic, sales to QUAL’s customer base may be negatively impacted. Should it be determined, by January 15, 2021, that Q4 sales are down more than 10%, based on actual sales from Q4 of 2019, the project’s expected completion date shall be moved to a date established at that time. The second risk is that QUAL Device Corp relies on OEM products from two companies, one in Mexico and the other in Chile. With the current global pandemic associated with COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, supply-chain logistics could be severely impacted. Should this occur, the project’s timeline for completion may require an extension. Development company and QUAL Device Corp have already specified extension guidelines by a separate agreement.

The above example of a project charter illustrates a few of the important parts of a project charter, but there are more, including in-scope and out of scope risks to the mobile app project, any constraints to the project, such as reliability of API providers or third-party integrations with large accounting providers like Sage Software and Intuit, and what constitutes the completion of the project. In other words, defining the project’s life cycle.

The goal of a project charter is to identify the ‘what’, the ‘who’ and the ‘why’. Some charter documents are one page, but we have seen others that are dozens of pages, all of it depending on the size and breadth of the project’s scope.

To learn more about a project charter for your company’s upcoming mobile app project, contact Scottsdale Bizz.

Scottsdale Bizz Staff Writer
August 2020

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