A very effective way to plan a project effectively is through chartering. In traditional project management, chartering is the documentation of a project’s vision. The project manager and other executives define the project’s key goals and requirements as well as set its customer expectations. They appoint the team members and assign their role, define the project’s limits and constraints as well as describe the resource needs and cost estimates, and more. In short, a charter defines what success means to the team. All of these details and information are outlined in a document that is called a charter.

Typically, a charter is constructed at the early stages of the beginning of the project. The charter outlines all the important information and states the vision to guide the project team’s direction. It clearly sets the stage of the project so that it aligns with the goals and expectations of the stakeholders.

Oftentimes, the charter serves as the proposal that gets the project’s approval. The following elements play a vital role in the approval of the charter: Purpose, goals, scope of project, organization/structures, resources needed, approaches/methodologies, risks, definitions, scheduling, restrictions – if all of them are properly defined, identified and described, it is considered as an effective charter and can be easily approved.

While the traditional charter is the basis to start a project with the end (vision) in mind, the more modern term to it now is agile chartering because both terms are the same in the way they establish understanding and connection between the project team and the stakeholders. However, their details and a few more aspects differ.

In the modern chartering or agile chartering, there is flexibility in the scope and the purpose of the team aims towards their end clients’ needs and goals. In the traditional chartering, only the project manager decides about the activities and the customer waits for the finished product. The new charter involves stakeholders in some significant decision-making involving trade-offs.

To begin with the end in mind, the new charter also establishes the team’s mission and vision as well as effective release plans in accordance with the stated mission and vision that set the goals of the team.

A team plans by outlining how it can get to where it needs to be. They start with how they are in the present (now), then on the last part of the outline is the future (where) that states their goals and the finished product. After learning what they are supposed to achieve, they go back one step and discusses the methodologies (how) that states all the details of the actions that they need to do for the product to be completed.

The team defines the issues in the ‘now’ and establish teams to perform the work for the ‘how’. A strategic planning model is created. The deliverables are defined. The WBS is being set. Proposed action plans are going to be implemented and the accountability for each team member are set.

To sum it up, to plan with the end in mind in project teams is to know where you are (now), identify what is going to be accomplished (where), and from there, determine the actions that tell ‘how’ the goals can be achieved.