Sample Team Charter

“This document, issued by the sponsor, formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.” (from Brown, A. S. (2005). The charter: selling your project.)

You can find more information about Team Charters on the Team Artifacts page of the Midstage Manual and on The Charter–Selling Your Project.

Key project data

  • Project name:
  • Project type (rock, value, ad hoc, …)
  • Project sponsor (executive):
  • Project steering committee (other executives):
  • Project owner (non-executive):
  • Project team members (other non-executives):
  • Project start date:
  • Project end date (planned):
  • Charter author:
  • Charter approval date:

Business needs

Why this project?

Project Requirements

What needs to be delivered?

Business case, including return on investment

  • What does success look like?
  • What improvement in (metric) from (x) to (y) by (date) should we measure the project by?
  • How much (time, money) are we investing in this project and how do we get a return on this investment?

Summary schedule

  • What are our envisioned milestones?
  • By when can we expect what progress?

Assumptions, constraints, dependencies, and risks

  • What else should the team be aware of?
  • How is the team going to be managing these assumptions, constraints, dependencies, and risks?

Charter Checklist

Quoting this checklist from Brown (2005) to help team owners recognize when emerging charters are already being written informally or may already be in place in the mind of the sponsor:

  1. Does the sponsor know the project exists and does the sponsor agree that it should exist? (authorize existence)
  2. Does the sponsor know who the project manager is and does he or she support that person’s leadership of the project? (authorize the project manager)
  3. Has the sponsor given the project manager authority over money, people, and other organizational resources, in order to accomplish that project? (authority to apply resources)
  4. Has the sponsor ever written an e-mail, written a memo, speaking at a meeting (preferably a meeting with documented minutes) indicating, even implicitly, a “Yes” answer to the questions above?

About Midstage Institute

We focus our practice on midstage startup companies that need to remain agile, and where what used to work for the smaller startup just isn’t as effective anymore.


We ensure founders and leadership teams win, with our over 40 years experience in venture-backed tech startups. We are Silicon Valley veterans with the scars and wins to prove it. We don’t use an inflexible off-the shelf methodology, we adapt best practices to you, your market, your company, and your leadership team.


We always:

  • Focus on right sized best practices to get to the next level
  • Focus on the 20% of effort that will yield you 80% of the benefits
  • Teach Perfection is the enemy, better is your partner and ally
  • Align with your business needs so you can thrive