Management of research project takes time and resources. A dedicated project manager can be responsible for coordinating and monitoring key deliverable dates, budgets, and other project team members. Effective project managers develop and use a project charter document. This document provides the history of how the project came to be and the plan for carrying the project out. Project charters can be helpful to:
- ensure that the project is meeting timelines and staying within the estimated budget
- communicate progress among team members,
- obtain “sign off” within your organization at various points of the project, and
- provide an ongoing record of the development of the project. The project charter does not have to be a static document. Newer versions can be created as the project progresses with updated timelines and notes on completed deliverables
This project charter is a separate document from the overall research proposal and, though some content may overlap, the two documents have different purposes. For example:
- The research proposal summarizes the state of knowledge on a topic; the project charter summarizes the decisions that led to the decision to undertake the project.
- The research proposal details the methods that will be used (e.g., established measurement tool); the project charter lays out a plan for action for applying those methods (e.g., target date for obtaining rights to use the tool, cost of buying the tool, who will administer the tool and when, etc).