Project Charter, static document?

 I must have missed it, can you please point out to me where can I find in PMBOK 5 a statement that says the Project Charter is a static document and cannot be changed after the Initiation phase? Thanks.

Hi Lorenz just in case you got the answer please feed it to me for I am looking also for that statement, thank you. - Larry Starr Sarasota

 sure bro, if i can't find the answer myself i'm confident our friends here will gladly give us a hand ;)

saketbansal's picture

 Change in charter would mean change in project goal, which would be like starting a new project.... even if it was done previously , we do not have Change Request and an Input to Develop Project Charter.


Change in Charter does not necessarily mean a change in project goal. For instance, change in factors such as the PM, high level budget (due to high inflation), high level constraints (removal of constraints) may not alter the project goal. These factors could be updated in the Charter while keeping the same goal. However, I am not sure if these changes warrant an update to the Projet Charter.




 " we do not have Change Request and an Input to Develop Project Charter" - good point! how about if we replace the project manager midway the project, do we need to update the project charter? If so, does it have to go through Integrated Change Control? 


saketbansal's picture

 In practice when have high cost because of unknown - unknown risks we change the PMP and rebaseline things for cost ... and it can be understood as we are taking money from management reserve.

Second , if we have change in project community or even the assigned PM, we also take care of this with PMP and this is how the PMBOK reflects it, 

i think its safe to assume ( not explicitly written in PMBOK) that Project Charter is one time kick off process and after that PMP is the one which gets managed.

goodluck for your project. hope theirs nothing problem to encounter.

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Nick Nikolaev's picture

It can be changed all right. Moreover it's better to keep it updated. Usually in every charter you see a date of a latest update. 
But of course it's better not to change some fundamental things like goals, needs etc. 

It should be updateable at least in the early stages of Project until Planning. PMBOK says the Charter could contain Assumptions, constraints, stakeholder list, milestone schedule etc. These are bound to change even if they might not have bigger impact to the project. This is my opinion.

I don't think project charter can be changed after sign-off as it is a fixed document. Normally before a charter is issued, a thorough analysis of the business case, SOW and nomination of PM is done. So chances of changing the charter is slim in real world. AS Saket mentioned earlier, change is the charter usually means starting the project all over again after terminating the previous charter and it's related project.

1. Let's say there is change in the scope after the sign off, then PM can raise a CR to modify the scope statement.
2. when there is change in stakeholder, normally stakeholder register get modified not the charter.
3. Assumptions and constraints are monitored regularly and accordingly watch list, risk register and risk response document gets updated.
3. change in project schedule and milestone results in updates to project schedule and milestone list and not the charter.

Hope this helps.

It cannot be changed or modified unless agreed by all the parties involved. and you may read complete article or use Project charter template here.